The Beauty Of Live Theater

“The Whole World’s A Stage and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

The “seven ages” according to experts analyzing Shakespeare’s thought process is as follows:

Infant, schoolboy/girl, lover, soldier, pantalone (someone at the top of his or her game/ social order), old age, and of course… death.

The reason I mention the above quote is because of it’s complexity illustrated in a wonderfully simplistic phrase, both poetic and truthful… One of the greatest thoughts ever expressed on stage.

As we wander down a path that seems to change with the ebbs and flows of people, places, and jobs… we add layers of flavor to our personas that many have called “the spice of life”. For some this analysis makes no sense because their comfort zone lies in the repetition of working, eating, sleeping, rinse and repeat.

But for me, life is a cabernet to be drunk slowly. Let us enjoy all the nuances of the people, places, and of course the amazing meals that connects to the unexpected daily tapestry written in a book illustrated by our dreams.

Having said all that there is nothing quite as relaxing, sometimes invigorating, and usually entertaining as live theatre (this is most certainly part of the above mentioned tapestry).

Nancy and I journeyed to go see “I Hate Hamlet” at the Festival Theatre during the Neil Simon Festival in Cedar City Utah. The Neil Simon Festival is relatively new and is the brain child of former principle member of the Tony award winning Cedar City Shakespeare Festival, Peter Sham.

Directed by Richard Bugg this play is set in modern times. In 1987 the playwright, Paul Rudnick, rented an apartment on the top floor of a Greenwich Village brownstone. He learned that John Barrymore had once lived in it and that he had renovated the space into, what the real estate ad described as a “medieval duplex”. A year later Rudnick felt compelled to write a play about both the apartment and the legacy of John Barrymore.

Barrymore’s interpretation of Hamlet is widely considered one of the best of all time. He was haunted by the character, just as the main character in this play, Andrew, is haunted by the ghost of Barrymore. Barrymore spent the rest of his life trying to match the power, grace, intensity, and impossible command of body language that he achieved in this performance.

The dialogue and interaction between Andrew (whom just got the part of Hamlet in a production in central park) and the ghost of Barrymore becomes much more than just a question of an actors portrayal or commitment. The story evolves into a question about choosing to pursue wealth or the honor and integrity of self-worth. At least once in our own lives we are faced with the same choice.

Take time to sip in the beauty around us and possibly that could include live theater. We are blessed to live in an age with so many events literally a click away. From enjoying a play, show, sporting event, or concert, and if the stars align just right, you may be taken beyond the time frame of the event and experience a long lasting memory.


Passion PAZAZ™ Style

When you live in the experience and you are passionate about what you do there is a magic that goes well beyond the task, the event, or the story. This “magic” can be felt by those around you that hear the change in tonality of your voice, the movement of your body, and the glow that surrounds you.

My dad used to sway to the music he was playing, close his eyes, and drift into a sublime space. This series of gestures inevitably created a wonderful connection with the listener that brought the music from his soul to his fingers to the audiences ears. Every movement was based upon a phrase that brought witness to the “Passion” of the moment. Smiles could be seen, bodies pulsated, and hearts were touched.

As a small boy I would never forget those moments of pure joy that spurned me on to become an impassioned ambassador of all things that could be considered “art”. Music, theatre, sports, and even food and wine became my wheelhouse.

When I’m in the world today I see those that blend their talents into an art form that freezes a moment within a picture frame of time. The rarity of this combined with the spontaneity of the circumstance captures a talent, years in its development, to unleash an experience that morphs into a memory.

When someone gives a part of themselves to add to the moment there becomes a connection or a bond that can not be broken. It is within this vulnerability that produces an inner smile forming a path that winds around our heart.

Watching glass blowers go through the process that begins with raw materials and upon completion ends with a work of art is one such example. Another is the musician that beckons to the audience to hear the notes one by one that forms a phrase, that produces a song.

Within my profession of food and wine there are few times that a chef or a server can complete the connection to the guest. Because of the importance of reading the guest, knowing the food, and producing the product as written on the menu there are many variables that can disconnect the expertise that is required to connect all those dots.

That is why it is so rare to feel complete satisfaction within the culinary world. But when you do there is a sense of “Passion” that goes well beyond the outer envelope and speaks to the soul of the team. This produces a lighting bolt beyond sustenance and beyond the orchestral dining ensemble that just produced a very rare culinary symphony.

For all those involved in any art form I salute your “Passion” because it is within this context that you just made the world a better place.

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