Saturday, January 30, 2010

the jackie look (lyn)

I have a long black shearling-hooded coat that I rarely wear.  It’s a great coat and very warm.  I maybe wear it four nights a year.  Tonight is one of those nights.  It’s 14 degrees out.  My kind of weather.

Last night Zelia, my Brazilian friend, tells me that she is worried about tonight.  As she explains,  “ it’s going to be so cold I’m not sure I can go out.”

I’m also worried, but for two very different reasons. 

  1. I hope the play is good
Similar to choosing a restaurant, I feel responsible for the quality of the play.  If Zelia hates it, I’ll feel bad, particularly given the weather.  We are seeing a play called The Jackie Look.  It stars a provocative performance artist named Karen Findley. Wikipedia describes her as someone “whose theatrical pieces and recordings have often been labelled obsene due to their graphic depictions of sexuality, abuse, and disenfranchisement.”  I don’t think tonight’s play will be that. 

 I’m somewhat enamored with the life of Jackie Kennedy.   In the summer of 2008, Alexander, my mother and I went to a one-woman show about Jackie.  .  It was performed for free in a small town on the Cape (Centerville) at the local senior center.  We arrived early, had subs in the parking lot for fear of being late (my mother is notoriously early for everything), and left at intermission.

  1. The food
There is a $15 food or drink minimum so we decide to have dinner there.  Eating out always worries me.

We get to the theater, which is downstairs in a restaurant, around 7:15.  Our seats are the worst in the house... at a  table in the very back of the theater, about three feet from the rear door.  The stage is miles away.  That, and you have to dodge heads to get a peek at the big screen set up in the front.  One person who is seated at our table is so disappointed with its location that she leaves before the play begins.  

We flag down a waiter and order.  I get scallops (and have only water to drink).  

By the time our food arrives, the performance has started and all lights are out.  I cannot see what I am eating.  I think there are some vegetables and a sweet sauce mixed in with the scallops and maybe even some lettuce.    I can’t be sure.

The play begins with promise.  Lots of Jackie photos.  Ms. Findley, dressed to look like Jackie, is on stage.  She begins by analyzing a website called, about the Texas School Book Depository Museum at Dealey Plaza.  She analyzes this website, particularly the store and its collectibles (like a 1963 Depository Building Magnet and JFK spoon). Her delivery is clever and funny.  But that only lasts ten minutes.  Soon she begins a lecture, with photos in the background that don’t correspond to what she is saying.  It’s not funny.  It’s not informative.  It’s just extraordinarily boring. 

Now the worst seats in the house have become the best.  We ask for our check and sneak out the rear door. I’m home by nine.

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