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good news, and Alice

The phone rang awhile ago and I picked it up. “Is this Mrs. Kenney?” asked a South-African accent, and I realized it must be the hospital. Lani and Maurice Kenney are not married but have been together for eons. Anyway, the doctor did not have Lani’s cellphone number so I gave it to him. And so I was the first to learn that the operation went so well, they finished early. The doctor sounded jubilant. “He’s fine,” he said.

Bourbon and I took a long walk by the river to celebrate his father’s successful operation and, we hope, speedy recovery. Thank you, Powers That Be.

This afternoon I saw the Stratford production of James Reaney’s “Alice through the looking-glass” and am sorry to say it’s a mess, the director madly throwing schtick around and most of the actors just not up to it. Bubbles, streamers, jelly beans, audience participation, lots of male actors in cute little pinafore dresses and striped tights, aka Alice drag, weird bouncy horses, in jokes and rude jokes and gay jokes, just gross, gross, gross. Imagine a production that wastes one of the best actors in Canada, Tom McCamus, putting him in big ears as the March Hare and giving him almost no lines. The only actor who triumphs is the redoubtable Brian Tree as a marvellously grumpy Humpty Dumpty.

It’s a difficult, perhaps impossible script – a lot of it is based on chess in-jokes and geeky Victorian mathematical and philosophical wordplay. How many in 2014 will get these things, especially in a show geared for children? In a whirlwind fantasy world on stage, it’s important to set the parameters so we understand the rules of the game. But there are no rules in this production except visual sight gags, mugging, and weak voices.

However, I’d got a discount seat and it was a glorious afternoon, I spent the intermission standing in the hot sun. And then I got the good news about Mau. Nothing negative about today, nothing. I bought $25 worth of dark chocolate from Barr’s and have consumed too much of it. And now – Franklin and Eleanor.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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