Wayson is in Vancouver partly to visit his family, but also because he’s receiving the prestigious George Woodcock award there for his contribution to literature and to society. Here’s a local CBC interview with him:
Last night, one of my annual rituals – the Tony Awards, which some time ago were produced, twice, by my ex-husband. So now when I watch, it’s a relief to enjoy actors and singers and not worry about the length of the speeches and diva hissy fits. (He has some stories!) They were celebrating, wonderfully, the best Broadway season in years – and what a lineup of talent in both production and acting.
The great surprise was the top win of the evening: Fun Home as best musical, from the book by Alison Bechdel. Bechdel started her career as a graphic cartoonist detailing her life; her first book, Fun Home, was one of the first “graphic memoirs,” the story, with pictures, of growing up in a funeral home run by her unhappy, angry father who eventually committed suicide and was, she found out, a closeted gay man watching his daughter grow up to be a lesbian. A complex, dark story, movingly told in her book.
Somehow, an extremely talented team have turned this book into a musical, which won the Tony last night. An autobiographical graphic memoir turned musical – now there’s a concept. Except that the same team had done it before with Tony Kushner’s Caroline or Change, the story of his growing up in the South and his bond with Caroline, a strong black woman who was the family maid. That also was an autobiographical musical. And my friend Chris has done the same with his life, twice.
There was an excerpt last night that I missed because I was watching the superb Danish drama Borgen (a great show about an ethical female politician – very stirring). But found it, and here it is, absolutely beautiful. Makes me want to go straight to New York.
Hmm: Kaplan, the Musical. No, I have to say, it does not make my heart soar like an eagle.
What did make me soar was lunch with my editor Rosemary today. I’d sent her the first 30 pages of the new memoir, rewritten in Paris when I was stuck without the internet, and she confirmed what I hoped and suspected – it works better. Lots more to do, much further to go – but a more solid start.
And then a visit by my little friend, who watered the garden today with his own “lello” watering can, even though we’d just had the most torrential rainstorm of the year. Still, the plants can always use a little help. “There were three rains!” he said.
He spent the afternoon here, and I’m exhausted but blissed out too. His mother and I dug out all the baby clothes she has stored here since he outgrew them, for her to take home and wash. Eli talks openly now about his baby brother, and at one point kissed his mother’s tummy. He’d just come from his third birthday checkup with his paediatrician – he’s in the 98th percentile for weight and the 100th for height. He’s the size, said the doctor, of a fairly big four year old.
We make ’em big in this family.