Happy Birthday Bubs!

Gene and Betty

First off, happy birthday, Gene! Technically, Thursday is your birthday, but I am posting this late enough that I don’t feel like I’ve jumped the gun. The photos are from our wedding. Our wedding photographer, was my Bro, Chris, but these pictures were taken by Peter, one of my groom’s men. Peter or Evelyn put them in a book, where they have been sitting lo these many years. Among the family members pictured, Betty, Katie and Jackie, have passed. It may seem strange, to invite so many dead people to a birthday, but I had to capture the duality of these two sisters, and these were the people who were there. I love seeing Gene and Betty, with the same laugh. Memories of happier times, and this day was certainly a happy one. Bubs, you are entitled to say, “Oh, Gawd!”, at the sight of these photos. Afterall, it is your birthday. Happy Birthday!

Betty, Katie, John and Jackie

Wednesday night, a work night, was also another night at the theater. We attended The Rep’s third offering in their, new this year, Ignite! theater festival. This evening’s offering was a reading of the play, “Bicycle Girl”. Below is The Rep’s synopsis:

In 1939 two girls from very different backgrounds travel across America by bicycle. Their destination is New York and the World’s Fair with its promise of revealing the World of Tomorrow. A lovingly told play about one world giving way to a new one, and two girls changing along with it.

Like the previous evening’s offering, this was essentially a two actress play. Although, there was a third character, “Man”, who played multiple parts. Unlike the previous evening, this was not an exercise in cringe theater. Speaking with playwright, Rogelio Martinez, the inspiration for his play came from the life of photographer, Ruth Orkin. He mentioned her iconic photo, “American Girl“. He originally thought about chronicling her post-war tour of Europe. Then he learned of her 17-year-old bicycle ride from LA to NYC.

Steven Woolf (The Rep Artistic Director) explained, it takes a written play seven years to make it to Broadway. These readings represent only one step in this process. I asked him if any of the three would likely show up at The Rep. He said that the one we missed, “Stagger Lee”, was the best candidate. It is a musical, and as part of this series, they only performed its first act. Again, here is the synopsis:

On Christmas Eve 1895, shots rang out in a St. Louis bar. A hundred years and a thousand songs later, this ordinary murder has become a legend. This is the true story of what happened after Stagger Lee shot Billy Lyons.

I was very impressed by Ignite! I thought that the two plays read (that I saw) were both worthy of further consideration. The $8 a seat cost made this a no miss opportunity for a Rep patron. According to Associate Artistic Director, Seth Gordon, The Rep plans on repeating this festival. 

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