January 7th, 2016

Love and Information...

~Thursday~  As they always do, this play—Love and Information—playing at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham through Sunday, January 10, will make you think. And then think about it the next day, and maybe the next.

Love and Information poster

In a recent article in Indy Week, Nine great local theater performances of 2015, Love and Information was described as:

A gifted quintet played a compelling game of human pinball as Caryl Churchill's characters got the news (or didn't) in 65 relationships, ranging from snarky lovers to torturer and victim.

On the Manbites Dog Theater website, there's this synopsis:

Someone sneezes. Someone can’t get a signal. Someone won’t answer the door. Someone put an elephant on the stairs. Someone’s not ready to talk. Someone is her brother’s mother. Someone hates irrational numbers. Someone told the police. Someone got a message from the traffic light. Someone’s never felt like this before. In Caryl Churchill’s fast moving kaleidoscope, more than a hundred characters try to make sense of what they know.

This play is a very interesting look at the part information plays in the physical, emotional, and—I would argue—even the physical construct of love.

Some of my favorite of the 65 relationship "snippets" were (no spoilers):

  • The one where two women are discussing a recent earthquake, in which one of them has obviously been voraciously consuming the information available about it, while the other one hasn't, presumably because it doesn't "help" her in any way.

  • The one where two guys are discussing what "pain" is (or isn't).

  • The one noted above as "Someone is her brother's mother," although in this cast, it's "Someone is her sister's mother."

  • The one where a guy is questioned by a woman about his "virtual girlfriend."

  • The one where a woman is testing a guy about his trivia knowledge.

  • The one where a man pleads to his doctor to answer, "How much time do I have left?"

  • The one where a women tells her husband that the traffic lights have been telling her things.

Some themes explored in this play:

  • How does a virtually endless supply of information alter our relationships—to one another and to ourselves

  • Our attention spans

  • Our dependence on (or addiction to?) information and the technology delivering it

  • Varying openness to the consuming of information—welcomed greedily, accepted as necessary, avoided at all costs

  • How does information inform love?

I thoroughly enjoyed this L.A. Times review of the play: A big 'like' for Caryl Churchill's 'Love and Information'

Full disclosure: Not that it biased my liking of this play in any way, but I am a member of the board of directors of Manbites Dog Theater.

Dry January (Day 7)

~Thursday~  I haven't had a drink yet, but that doesn't mean I haven't been out, or that I haven't thought about it—sometimes at the strangest of times.

Let me first articulate the opportunities I've had to drink, and by that I mean "social situations outside the home," because there are always opportunities to drink at home with my stash in the cupboard:

So, these are the social opportunities I've had to drink since my last posting, which was Dry January (Day 3):

And here are some of the times I thought about drinks or drinking:

  • I'm currently reading Circling the Sun, and I found myself salivating a little at the alcohols scenes, seemingly spaced just far enough apart to be parched when the subsequent taste was served. Here's an example of a few:

    • "Jim had made a pitcher of cocktails with whisky and crushed lemons. He stirred the pitcher with a glass rod, rare ice tinkling like crystal teardrops."

    • "My father was paying through the nose for the champagne, so I drank as much as I could, every time it came round."

    • "Jock had washed and was inside at our bar cart, doctoring a whisky."

  • After working out late one afternoon, I thought about how good it would be to have a cocktail with some hors d'oeuvres when I got home.

  • My friend Todd (who is having a Dry January with me) was coming to meet me at our house to go to a play in Durham, and I said, "If you get here early, come on in and we'll have a glass of water before we go." So sad, isn't it?

  • Said play that we saw consisted of 65 scenes, and I found myself counting the scenes that had alcohol in them.

  • After the play, we stopped in Cocoa Cinnamon to have some coffee, and since I'm also dieting and am always hungry, when I saw this dessert in the display case, I said to Todd, "Mmmm. That looks good."

    To which he replied, "You just want it to get the alcohol out of it." That's some funny shit; I don't care who you are.

7 days down, 24 more to go.