Three interesting arts/cultural events from our week:
(1) Monday night, Susan and I attended a book reading by the author of Under the Twisted Cross, an historical fiction novel based on her father's experience as a WWII prisoner of war in German territory. The author, Margaret Barnhart, happens to be a university colleague of mine. A good-sized crowd gathered in the Alumni and Foundation House across from the campus to listen to Margaret read a chapter from the book. It was a compelling section that ended in suspense; and before we left, we ordered a copy of the novel.
(2) The Alumni and Foundation was a co-sponsor of another event we attended this week: a performance of War of the Worlds, a radio drama performed for a live audience and broadcast simultaneously by a local radio station. Sneak Pique Productions, a new community theatre group of which I have been a part, includes several radio shows in each season, but this is the first one that Susan and I have attended. It was fun to find out the plot of a radio drama that is so famous (for the panicked reaction of listeners when it was first broadcast 72 years ago), to watch the cast and crew create the sound effects needed to make radio listeners' experience over the airwaves a realistic one, and to be called upon ourselves (along with the other audience members) to perform, murmuring and gasping on cue during the crowd scenes.
(3) Tonight we brought the children with us to see Festival, a musical performed by the university theatre department. I had never heard of the show before, nor has anyone else with whom I've discussed it--so it was especially fun to see what to me was a "brand new" show (despite its being 31 years old). There were catchy tunes sung by several good voices in the cast, and the plot was buoyant and comedic and "feel-good" (overcoming the odds to be with one's true love). Our friend Josh is in the show playing, in one scene, a flamboyant ox-herd dressed in shiny psychedelic too-tight pants and singing about his unsuccessful search for his lost ox, Roger. Yep, not a lot of deep thinking required to enjoy this show, but enjoy it we did!