Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nick and Nora, nicknamed Hodad and Wingnut by Keller, enjoy
beach life  at Wind and Sea, a world famous surf spot.

The drama continues here in “SoCal” – which has nothing to do with social reform  or calories, but is what locals call this lovely little corner of the planet.  We’ve been watching seals, surfers, actors, birds and last night a wonderful classical guitarist.   The Yorkies and I are happy to be away from the cold of Montana, although the month-long winter hit under the Big Sky had its pleasures. Chief among them: migrating birdies, including two kinds of grosbeaks, inspiring Keller’s hundreds of photos of them, the deer and big horns.  Here in San Diego, even when it’s chilly, we can be outdoors in only a sweater to watch surfers brave the waves. (Sissies call 48 degrees “the cold” here. Weather’s a relative thing.)
Hershey Felder appears in his impressive play
 about a young Army doctor tending Lincoln. The play looks
back from the Depression to the Civil War.

 Theater life is fertile and varied.  Northcoast Repertory Theater near us is presenting a lauded production of Willy Russell’s “Educating Rita”  -- I interviewed Michael Caine for the film version years ago -- and  we’ll soon be among the audience for “Clybourne Park,” downtown at San Diego Rep.  The work won both the Tony for best play, and the Pulitzer Prize.  Sunday’s matinee featured Hershey Felder in “An American Story,” a wonderfully imaginative and prodigiously researched work written by and featuring Felder.  The one-man-plus-orchestra show tells the true story of a young Army surgeon Dr. Charles Augustus Leale, who happened to be in Ford Theater that fateful Good Friday, April 14, 1865, when Booth shot President Lincoln.  The character tells his tale from the perspective of a 90-year old man looking back. Felder imbues his doctor with grace, wisdom and a sense of irony.  The venue, the 1928 Birch North Park Theatre, reminded Cookie of the old 1931 Billings Fox which was in its glory when she saw the greats perform in Community Concerts as a child growing up in the 1950s.  Among the distinguished retinue to pass through Billings:  the Barrymores, Marian Anderson, Gregor Piatagorsky, Jascha Heifetz! Thanks to my parents and grandparents for seeing that a musical kid and her Columbus siblings were exposed to many of the great artists of the 20th Century.   Wherever you are – in that lush concert hall in the sky – know that you made a Broadway baby and lifelong play and concert goer out of this redhead. 
The Children's Pool in LaJolla has been "occupied" by pregnant seals.    Bruce Keller photos

The Yorkies continue to accompany us wherever doggies are allowed – only certain hours on the beaches.  They waited patiently in their car bed while we heard an hour of acoustic guitar last night at our terrific North University Community Library.  Lorraine Castellanos charmed with her jazzy “I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” which she both sang and played, a difficult Bach chaconne and pieces by European and South American composers. (We heard a preview of her master’s piece for San Diego State University.)
Off to the seals, who are pregnant and basking in the warming weather.  They’ve taken over the Children’s Pool, a protected water park donated by the Scripps family.  That controversy is for another time, another story. 

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