Thursday, May 11, 2006

up a winding staircase

We went to a visually arresting stage play of Jane Eyre tonight. I loved the show. It was so complex and adult and intelligent. Don't get me wrong. I love Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera and all of those, but they do feel a bit like eye candy, don't they? I like gritty, thoughtful pieces that stretch my imagination and make me work a little bit as a patron. Also, I'm a huge theatre snob. Drinking my Pepsi at the bar during intermission and wearing my new white loafers; you'd swear I was some kind of dandy. I guess you'd be right.

Anyway, one thing I liked about the play was that they had humans play animals. Specifically, a horse and a dog. But instead of going all Disney with it, you know, air-conditioned fuzzy outfits, the actors just took their shirts off and acted like the animals. And you knew exactly what they were doing! I liked that. I kept thinking about what kind of animal I would be if I took my shirt off. Probably some kind of raccoon, or a mink.

Another thing I liked about the show was the set. The stage was tiny, but it was dominated by this winding, spiraling staircase. At the top of the stairs, of course, was Mr. Rochestor's crazy Jamaican wife. I keep my crazy Jamaican wife in a shed, but to each his own! Anyway, she was always coming up and down those stairs in fits of lunacy, waving fiery torches and howling like a grunting pig. Anytime a person in that play went the least bit crazy, which - trust me - was plenty of times, they would run up and down those twisty stairs. I think that was the director's concept. Spiraling stairs and bonnets. This play had a lot of bonnets! More on that later. (Not really.)

Anyway, I know how it felt for Jane to keep going up and down spiraled stairs, because we also went to St. Paul's cathedral this afternoon and we climbed all the way to the top! This was the second time I've done this, and I liked the climb much better this time. Even though it takes about 400 circular steps to get there, it felt a little less tiring and slightly less interminable today, for some reason. Not to say it was an easy task. I saw some fat American tourists who pooped out about half way up. (I'm sorry, but they were clearly fat and I heard their American accents. I'm just reporting what I saw.) They sat there on the landing, heaving and popping Doritos.

The view from St. Paul's is pretty incredible, and there was a nice, cool breeze rewarding us for our efforts. And coming down wasn't so bad. We made up little ditties and pretended we were on the Titanic. Was that in poor taste?