“Oh, isn’t life a terrible thing, thank God?”

Well, hard to believe I’ve nearly reached the ripe old age of 40, yet tonight was the first time I heard Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood performed; and me a Hahvahd-edumacated intelleckshual and all.
Really, though, what a beautiful, lyrical, funny, moving piece. And how often do you get to go to church to see such lovingly and cheerfully voiced lives filled with necrophilia, bigamy, pederasty, and adultery, just to start?
Our amateur theatre group did a really great job: 15 people playing 50+ roles, and they made every one of them unique, believable and memorable (though the accents were *all* over the map, and not just the maps around Greenwich Mean, either; I’m sure I heard an Aussie accent, and the gypsy, though voiced by a dear friend of mine, sounded Jamaican). And considering it took place in a church fellowship hall, the sound and lighting were quite good; the lighting especially really evoked the passing of night to dawn through day to dusk and back to night, as well as demarking the events inside the Sailor’s Arms and out.
So I’ll be seeing it again tomorrow night. And it’s just $5 for the play, dessert, and beverage, which I wouldn’t even have to pay since I’m helping out with it, but even an out-of-work dotcommer like me can afford that much.
Before the show, I asked what the next Chalice Theatre production will be, this coming fall, and was told that one of the members is pushing for Into the Woods, a particular favorite of mine. Then, after the show, I was struck by the similarity in the way both Thomas and Sondheim play with sound, language and rhythm…
Thomas: “… limping invisible down to the sloe black, slow, black, crow black fishing boat-bobbing sea.”
Sondheim: “Rooting through my rutabagas, raiding my arugula, ripping up my rampion, my champion, my favorite.” (ok, so it’s not the deepest of sentiments, but it was at hand, since I’ve got Into the Woods on my mind)