An American in Paris at the Pantages

Gordon and I stopped at Delphine’s before the show last Wednesday. As usual, we split a steak sandwich and I had a glass of wine. We got seats at the bar so we could watch TV. Someone had been moving stools around so when one of the regulars showed up we all had to squidge (new word of mine) together so he could sit in his usual spot. No problem; there was lots of room. We got into a conversation. Turns out he specializes in straightening out rich people’s electrical systems. Apparently, rich people never design power usage systems before the house is built. Then they’re surprised that their security system goes out when they turn on the lights. There must be a lot of money in straightening out these problems because he said he has a house in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. I commented that Gordon fixes all our computer/electrical/power messes by himself with me providing supervision. The man seemed surprised that we could talk about various gauges of romex and dedicated lines. That’s what you get for being a fixer-upper type; you’re your own ‘guy’. We all played Jeopardy together then Gordon and I went across the street to see An American in Paris.

First of all, the musical is completely different from the movie. Oh, they used most of the tunes but added a few more. It was a lovely evening of Gershwin. The performances were all stellar. Garen Scribner played Jerry Mulligan and what a triple threat he is: great ballet dancer, great singer, great actor. Sara Esty plays Lise. I don’t remember her singing but her dancing was breathtaking. I loved the music, the dancing, and the performers. The book? Not so much. They tried to turn the French song/dance man who loves Lise into a hero of the Resistance. You know, if half the French people who claimed to be members of the Resistance had actually been in the Resistance Hitler never would have taken Paris; the French would have run him out of bullets like the Soviets did. And then there’s the big speech about Hitler going through the Maginot Line. Hitler never went through the Maginot Line which still proudly stands as a tourist attraction on the French border. Hitler went around it through Belgium. Rewriting history just sticks in my craw. As does sticking in little subliminal bits to further your political position. Example: we just saw Beauty and the Beast. Loved the animated version where Gaston is a local hunter. Well, in the new Disney version Gaston the bully is now a soldier–a captain even. Which brings to mind Avatar. Who were the bad guys in that? Business and the military. I’m so sick of this propaganda. The Left is crazy about Hamilton now. Well, I’ve read Chernow’s book too and I’m of the opinion that Hamilton would have hated the American Left. He despised Mobocracies; he was horrified by the turn the French Revolution took. So spare me the assumption that the angels are on the side of Left. And when ISIS comes to cut their heads off who’ll be the ones the movie types demand protection from? That’s right, those evil soldiers. So maybe a little gratitude instead of all the insults would be more in order.

Boy, one little thing really set me off, didn’t it. Well, it’s an accumulation of little things but I shouldn’t let those stupid little things ruin my enjoyment of the whole. Or I should just stay home and read Dickens–although he drives me nuts too these days. I’m going to quit watching news and take a Xanax.

Back to An American In Paris: if you like Gershwin and great dancing, go. Just ignore the story.


About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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