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Morning After… Theater Camp is Over

They did a great job last night, and a pretty near full house of family and friends showed their appreciation with applause and laughs and after-show affirmations of wonder that all this was pulled off in only two weeks.

My congratulations to the kids and to Laura Bakin who makes it all possible.

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A note from the Full Circle Theater light booth.

As you can see, I have put very little on the blog today as I am over at the last day of Kids Camp at Full Circle Theater (where I ran the Tech workshop) and I made the mistake of volunteering my MacBook to run the sound system. The campers are getting ready to open “The Emperors New Clothes” tonite, but right now they are having pizza in the rehearsal room and I have a chance to check in on my laptop. I’ll get back to Under The LobsterScope tonite after 9:00 when I get home.

This show has about two dozen kids aged 6 through 14 or so, and it has been two weeks of utter madness… but I think we’ll be making it ok… and the audience will be all parents and friends, so there isn’t much that can go wrong. Family always likes everything.

Rehearsal shot I took last week.

Hope everyone has a nice evening… I’m going back to my position in the audience.

I’m starting to get busy as a retiree…

So far, I have my slot with John Case on his Friday morning Winners and Losers program on WSHC (mornings 7:30 to 9:00 at 89.7 AM) and I’m getting ready to do some volunteer web work with the American Conservation Film Festival.

I’m teaching Technical Theatre in August (wow…NEXT WEEK!) at the Full Circle kids camp.

I’m working on a radio drama proposal that I want to fund through Kickstarter. Case and I have been discussing this for a while.

And I’m looking for something to direct. There’s a play by Edward Albee called “Occupant” which is about the late sculptor Louise Nevelson that I’d like to do, but it isn’t the kind of show locals are going to be tremendously interested in. I am, though.

Father’s Day

It’s a little after 2:00 in the afternoon on Father’s Day. Elly is over in Williamsport at Penny’s working on their garden, all my children are in California at Adam’s wedding (Adam is Penn and Cassandra’s half-brother and my son Bud’s roommate in DC), where it is three hours earlier.

Needless to say, I haven’t heard from any of my children yet. My two dog boys and my wife made sure I awoke to a card and a gift of pistachio nuts (yum). Maybe before the day is over my three kids (and my Mother, who is out there, too) will get together on the phone and make a Father’s Day Call. I assume they will at some point.

Meanwhile, I’m taking it easy. Elly and I made our Sunday morning visit to the Shepherdstown Farmer’s Market and had a stop at Mellow Moods. Not much happening in town today… and it is getting very hot outside, so it is much better to stay indoors where it is cool.

Anyway, Happy Father’s Day to the Dad’s all over the place….

Snark Opening Last Night… not as bad as I expected…

… in fact pretty good (my wife, son, daughter and grandkids back me up on this… and at least three of them have no trouble telling me what they REALLY think.)

I had a couple of problems… the tempo of the show was a little off and the Butcher dropped a line that he had dropped in rehearsals (but I found a way to prevent it from happening tonite… I think) and the set pieces weren’t placed correctly for the last scene… but these are easy notes. Joe Jurand, the Board President, made a long fund raising speech at the beginning of the evening… something you really shouldn’t do with an audience full of kids. They just don’t give a damn about getting a plaque on a donated wall for three years… they want to see a show.

I think I will put Eddy’s Walrus & Carpenter Oratorio on AFTER the Snark tonite, since a.) younger kids can go home if they are now too tired to watch (an 8 PM curtain is awfully late for 7- and 8-year-olds) and b.) Eddy will be here tonite to discuss the piece with music lovers and c.) this actually slows down the audience before Snark and I can’t let that happen.

So tonite is night two of The Hunting Of The Snark. There are tickets available (tomorrow’s matinee is a sellout to a major church group) and then more available for next weekend. If you are in the area come by and see it. Bring the kids… they’ll have a lot of fun.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs vs. The Informant

Last night we went to the movies with the sole intent of seeing The Informant, the new Stephen Soderbergh movie with Matt Damon that was based on the informer who turned in the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) company for price fixing in the 90s. It was one of those nights when we decided to stay for another film, one that we wouldn’t ordinarily go to alone (but might with our grandchildren), Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. As luck would have it we got two really good films that were really different from each other making it a great movie nite.

I won’t talk much about The Informant because just about any description of it gives away crucial parts of the plot, but I will tell you that it concerns a division vice-president of ADM (Damon) and features Scott Bakula as an FBI agent (haven’t seen Bacula in a while and he is an actor I miss on TV).

A lot of other folks I haven’t seen in a while show up in small parts including Tommy and Dick Smothers (Tommy as an ADM CEO and Dick as a Federal Judge).

The film is based on a true story that in 2000 was a book by Kurt Eichenwald who was one of the screenplay developers. Mark Whittaker, Damon’s Character (a role for which, I am told, he put on 40 pounds) made hundreds of tapes exposing the lysine (a corn chemical) conspirators, including ADM, who ultimately settled federal charges for more than $100 million. ADM also paid hundreds of millions of dollars in class action settlements to customers that it stole from during the price-fixing schemes. Several Asian and European lysine and citric acid producers, whom conspired to fix prices with ADM, paid criminal fines in the tens of millions of dollars to the U.S. government. A few top executives, including the Vice Chairman of ADM who was the son of the former powerful Chairman, received three years of federal prison time. The ADM investigation, in turn, convinced antitrust prosecutors that price-fixing was a far more pervasive problem than they had suspected and led to prosecutions of cartels in vitamins, fax paper, and graphite electrodes. Billions of dollars have already been paid in antitrust fines to the U.S. government since Whitacre first blew the whistle in 1992.

OK, sounds pretty boring, right? Take my word for it, however, it is not. It’s funny and dark and is full of twists and turns which Damon pulls off really well.

Here’s the trailer:

As we were leaving, we wandered into the theater that was showing Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, an animated film being shown in some places in 3D (not here), which we had heard good things about.

Meatballs There are enough things in this one for adults and plenty for kids. It’s based on a book that I hadn’t heard of (but I don’t see a lot of kids’ books lately) and is imagineative and fun.

Mr. T, who I hadn’t heard from in a long time, was one of the voices, as was Neill Patrick Harris. The premise, of a machine that makes the weather on a sardine-afflicted island rain fast food from the sky and the young inventor who both causes the problem and saves the day, is carried out well… funny, entertaining, filled with easily recognizable social values and enough action to make you babble. We were amazed at how much we liked it.

So which one did we like better?

It was a tie… both good and both worth seeing. All in all, a great evening out. Nice break from the political crap.