Friday, September 6, 2013

Pursued by Happiness 9/6/13

You know, I am super glad I had the courage to contact the Towle Theater over a year ago. I have enjoyed theater like I never knew I would. Not just because of the opportunity to study more photography, but also to take in what writers have to say, through the actors.

Tonight was very different. I bit slumber for me because of the geeky nature of the play, though at the end I went away very much awake and at peace with my life. As you go through life you tend to follow status quo. You are not necessarily aware, but it happens. Human nature for the most part. A defense mechanism maybe. When you finally analyze, you see you have choice. When and how you exercise choice is a change toward your goal. Life then becomes simpler. At least for me. At least for Frank and Julie in the play.

As a geek that I sometimes am, the trials of relationships can be a bit technical, as brought out by this play.  If you are not geeky enough you may not understand, or see, that romance is in this play.  The events of the play can make you feel uncomfortable, or awkward, which I believe it was intended to do.  Not all relationships are built equal.  Some carry a lot of baggage compared to others.  Some carry very different baggage, compared to others.  For this pair of 40 something geeky co-workers, I believed everything they went through.

Oh, and Spoiler Alert!!!  I do give some of the plot away here.  Go see the performance please!

Let me introduce you . . .

Frank - Danny Heeter

Julie - Helen Young

Alice / Liz - Deb Brunette-Cairns

Ted / Howard - James Kenjorski

This is a dark romance comedy, with geeks, so be prepared . . .

The first scene starts with Julie, last minute preparing for her lecture, looking at her watch and wondering where everyone is at. Then Frank comes in eating a bagel, quickly noticing there is nobody there and wanting to perhaps make it look like he is in the wrong place. However, Julie welcomes him, even with all of the choking on the bagel.

The next encounter Frank and Julie have is in the cafeteria. Julie tries to get Frank's attention, but with little affect. This is because Frank is engrossed in a game. When he is done, he acknowledges Julie is there.

Frank asks Julie out on a date (above). They end up going to a rain forest restaurant. A bit noisy, and not really a place to take your date to for the first time if you intend to get to know them. However . . .

And, the often and seeming never ending awkward moment one gets on a first date, geek style . . .

And, the "wrong" birthday table. I feel this every time I enter a restaurant that sings and claps happy birthday. Though I would feel embarrassed, these two take it in stride and simply say, after all has been performed, wrong table . . .

Oh, this was not expected, yet expected because this is me. First date, lets just propose to the girl. (Felt like my first proposal, though I did not propose on the first date . . . and yes not on the second or third either, but I wanted to . . .)

Watch out for the conditional Yes to a marriage proposal. I have been there. In this, the first condition was to have sex, and the second to meet the parents, with the second conditional upon acceptance of the first. Well, the first made sense. The second made sense as well, however . . .

Meet Frank's parents.  Julie listens as the parents go on about things, while Frank just sits quietly hoping it will all end soon.

Frank and Julie leave, and Frank has a secret to tell.   This ties into what Frank's dad and Julie were talking about. This is upsetting to say the least, that Frank has kept this from his parents all these years, let alone the sadness of the tragedy within himself.

Julie (Helen Young) had real tears going on in this scene. Julie showed feelings, empathy, toward Frank's tragedy, and personal guilt.  Although, I think any other person would have been running in the other direction.

Now, time for Frank to meet Julie's parents. And you thought Franks parents were off their rockers . . .

The drive home from Julie's parents. One would expect, after seeing Frank's reaction to Julie's hidden life, that all was over.

Geek logic begins to kick in . . .

One would have thought that after meeting either family, the other person would have ran as fast as they could. As it turns out, the 40 something geeks I think realize their abnormal was normal, at least for them, and they will probably not do any better.

Basically, everything you are not suppose to do on a date was done.  What made it funny was that it fit the characters, so it did not look out of place for them.  I did sit there and think "no, don't do that on a date", or "I've seen that happen".  You don't go blowing your nose as loud as you can; When the other person gives you their napkin, you don't blow your nose in it and give it back; You don't propose on the first date; You don't respond to the proposal on a first date with yes with two conditions, and one dependent on the other.  Totally geeky 40 something romance as I saw it, and I saw it as funny.  Yet I still took it seriously, probably because I have seen myself, and others, do the same thing.

Book by Keith Huff

Production Staff

Director - Sherry Sweeney

Lighting Design - Jeff Casey

Costume/Set Design - Kevin Bellamy & Jeff Casey


Jardin d'hiver - Keren Ann

Five Years Time - Noah and the Wahle

Dimanche en hiver - Keren Ann

Homeward Bound - Simon and Garfunkel

EET - Regina Spector

Secret of Life - James Taylor

Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova

Towle Theater
5205 Hohman Ave.
Hammond, IN 46320
(219) 937-8780

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