Friday, July 25, 2008

A Burger, Fries, and Frustration

Small town America is supposed to be a bucolic abode of bliss: a sort of Brigadoon, far removed from the frantic pace of the outside world.

Don't believe it.

With a deadline today, and an editor (hi, boss!), breathing down my neck, I needed a break, and a meal. I had about fifteen minutes for both. The solution was obvious: go out, get a burger and fries, and eat at my desk.

There was a line at the drive-through, which I'd expected.

Then, whoever was in the car ahead of me opened a meaningful dialog with the checkout guy. It must have been complicated. The driver grabbed several different pieces of air, apparently showing how much coffee or pop she wanted.

Then menus started changing hands. I counted three different sheets that the guy at the window handed out, and two booklets. I'm pretty sure one of the sheets was the children's menu.

I was checked the clock. I had another five minutes before I had to be back at my desk.

Some sort of decision seemed to have been reached. Two menus and a booklet went back inside. The checkout guy's profile disappeared from the window.

Time passed.

I now had three minutes left.

Finally, her order got handed out. From the size of the package, I think she got a burger and a small coffee.

I made it back to my desk, only two minutes late.

With stress like this, I might as well be living in Manhattan.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Robin Hood: Ninja of Sherwood"

The Loonfoot Falls Community Theater's production last week of "Robin Hood: Ninja of Sherwood" wasn't the usual Sherwood Forest story. Instead of Lincoln Green, Robin Hood's merry men were garbed in what we're told is Sherwood black.

The curtain opened with Sir Guy of Gisbourne proposes marriage to Maid Marian, clearly to get control of her considerable wealth. When she refuses, he inexplicably grabs a ball from a table and runs from the room.

Maid Marian ends the scene with, "You have dishonored my family! You will pay!"

We meet Robin Hood in the second act. He's a shepherd who went with one of Marian's knight's to a Crusade. The knight also brought back Tuk, a refugee of some sort, who's getting as far west as he can.

Maid Marian recruits Robin Hood and Tuk to harass Sir Guy. They prove to be quite good at it. Tuk has been teaching Robin Hood some very un-English things to do with his quarterstaff and feet.

When Robin Hood isn't redistributing Sir Guy's wealth, he and Maid Marian are driving Sir Guy to distraction with the idea that she prefers a shepherd's attentions to his.

A spectacular moment in the play was unrehearsed. Robin Hood's quarterstaff got away from him in the third act. It flew straight and true toward Maid Marian, played by Sonja Branstetter, whose Soo Bahk Do training let her catch it with a flourish.

"Robin Hood: Ninja of Sherwood" won't be forgotten by Loonfoot Falls any time soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Loonfoot Falls Community Theater Prepares Unique Robin Hood

Turnabout is fair play: at least, it is at Loonfoot Falls Community Theater. Last year's production, "Little Women," didn't have many roles for men in the community.

Finding a suitable play to even the score wasn't as easy as you might think. Van Epps' adaptation of "Moby Dick" was suggested, and considered, until the LFCT board noted that this "Moby Dick" was a musical, set in an academy for young ladies.

"Mutiny on the Bounty" was rejected because there weren't enough funny lines in any of the available stage adaptations. "I think we could have re-written some of the scenes as comedy relief," said Flora Ellert, LFCT Dramatics Director.

They finally settled on an adaptation of "Robin Hood" that had quite a few male roles, with a range of ages from pre-teens to men in their fifties.

"It'll be a lot of fun: comedy, drama, cunning, and derring-do," said Ellert. "It's sort of like the Errol Flynn 'Robin Hood,' except the guys won't be wearing tights."

Possibly the most unusual aspect of the Loonfoot Falls "Robin Hood" will be that this Outlaw of Sherwood Forest won't use a bow and arrow. "That was understood from the start. We don't want a repeat of that William Tell thing," Ellert said, recalling a near-miss on stage, back in 1997.

"So, we decided that our Robin Hood had been in the Crusades," Ellert continued, "where he met a fugitive from Japan, and became a ninja. I don't think anyone's thought of that before."

Friday, July 4, 2008

Where's the Town Square?

I was up by the magazines in Broadway Drug and Photo, when somebody from out of town came in. He’d pulled up across the street, with a boat in tow and one of those streamlined boxes on top of his car.

"Hi," he said, walking up and getting about a pace closer than I’d have preferred. "Where’s the Town Square?" The way he said it, you knew that Town Square was capitalized.

Loonfoot Falls doesn’t have a Town Square, capitalized or otherwise. I told him so.

He wasn’t having any excuses. "Look, I just want to know where the Town Square is."

"You parked by Railroad Park. That’s the closest we have to a town square."

"No. You don’t understand. I'm looking for the Town. Square." He said the last two words nice and slowly, so I'd be sure to understand.

"Well, like I said," I started. Then I saw the way his nose was getting redder. He might have been on the road all day, and just about ready to pop. "'s right there." I pointed to the other end of Railroad Park, down by Center Avenue. "Town Square. There it is."

I'm going to assume that the grunt he made was supposed to be "Thank you," but it sounded more like "finally."

I still haven't decided whether I did the right thing, letting him think the Center Avenue end of Railroad Park is Town Square. It's a lie, but I think right then he needed his Town Square.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Loonfoot Falls Watchers