That was the week that was

… so to speak.

Tuesday was my birthday, and part of my celebration was to get tickets to Tomfoolery at the Denver Victorian Playhouse. I enjoyed it (how can you not enjoy some vintage Tom Lehrer?), but was somewhat disappointed in the performance. Given that the performance we attended was an extension at the end of the run, I did not expect to see performers forget their lines, which happened at least twice.

I was also bothered by the songs not matching the recordings. Some of that may be due to censorship imposed on the LPs by the recording company (I’m thinking specifically of the line from Be Prepared – the LP has “keep that pot well-hidden where you’re sure that it will not be found;” the performance – and the songbook Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer – have the line as “keep those reefers hidden where you’re sure that they will not be found.”). There were other changes that didn’t appear to have that type of historical background, though. The most egregious example was probably The Vatican Rag (which is not included in the songbook, unfortunately), which was performed with an extra verse – I don’t quite remember, but it may have been made by munging parts of the first and second verse together – and altered lyrics where Mr. Lehrer included Latin phrases. That was a bit hard to tell, though, as the performers mumbled the Latin sufficiently that it was hard to make out what they were singing.

I’d seen Tomfoolery once before – back in the 1980s, I’d seen a performance at Hannigan’s Greenhouse, which was an actual working greenhouse. I was mentioning this during intermission when one of the crew (Stan Li) introduced himself to me – he’d also been crew on that production. He said that show ran for eight months, two of which were in Hannigan’s Greenhouse before the humidity became too much for them. The one vivid memory I have of the earlier production was of the performance of the song, Smut. The cast for Tomfoolery consists of two men and two women. In the current production, all of them are involved in this song, moving about the stage while holding pornographic magazines. In the earlier production, one of the women did it as a solo performer, dressed as a little girl and holding a large teddy bear. Much funnier staging, I thought.

My birthday activities finished up with a trip to Keystone Resort to go biking in the mountains. Beautiful area; we biked the trails from Swan Mountain Road through Dillon and into Frisco and back. The 20-30mph winds Sunday were a bit of a problem, though. Saturday would have been a better day for biking, but traffic going into the mountains was bad to the point that we couldn’t have done it. Still, a good time was had by all.

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