You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fiber your blood.
— Next to last verse from Song of Myself
Anne and I went out last night to celebrate my not being let go. We did dinner and a show. Dinner was at Big Sky, my favorite Webster restaurant, where I had my favorite Big Sky dish, the pot roast. Big Sky is all about American comfort food. The show, “I and You”, was in the Studio Theater, which is a nice way of saying the basement of the Loretto-Hilton. Here is the Rep’s synopsis of the play:
Anthony is an effortlessly popular “A” student; Caroline is a prickly cynic, homebound with a serious illness. This unlikely duo sits in Caroline’s room, trying to cobble together a homework report on Walt Whitman’s epic poem, “Song of Myself” in one night. As they work and procrastinate, argue and compromise, the teens begin to uncover each other’s hidden depths. Full of surprising humor and emotion, “I and You” explores bravery in the face of an uncertain future and the unique, mysterious connections that bind us.
“Prickly cynic” is one way to describe Caroline. I might have gone stronger there. Anthony motivations are less clear and his selfless persona aside, this unknown engendered suspicion in both Caroline and me. Lauren Gunderson has convincingly captured modern American teen speech with her writing. I can hardly wait to begin invoking some of the lexicon. The play’s title is derived from the homework assignment, they are supposed to report on Walt Whitman’s use of pronouns, which is eventually explained with such extemporaneous flair that I wish that I could have been an English major. This one-act, two person, 90 minute play can at times seem like a slog, but its ending makes it all worthwhile.