December 17th (I know I’m getting to this late!) I went out to dinner and a show by myself. My daughter was vomiting, and so the babysitter I had scheduled bailed and my husband was stuck at home. I’m home with the kids 24 hours a day, and because I was so very excited to see “The Wild Bride,” I decided to go out stag. That is of course after calling/emailing/texting practically everyone on earth to see if they would join me. I guess December is a rough month for last minute plans. Alone I went, and I actually had a great time.
I ate out at this small restaurant on University in Berkeley called, Slow. They’re obviously big on the slow food movement. The food was wonderful, I had lamb shank and tabbouleh. And I enjoyed the atmosphere as well. It felt like a small take out shop, or fast food joint, but it had gourmet quality food, and at good prices for the bay area.
I don’t know when the last time was that I had a meal out in the world alone. I found myself not knowing where to look or what to do. Eventually I settled on looking outside. I felt like if I watched them cooking they would think that I was demanding food with my gaze. I guess it is just more social awkwardness that we’ve developed as we become farther and farther away from the process of making food. Anyway, I kicked myself about a hundred times, because I didn’t bring a book. I had nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs and try not to make eye contact with anyone. But, in all honesty it really wasn’t so bad. When my food came, I got to eat and explore the tastes and flavors without being encumbered by conversation. I know that sounds strange, but it was nice for a change.
When I was done at Slow, I walked over to Half Priced Books on Shattuck. I still had over an hour before the show started and I thought I’d get a play to read while I waited. I must say that they have the worst theatre section I have ever encountered in my life. It’s sandwiched in between hundreds of screen plays, and music books and thrown in with dance and performance art. They had not one play. I found a book by Anna Deavere Smith called, “Letters to a Young Artist.” I’m still reading it, and I appreciate the advice so far. I would recommend it to anyone out there wanting to create art.
Finally I headed down Addison to the Berkeley Rep where I saw “The Wild Bride.” I absolutely, one hundred percent loved this show. The music, was great. The way they developed the story was great. Kneehigh is the English Theatre that brought the piece over, and I desperately want to spend time with. They pick a story they want to tell, and play and roll with it until they’ve developed it into a play. The actors all sang or played musical instruments. And they were very good. It was staged beautifully and the images produced were gripping. I had a slight problem with the ending. I think that could have possibly have been developed into something stronger. But, as I know now, ending a play is the hardest part.
So, go and eat at Slow, and go check out “The Wild Bride” it’s playing at the Berkeley Rep until January 22nd, 2012. Let me know what you think!