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Monday, September 28, 2015



      One of the great joys of living in Somers is the fact that, with its close proximity to Manhattan, fostering an enduring love of the arts is easy and convenient. Which is another way of saying we hardly ever do anything remotely cultural. The last dance performance I went to I wondered what that pole was doing onstage, but that mystery, among others, was revealed until there were very few mysteries left.

     I haven't been to any poetry readings lately. To me, poetry is like jazz: it's for people who can't color inside the lines. If I go to your reading and your verse doesn't even rhyme I'm probably going to shout out my own suggestions. I do know a good poem about a lady from Dallas, which I'll tell you later.

     I find opera annoying- why would they let people ruin a perfectly good symphony performance with all that loud bellowing? Ballet seems kind of pointless to me, except for the toes, which are pointy.

     We do go see a play once in a while, and last Saturday we went to see "It Shoulda Been You." at the Brooks Atkinson. Walking from the parking lot, we soon realized that the real show was outside the theatre. A sea of humanity stretched before us, and I'm just talking about the street performers. There were nonstop buskers from 42nd street to 50th street. By the time I had walked five minutes, I had been busked within an inch of my life. I had been tickled by Elmo, explored by Dora, sponged by Bob and accosted by Minions. Judging by the elaborateness of the costumes, this was no Mickey Mouse operation. We got caught in a riptide of Cookie Monsters and had to walk with the flow for two blocks to break free of it. There was a guy who looked like Homer Simpson, but it turned out to be just a guy who looks like Homer Simpson. All of this took place right in front of the U.S. Army recruiting station, so that it appeared as though we had suddenly raised our standards for induction into the Service.

     Everyone knows the Statue of Liberty says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...." Which aptly describes every tourist I saw in Times Square at the end of their vacations. Then the smaller street version also adds, "Give me your money," because if you take a photo with your mass huddled up next to it and fail to offer a tip, you will be cursed deeply and loudly. And should you speak fluent Venezuelan you will hear things about yourself that you didn't know and may not find flattering. So don't be selfish after your selfie.

     Some characters were not as I remembered- Minnie Mouse was not looking that mini. Spiderman looked like he was checking out some unwholesome web sites on his spider-phone. Batman was wearing a fanny-pack instead of a utility belt.

     Then there is the "Naked Cowboy," a guitar-picking bronco-buster with who just kind of hangs out waiting for people to notice him. He's not really naked, since he sports a pair of tighty-whities, and I guess the guitar could be considered an accessory. He's more like the Underpants Cowboy, and let me tell you, if there ever was an occupation that was ill-suited to wearing only underwear, it's being a cowboy. Suppose you have to catch one of those calves with a lasso, tie his three hooves together, and you get the rope caught in your underpants? It's going to be embarrassing for everyone, for the calf who has only one foot left to escape with, and for the nude dude, chasing his skivies around with no ranch dressing. It's gonna be pretty scary out on the prairie.

     The play ended up being GREAT, and the Broadway experience was inspirational to me- I have been working on a script myself, and you can tell me what you think: Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, girl meets Elmo, is tickled to death, Elmo meets Lady Liberty, kills her too but the statue of limitations runs out, marries Hello Kitty but she soon says Bye Bye. Finally he meets the Naked Cowboy, and well, I guess they already made "Brokeback Mountain."

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