The week with our daughter Dee was bookended by two outdoor meals with friends. The first was with Jill on her deck in the trees. (The back of her house sits high on a slope, and on the deck it really does feel as though you are in the trees. ) We had an absolutely fabulous appetizer meal. As we ate and talked, I watched the tree tops sway in the wind. I also watched the birds that came to the many feeders Jill has in her yard. All in all, a magical meal.
Then, this past Sunday, after Dee left, we had another absolutely fabulous meal—salads and salmon and grilled bread—with our friends Cheryl and Denny. (Alas, I did not think to bring my camera. The hot and humid day must have clouded my mind.) Their deck is low and overlooks a sweep of lawn with flowers and a bird bath. Another magical place.
In between, we went to two movies—Star Trek and Captain Fantastic—and two plays—The Illusion and Henry V. In central Maine, which has a low population, we are extremely lucky to have the Theater at Monmouth, which calls itself the Shakespearean theatre of Maine. Each summer, equity and nonequity actors perform four or five plays in repertory, and two of them are usually Shakespeare’s plays. While I love all the arts, theater is at the top of my list, right up there with books. In short, I can never go to too many plays, especially if the actors are good.
This year, the troupe at the Theater at Monmouth is very good indeed. So good, in fact, that when, in The Illusion, a huge spider decided to descend from the heights and join the fun, the actors—bless them—never skipped a beat, never once indicated that a giant arachnid was hovering nearby. Up the spider went, and then down again it came, nearly running into one of the actresses as she was in mid-speech. An audible ripple of dismay spread through the audience, and I covered my eyes with my hands.
But the actress never flinched, and on went the show. That darned spider finally dropped to the stage, and we didn’t see it again. Thank goodness!
This unpredictability is one of the reasons I love theater so much. Who knows what will happen in any given performance? As the house lights go down, I always get a little shiver of anticipation, and sometimes, just sometimes, there is even alchemy in the theater.
Our week with our daughter is over, and back to our normal routines we must go. However, thanks to Dee, who for Christmas bought us season passes to the Theater at Monmouth, we have two more plays to see next weekend.
I wonder if there will be any more unexpected visitors.