Quick, 26-hour trip to Atlanta and back this past weekend.
The purpose was to see the Shakespeare Tavern’s production of Macbeth.
We prepped for the play by reviewing the story. We’d done a bit last year prepping for a production by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival which we ended up not seeing, after all. This time, we read a couple of synopsis, reviewed some of the major speeches, watched a couple of clips from the Patrick Stewart version. (not the “bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” scene, though…super-creepy in that version. They’re Weird Sisters/Witches, so it should be creepy..but it’s a little much for kids.)
i had thought, if we arrived early enough, we would go either to the High or the Atlanta History Center. We’ve been to the High a couple of times, and they were opening two new exhibits yesterday, both of which look great – one on Cezanne, the other on some architectural features of the Florence Duomo – which is why we didn’t go…I didn’t know they were opening until we actually drove past, and we could use some prep time for both of those exhibits as well. We have until January….
And as it turned out, we left a little too late to get in a comfortable visit to the history museum. So, another time for that as well.
On the way in, we stopped at the Varsity for a bite. I’d been once, probably as a teenager, and the boys had never been. The food looked to be a step or two below good fast food. I dunno. I didn’t eat it. I don’t think you really go for the food, anyway – you go for the experience, which is not nearly as intimidating as it used to be. The cashiers still say, “What’ll ya have?” and the pace is brisk, but I guess since computers make everything so fast now anyway, the customer doesn’t feel the pressure and bluster of old, which was part of the place’s fame.
(The website says they serve 30,000 customers on Georgia Tech game days……not sure I believe that…)
We checked into the hotel (after fighting weirdly heavy traffic…even my older son who lives in Atlanta commented on it) and walked over to Piedmont Park, where, I’d seen on the internet, an ATLANTA WORLD KITE FESTIVAL was being held. Wow! How interesting! This should be fun!
Or not. I mean…it was fun for the couple of dozen families flying kites in the meadow, but given that was it, aside from maybe four vendors…I’ll just say the website did its work of hype quite well.
We did meet Boo-Boo though. He’s three.
After a good walk around and through the park it was time to go to the theater. It’s basically dinner theater, and while you purchase seats in a particular section (floor, box or balcony), the actual seating is first come, first serve. We arrived about 40 minutes before the show began and got a good table quite near the stage (near-er…since all the tables are actually near the stage.)
We recognized many of the actors in the production – it’s our fourth Shakespeare Tavern show. It was well done and held everyone’s interest, although I do think this company’s strength are the comedies.
Back to the hotel, up this morning to Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, downtown:
A large, diverse congregation at Mass, with good music, although honestly, just do those ICEL chants in Latin. The English is just awkward, the Latin won’t bite, and in a truly diverse community, it’s a powerful sign of unity . The homily was good, although it was all about All Saints’ and All Souls’ – next week. But no matter, I guess. It was a good explanation of both feasts and devotions. It’s a lovely church, although why the presider’s chair has to be right in front of the altar with him staring at us all through Mass is beyond me.
Drive back home – the good drive because you gain an hour going from eastern to central time – and back a little after noon. We ran by Railroad Park before we hit the house – with me giving a crash course on the Four Noble Truths on I-20 on the way in – because I wanted to show them the mandala the Dalai Lama’s crew was working on – he was speaking at the baseball stadium next to the park. On the way, I passed a friend whose son was part of one of the choirs streaming by to sing at the event. She sort of rolled her eyes and said, “We’re singing ‘Let There be Peace on Earth…’ Whatever…”,) I had zero interest in seeing the fellow himself, but the mandala is a useful illustration of the core of Buddhist philosophy, which is all about impermanence and transience and “extinction” – the literal meaning of the word “nirvana.”
Beautiful and expressive of some truth about impermanence, yes? But even more “yes” in the crucifix above, which is not about impermanence, but about the deeper beauty of each person, eternally and permanently loved by that Heart, , and worth dying for.
Interesting breakfast conversation overheard at the Midtown Residence Inn where we were staying:
There was this sixtiesh man eating at the table I was sitting at, and then a sixtiesh woman stopped in front of him on her way out and said, “We’ve worked together.”
Turns out they’re both in the movie business. She is makeup and he is something else that I didn’t catch – lighting I think. He’s working on Nice Guys, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling:
And then she was working on a film called Bolden, about a jazz musician.
It was an interesting conversation. Their shared theme was , “We’re too old for this.” The man had been working all night shoots on this project to this point.
She’s been in Atlanta since September and then the location is switching to Wilmington, Delaware.
(They figured out that they had worked on Horrible Bosses together)
And I thought, “There it is, kids – full of vaulting ambition – you think, I’ll work in the movies. It will be glamorous.” But what really happens is that you end up living in a Residence Inn Atlanta for weeks and months at a time….