Apr. 10th, 2005

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Around town recently, I noticed some posters for a play called Un temps a chevaucher les baleines. This is a translation of a Canadian play by Bryden Macdonald called Whale Riding Weather, nominated for the Governor General's Award in 1994.  I saw the Toronto premiere, and didn't really like the play very much, but I admit that I felt a regrettable twinge of nationalistic pride when I discovered that the play was being produced in Paris, so I took my friend Richard and his partner Luc to see it last night.  It was a birthday present for Richard.

I think that I found the play more interesting than my guests did, but only because I had to concentrate really hard to follow what was going on.  I remembered only the barest outline of the original text.  The production was very different from the one I saw in Toronto, with lots of music and dancing.  The acting was very good, and the director had a very effective approach, although the whole thing seemed to lose steam about two-thirds of the way through.  It was in a smallish theatre (about 300 seats, I would guess) with a tiny audience of only about 30. 

In a typically French fashion, the play started at 9:30 pm, and Richard had proposed that we have dinner after the show.  And that is what we did:  we went to Richard's apartment and Luc cooked a simple but delicious meal, followed by cheese and pastries.  I left around 1 am and walked home in the cool night air.

I had met Richard and Luc at the theatre before the show:  I took the subway, they came on Luc's motorcycle.  Afterwards, though, Richard handed me his helmet and said that he would walk home and Luc would take me on the moto.  Luc gave me a quick lesson on how to be a passenger on a motorcycle (I'd never ridden on one before), and then we buzzed through the streets back to Richard's apartment.  Que c'├ętait fun!

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Paul Leonard

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