May 10, 2019
Last night Carole and I joined friends Gerald and Lynda Taylor in doing something that pleasantly reminded us why we moved to Winston-Salem.
We heard Chuck King sing the memorable songs from “Man of La Mancha” at the Little Theater’s Production at SECCA. There’s nothing little about the way he belts out the Impossible Dream.
There was nothing “little” about the entire production, except maybe the minimal set and the demands it placed on the supporting cast. Sitting as close to the stage as we were, I was afraid that one of the cast might end up in my lap because getting up and down off an elevated part of the set took some doing on their part and some preparation on mine. Nonetheless, the entire cast had a hand in making this production…well, memorable, and the multi-useful set worked just fine. (By the way, the scene when Miguel de Cervantes aka Don Quixote aka Chuck King is confronted by “knights” holding strangely shaped shields and led by a fantastically dressed chieftain challenging Cervantes/Quixote’s knightly claims is particularly effective. I am not going to reveal the ultimate outcome of the confrontation because it is so clever and symbolic that I would spoil the surprise.)
Actually, the “Man of La Macha” holds a special place in my mind and heart. When I was working temporarily in New York City, awaiting a new assignment in Washington, D.C., the show was still playing on Broadway and there were road shows in many other cities, Tulsa included. At the time, the family was still living in Tulsa. So when Christmas rolled around, I returned to Tulsa for the holidays and, guess what, we went to see “Man of La Macha.” I am probably the only person in the entire world who lived in New York City and went to Tulsa to see the show. While I was in my holding pattern waiting for my new appointment (this time to the Peace Corps staff), I would get impatient and singing “Dream the Impossible Dream” in the shower helped. Of course, I didn’t remember any of the other words to the song, so the four-word refrain was repeated over and over.
Hearing Chuck King sing the entire song was a real treat and I managed to quote a few of song’s other lines on the way home. I had to promise Carole that I wouldn’t try out my new skills in our shower inasmuch that I can’t carry a tune in an old oaken bucket and even the fraternity put me on the back bench at sing-songs and told me to just mouth the words. (I have no intention of abiding by my promise to Carole, at least when she is out of the house doing something for the Piedmont Opera.)
Anyway, it was end of another interesting day in Winston-Salem for an old guy who is supposed to have too much time on his hands. Just hours before I had attended another of the Listening Sessions being held by the Partnership for Prosperity and heard several members of Leadership Winston-Salem share their ideas and experience for and in fighting poverty in our city. That’s another reason we moved to Winston-Salem. It is a city that is not afraid to confront the realities that change brings. There are literally hundreds of institutions and organizations doing their best to ameliorate the effects of poverty, but poverty is a stubborn foe. This time around, everyone is taking the word “Partnership” seriously, which simply means that there is a recognition that if we’re going to even come close to eradicating poverty, then the entire community has to take up arms, because the existence of poverty affects us all in one way or another.
By the way, I also spent a little time at the Periodontist yesterday. I wouldn’t call that experience particularly pleasant, but it was certainly painless.
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