Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gospel Christmas Thanksgiving

Tonight we went to the Ensemble Theater with one of Dan's friends from work. Joyce is a well-connected local actress and runs the box office at one of the university theaters, so when she said she could get us tickets to the preview of the Ensemble's annual Christmas show, we were pretty excited. Years ago when Dan was a theater major, the Ensemble was one of the places he worked lights, and for awhile it was one of his steadiest gigs. I really miss all the comp tickets we used to get!

So we went to check out the Ensemble's Christmas offering, "A Pure Gospel Christmas: Coming Home."

It sounded very promising to me because I like gospel music. And in this respect I sometimes wonder if the African American churches don't have a better grasp on Christianity than most other churches. After all, if you really believe all that good stuff about having your sins forgiven and getting to have everlasting life in a dandy place like Heaven, why wouldn't you want to clap, dance and sing about it?

Makes sense to me.

But I digress.

Even though it was a full house, it was obvious that this was just a preview and they were still ironing out the wrinkles in the program. Microphones weren't always set right, making some singers hard to hear. A few light cues were missed. The only child performer was nervous and it affected his first solo, although he relaxed as the evening wore on and I think with a couple more shows under his belt he'll do fine.

I thought the script was pretty heavy-handed at times in its church and family messages. Of course those are the messages I had expected to hear, but there were a few times when they brought in the backhoe for a job that could've been better done with a trowel, if you know what I mean.

On the positive side, there was a lot of talent up on stage and the sets and costuming were very nicely done. The music was great and had the audience swaying in their seats and clapping most of the evening. Some audience members were really getting into it toward the end, standing up, shouting "Praise God!" and "Let your light shine, brother!" in the way they do at the Black churches. And finally we were all standing, clapping, stomping our feet. It was so much fun.

After the show, Dan and I took Joyce to a late dinner at one of the downtown Vietnamese restaurants. It had been a long time since I'd had Vietnamese food and I had missed it. Joyce told us about a recent audition she did for the part of a nurse in the upcoming Andy Warhol movie, Factory Girl. If she gets the part, I'll mention it and if you see the movie you can keep an eye out for our kind theater ticket benefactress.

Recent Workouts
Monday: rest day - deep tissue work
Tuesday: 1 hour elliptical
Wednesday: does clapping and dancing count?

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