Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine's Friday

"Animal Mixing"--Friday, 2/10/17

I'm really enjoying this adorable puffin sweater this winter.  This is outfit #5 featuring the puffin sweater, and I'm getting the cost per wear down to a reasonable level.  Once again I paired it with the textured tuxedo jacket--the jacket is stretchy and generously cut so it is very comfortable to wear over a sweater.

Light grey puffin pullover sweater (Loft), $5.95/wear
Black tuxedo jacket (thrifted, Chico's), $0.75/wear
Denim skirt (thrifted, Levi's), $0.55/wear
Coral cheetah scarf (thrifted), $0.33/wear
Grey polka dot tights
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $2.00/wear

Outfit total: $9.58/wear

This outfit does have me questioning the wisdom of putting a cheetah and a puffin in such close proximity, however.  I mean, cheetahs don't eat puffins in the wild, but isn't that a matter of habitat/opportunity rather than preference?  Google is not prepared to answer my question, "Would a cheetah eat a puffin?"  Note that my cheetah print scarf has cheetah heads on it--you can see the yellow nose in this photo--but it doesn't have any cheetah legs.  So I guess the cats won't be able burst down upon the oblivious birds.  All is well.

Let's head back to December 2010 for this cheetah photo.  See how surprisingly well camouflaged he is against that background?  That's a key to his hunting style.  So again, my puffins are probably safe--I chose that scarf to stand out against the grey and black (and to coordinate with the color of the puffins' beaks and feet, of course).

In other news...I left work at lunch time, came home, and changed into all weather mocs and my Alice scarf because Robert had arranged a fun Valentine's Day date.  After eating lunch, we drove about an hour south of Coldville, stopping at several parks for Pokemon Go along the way, to a small town of about 16,000 people along the Mississippi River.  We had dinner and then went to see an Alice in Wonderland play!

The theater was established in 1904 and still had its old-school interior.  We were joined by mostly family groups, though there were some adult-only groups like the trio of three older ladies in front of us that we immediately pegged as season ticket holders.  The play was just over an hour long, and it was followed by a question-and-answer segment with the cast members that was surprisingly interesting.  The kids in the audience had good questions about how many of the effects were accomplished.  Perhaps the most amusing was when the Alice actor was asked about how old Alice was supposed to be.  The actor asked the girl to guess and she said nine, a very good guess.  Then the actor asked how old the girl thought she (the actor) was.  The girl said 14.  The actor is actually 33.

Because it was a children's play, the dialog was on the simpler side. The play was originally written in French, then translated into English.  It was interesting to hear how that worked out.  They definitely made the necessary changes so that the series of heart puns, for example, all conformed to English idiom.  The theater company is from Quebec, and 3 of the actors were clearly Francophones while the other had a standard English-speaking Canadian accent.

The staging was really wonderful.  I was wondering how best to describe the stage and use of puppets and big pop up books, but luckily the theater web site has a 1 minute video at the bottom that gives you a good feel for how it looked.

Of the characters, the clear crowd favorite was Humpty Dumpy, and my personal favorite was the Cheshire Cat.

So, the Cheshire Cat.  The puppet was amazing with its various pieces that moved independently, and because they had multiples of the various pieces, the cat's head, tail, etc., would appear at various points on the stage as though it were popping in and out of existence.  You can see the glowing eyes in the video (I believe they said they used ping pong balls and flashlights)--they were eerie.  At one point during the main Cat scene, the 7 year old or so girl sitting next to me cuddled up to her mom and said quietly, I'm scared.  And I thought, You should be scared!  The Cat is spooky and he's not your friend. 

I wish they'd shown more of Humpty Dumpy in the video too so that you could appreciate just how wonderfully coordinated the actors playing the head/hands and feet were.  They did a nice job of building the suspense as it really did seem like he was going to fall off that perch over and over again (until he did).

Best bit of verisimilitude:  At the opening of the play, the White Rabbit appears in Alice's dad's library, and she ends up following him into the bookcase, then down the rabbit hole.  When he shows up, he starts nibbling at the books in a very rabbit-like way.  Robert and I both have books with the kind of bunny damage that would result from the nibbling technique used in the play.  So somebody studied up on their rabbits (or has a rabbit).


Jen M. said...

Sounds like a fun play! I'm looking forward to seeing some children's theater before too long.

Sally said...

Right? I was thinking, in 5 years, P. will be old enough to watch this play (recommended for ages 6+).

Tam said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful!

When I was at the Irving Arts Center the other day for band, they were having a big show for kids (with tickets, etc., so not just a casual thing) involving life-size dinosaur puppets. It looked pretty exciting but not as cool as this.

Sally said...

It was marvelous. Robert found out about it because the classical music station was giving away two tickets (to a performance in a town a bit farther away from us). So that worked out well.