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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Saw two Summerwords (festival of short plays) plays on the weekend.

The first was the Areguro Entertainment show, which is based on a form of Japanese storytelling which consists of a single performer kneeling on stage with only a towel and a fan as props, telling jokes or dramatic stories. Only this show consisted of one such performer, Sanyurei Aro, and his Canadian-living-in-Japan partner, Greg Robic. Aro would tell a story, Greg would play the accordion, and then they teamed up for a big final story (Aro) with musical accompaniment (Greg). They've been doing this in Japan for a few years now.

It was fun, although the most impressive part was learning that Aro doesn't actually speak English. He only learned enough to tell his stories. He obviously has a much better memory than I do.

The second play was "All Hams on Deck", a musical comedy, which at 38 minutes was exactly the right length for a musical comedy. That said, I really did enjoy it. The cast featured Janet van de Graff from History Bites (their Martha Stewart among others), and it was stage-managed by my friend MK, who was called in at practically the last minute (about a week and a half in advance) to do so, and did a very nice job.

The show was actually a show-within-a-show, which also managed to fit in a three-and-a-half minute film noir, so you ended up feeling you got your money's worth.

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I used to hang with Greg Robic, back when he was doing Aristophanes adaptations/updtaes/translations.

Ask Steve Barringer about me, Hart House Theatre and a lime-green garter belt.

Then ask him about himself and a satin royal-blue and lime-green strapless dress. :-)

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