Monday, March 1, 2010

Launching "Take Two"

I have just been cast in the play/musical, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" (based on the books of Robert Fulghum)--a fact that has at least four significant implications for my life.

First, since I was cast to play the youngest male role, I will need to shave my facial hair to achieve a more "youthful" look. The first stage of this transformation is complete as of last night, and I now sport a dashing goatee. Since everyone says it makes me look younger, a part of me secretly hopes the director will say it's enough and allow the remaining facial hair to remain--but I'm not optimistic.

Second, I will be called upon to do something I haven't needed to do since college: memorize stuff. More specifically, a whole bunch of lines. The play is a series of vignettes and extended storytelling monologues. One of the monologues I'll be doing (an exhuberant oration on the transformative power of Beethoven's 9th), is probably the longest thing I've ever been called upon to memorize (the second-longest being Mr. Lundy's monologue from the musical Brigadoon, which my high school put on my senior year; the third-longest being the first simile from The Illiad, which I chose to memorize in high school for its perceived seminality).

Third, I will be missing my kids' bedtime for evening rehearsals five nights a week. And yes, this bothers me more than losing the beard I've sported for two decades.

Finally, I will be losing a big chunk of my free time. This fact, combined with my renewed commitment to getting serious about finishing the manuscript for my next book (a co-authored critique of the doctrine of hell that I've been working on with a colleague for several years), has forced a monumental decision. For the next two months I will be featuring only two things on this blog: (1) reruns of some of my favorite posts from early in my (short) blogging career--that is, from before most current readers knew that this blog existed (such posts will be marked with the "Take Two" moniker in the title); and (2) key passages from the book-on-hell-in-progress ("That Damned Book"), but only if and when I find excepts that are brief enough and clear enough on their own to work as blog posts, and which I think might either stimulate useful discussion or benefit from the kind of critique a blog post is likely to inspire.

Oh, and just in case anyone was in doubt, I still remember that first simile from The Illiad. It goes as follows (and no, I didn't look it up; and no, I can't guarantee that my recall is perfect):

"Like the swarms of clustering bees that issue forever in fresh bursts from the hollow in the stone and hang like bunched grapes beneath the flowers in springtime, fluttering is swarms together this way and that way, so the many nations of men, along the front of the deep sea beach, marched in order by companies to the assembly; and rumor walked blazing among them, Zeus's messenger, to hasten them along."

1 comment:

  1. I will miss your posts but eagerly await the new book! Are you familiar with Gregory MacDonald's "The Evangelical Universalist"?