By Laura Grimes
Quick. Mr. Scatter is on the road, so let’s post while he’s not looking.
Some people call. Some people text. I believe in the more sneaky form of communication — surprise blog posts broadcast to the world. Consider them entertainment and information all scrolled into one.
Dear Mr. Scatter,
What’s news since you left this morning?
Holy hot tub, I received an email with the below attached picture of a souvenir for the upcoming royal wedding (it’s good to have friends in low places). If you can’t tell, they’re tea bags.
I replied that I was still voting for the royal condoms, which add a little dimension to the whole bloody Brit breeding obsession (say that last part three times fast).
What else? That was brilliant of you to leave the Illuminations magazine from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on the coffee trunk. I realized your intentional sneakiness only after I clued into a conversation the Large Smelly Boys were having. It went something like this, a condensation of various snippets, which have been edited for printability (sort of):
Small LSB: “See, I told you Pirates of Penzance is an operetta.”
Large LSB: “How?”
Small LSB: “It has classical music, and it’s an opera that’s a comedy. A musical uses the popular music of its time.”
Small LSB: “It says part of Pirates is a joke on Verdi, that green guy.” (It took me a bit to figure out he meant green translating as verde in Romance languages.)
Large LSB (disdainfully): “They’re always singing in other languages.”
Small LSB: “Pirates is in English.”
Large LSB: “So there are operas in English.”
Small LSB: “Yeah, and there’s that anus opera.”
Large LSB: “Coriolanus?”
Small LSB: “No, Dido and Aeneas.”
I decided I’d better intervene at this point, but mostly I wanted to know what the Small LSB was reading and what he meant by the reference to Verdi. Turns out it was an essay by Marc Acito on Pirates, which OSF is doing this season.
Small LSB: “It says here, ‘And Mabel’s famous coloratura solo, Poor Wandering One, clearly parodies Violetta’s aria Sempre libera from Verdi’s La Traviata, which is Italian for “the wandering one.” ‘ ” (Bravura performance on so many quote marks all in a row, no?)
So we got out Youtube and compared them. Sure enough, they’re pretty similar. But we had to stop the four-minute Traviata aria before it was done. The Large LSB was having conniptions.
Large LSB (groaning loudly): “They always sing like that! It’s so high and stuff!”
Small LSB (knowingly): “There are different kinds. Like the high ones are soprano and the low ones are bass and baritone.”
So there you have it. Our teachable moment for the day. Only 11 more OSF plays to go.
I received a card/letter from Josephine, whom I’ve neglected for months. She writes, in part:
So how is my life? Same as before. My right eye is clouding over. But my left eye is still excellent — so I continue to read. (30 books this year.) My 94-year-old body is sure showing its age — getting more and more incapacitated — with frequent pains (thankfully brief). Amy continues to take excellent care of me. Treats me as though I were her big doll.
The LSBs say hi. The Large LSB swept the driveway and the walkways. He found a new free app on the iPad and mumbled something about making napalm. I think he was talking about a game.