Archive for January, 2012


The Orphans

Well, this weekend I had my own “opening night”.  Well, actually it was Friday night.  I’m in Boerne Community Theatre’s production of, The Orphans, a play by James Prideaux.

Dramalist.com describes the play:

For the past 25 years Lily and Catherine Spangler have lived in seclusion in their hotel room, their only visitor being their lawyer, who delivers (in cash) the profits from the steel mill they inherited from their father. When they first moved into the Chalfont it was the best hotel in town, but the years have taken their toll, and now (although the sisters are not aware of it) it is rundown, almost deserted, and limping along with a skeleton staff. The clientele has suffered too; their next-door-neighbor is a prostitute with a heart of gold, and the bellhop, Herman, is a con artist who schemes to cheat the sisters out of the six million dollars he knows they have tucked away in a trunk by passing himself off as a long-lost cousin. Lily, the older sister, who has persuaded Catherine that she has protected her from “all the cares of the world,” is guarded and suspicious about all this, but the gentle, warm-hearted Catherine, who is aching to know more of life and the outside world, falls easily into Herman’s trap. Inevitably their isolation must end, but facing reality, and the truth, proves to be a great deal easier—and funnier—than either sister had ever imagined.

What’s interesting about this play is that, while the above quote aptly describes the plot…there are many different pieces of this story.

For one, the sisters have been living in this hotel room for 25 years, since losing their parents, who lost their lives on the Titanic.

(Side note:  It was interesting to find these headlines, with wrong information of the Titanic, that were printed at the time of the disaster.)

This is all to say that these two young girls lived through the devastating loss of their parents and have lived, since then, for 25 years in a hotel room with no outside influence and very little communication, other than hotel staff and their lawyer.  This is mainly due to the fact that the elder sister believes that their isolation will keep them safe.

The play takes place in 1937, a point at which the country was trying to pull itself out of The Great Depression.

Wall Street Crash of 1929

Great Depression bread lines

Depression era soup kitchen

It’s a strange, funny and sad story of two sisters, pretty much frozen in time, and the circumstances that lead them to finally open their door to the outside world.

Deborah Martin, of the San Antonio Express News says, “The piece is well-staged and solidly acted.

The cast of Boerne Community Theatre's production of The Orphans by James Prideaux

 

 

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Tipsy Tech

In December, I completed the Tipsy Tech fall course in Austin, Texas with the Bear Moon baker (Paula) and Jenny, our service manager.  It was a great semester of information, as well as giving us a chance to visit some great Austin bars!  The course was a great way to open up our eyes to what is out there…in terms of cocktails, drinks, bars, and the bartending community as a whole.

The course is open to any and all bar professionals, weekend-warrior bartenders, cocktail enthusiasts, industry writers, foodies, history buffs….anyone who wants to delve into the history and practice of cocktails and mixology.  It’s a weekly series of lectures, guest speakers, spirits tastings, as well as a visit to an Austin area distillery.  Our class visited Treaty Oak Distillery in Austin, makers of Treaty Oak Platinum Rum & Waterloo Gin.  On the final day of class, in December, we sat down for our final exam.  I’m happy to report that I received an email from David Alan congratulating me on my test score.

I scored a 98 on the test!

 

I was second in the class, behind Paula, who scored a 99!

It was a fun and informative semester of driving up to Austin every Tuesday night, meeting some great people and trying out some of Austin, Texas’ great bars!

Prometheus

There are many people who have favorite movies that they may watch numerous times.  Of course, there are people who, once they’ve seen a movie, they are satisfied.  Not me.  I tend to fall into a completely different category of moviephile.  I fall into that strange category of movie lovers that enjoy not only watching a movie numerous times, but finding out interesting (to me) and, for the most part, useless information on the movie and its production.  That’s why I tend to watch movies that I have already seen numerous time, in the hopes that I’ll find something that I may have missed on the 43rd viewing.  I also enjoy watching all of the special features on a DVD…including the movie…all over again…with commentary.

Of course, this is depends on how much “free time”  I happen to have.  Being busy with other things may keep me from sitting down to a favorite movie for a stretch of time.  However, when I do have time…I can be just as happy sitting down to a movie that I’ve seen already as I am sitting down to a new one.  It may seem strange, but one of my “go-to” DVDs on days where there is nothing else going on and nothing to watch on TV, is:

Alien Trilogy

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love movies.  Those that know me very well, know that science fiction & horror are genres that I can be a bit obsessive about…just ask my younger sister and friends that I grew up with.  Yeah, subsequent sequels may not live up to the original, but for me they’re all worth watching.  Seeing as how I was young when the original Alien came out in 1979, it was interesting for me to re-watch the original official trailer:

In the original Alien, the crew of the commercial towing spaceship, Nostromo, are awakened from stasis (hypersleep) during their return trip to Earth by their computer.  They are instructed to set down on an uninhabited moon, LV-426, where a beacon of some sort has been detected.  There is a scene on this planet that I could never quite understand…well, at least, it left me with an unanswered question.

Once they’ve landed on LV-426…three characters, Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Kane (John Hurt) and Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) leave their ship to investigate this beacon signal.  They come across a derelict spaceship, that has supposedly crash-landed on this moon some time ago.  What makes this scene strange is that, while we ultimately find out that the spaceship was carrying what will become the aliens…in the form of eggs, in their cargo hold, we are never given the explanation of where the derelict spaceship came from or who or what crashed it there.  Of course, there is the discovery of a petrified body of  an extraterrestrial humanoid being, fused to a gunner’s chair or pilot’s seat of some kind, in this derelict spaceship. The filmmakers refer to this being as the “space jockey”…but soon after the Alien mayhem begins…there are face-hugging aliens and chest-bursting aliens and all hell breaks loose.  We never hear of the space jockey again.

"Space Jockey" from Alien

(Side Note:  In the picture above, the director used his children in spacesuits (to the left) to make the Space Jockey (center), sitting in his pilot’s/gunner’s seat, seem that much bigger.  How small were those kids?!)

Here is the original scene of the three characters coming across the Space Jockey:

I thought the stars must be lining up or something, because I recently stumbled upon a trailer for a new Ridley Scott movie due out later this year.  Ridley Scott is the director of the original  Alien movie (1979).  Apparently, Ridley Scott may finally give me an answer to my question about who or what the “Space Jockey” was…after 33 years!!!   Ridley Scott is returning to science fiction with Prometheus.  Originally intended to be a prequel to Alien, according to reports, Prometheus was rewritten to follow a different storyline.  However, it has been rumored to have some strands of Alien DNA, and recently internet reports state that the last eight minutes may lead to the beginning of Alien after all.

Watching the trailer, I couldn’t help but recognize the derelict spaceship….

Actually, according to this Cinema Blend article, despite the requests that the cast and crew remain “tight-lipped” about the plot line until the movie comes out in June 2012, a Prometheus actress may be spilling some of the beans.  Kate Dickie has stated that her character in Prometheus is part of a team that travel to the outer reaches of our universe to search for humanity’s beginnings and discover something that may bring about its end.

Can’t wait for this one to come out!   On June 8th!   Until then my Alien trilogy DVDs will have to do.