Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009, only the high points

“…and I remember that some of it wasn’t very nice. But most of it was beautiful. But just the same, all I kept saying to everyone was, I want to go home….and they sent me home. Doesn’t anybody believe me?”

Probably you know 2009 won’t go down in my personal history as a favorite year. But I can’t say it hasn’t been interesting. Over the past nine months I’ve hit a lot of new highs and also despaired just as often — may you never find out to what extent. But I’m not just being plucky when I say this year was memorable.

High points included:

· Launching SuperScript, my editing business, which (thank you Jesus, Mary & Joseph) is doing decently well for a new endeavor
· Having PATA’s Spotlight Award bestowed upon me (it’s kind of a like a People’s Choice award from Portland theater folk) when I wasn’t expecting it
· Working with the fabulous people of Wordstock

A few other favorite things:

Most compelling novel I read this year: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz. Yes, I realize you all read it last year, but what can I say, prior to 2009 I read mostly scripts — at least one a day—for many, many years.

No, I will not select a favorite script of 2009. Too many good ones to mention.

Short story that most bowled me over: Jon Raymond’s devastating “Train Choir” from Livability.

Favorite new music album: can’t decide between the gloomy claustrophilia of Twilight by The Handsome Family (a 2001 release, actually, thus only new to me) or the gleeful psychedelic revival of Merriweather Post Pavilion by the Animal Collective (turn up the volume on the video below to see what I mean).

Beloved musical rediscoveries: “Funny How Love Can Be,” in dueling editions produced by The Ivy League (soulful and a capella) and Harper’s Bizarre (hypercaffeinated), way, way back in the 1960s; also, from the same era, “I Woke Up This Morning,” by We Five (thank you Cousin Tabitha) and “Summer Song,” by Chad and Jeremy.

Favorite theater productions here in Portland: Ragtime (PCS); Apollo, by Nancy Keystone (PCS); Adam Bock’s The Receptionist(CoHo Theatre); Teeth of the Sons by Joseph Sousa (Re-Theater Instrument); Everyone Who Looks Like You (Hand2Mouth); The Lying Kind (Third Rail).

Biggest epiphany transmitted via TV show: Don Draper taking the kids out trick-or-treating, when a parent doling out candy says to him: “And who are you supposed to be?”

So much for the past year. Happy 2010. Let’s usher out the (n)aughts now and look forward to the tweens.

1 comment:

Mead said...

Cannot beLIEVE I forgot to single out one of last year's theater hi-points, Fin Kennedy's How To Disappear Completely and Never Be Found, in its revelatory production directed by Rose Riordan. This show was a personal triumph for me, because it was discovered by a beloved intern, I actually got the company to agree to do it, and then it turned out so splendidly with its excellent cast and sound and set design. A total triumph.

Yet I blipped right over it yesterday, maybe because I didn't want to overprivilege PCS in that list. Odd I did, because its moment was a high watermark for the company. There was this span of a few weeks when, if you came to town, you could see Apollo upstairs and HTD downstairs and you would think: man, what a daring theater. Of course if you returned the following month, you'd be treated to Importance of Being Earnest. So much for street cred.

Marty Hughley's Oregonian recap jogged my happy memories, along with ART's The Seafarer, which, despite its glitches, had some outstanding performances. Also I loved Tim True's amazing performance in Fabuloso.

Doubtless there are additional omissions, but that's too bad -- it's a new year and I'm looking ahead now, not back. Nothing but grey skies from now on!