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March 28, 2004: Family day

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There was no riding of bikes today either, but there were much better excuses than hanging out at bookstores or eating tandoori. Today started with choir practice, followed by frantic practicing of the piano (by me) since I was the accompanist for the church service this morning. I’d called my dad earlier in the week to see if he wanted to play recorder with me on the song for the prelude, but it turned out that the song really wasn’t going to work. Of course we didn’t quite finalize that until this morning, so there was a short and frantic scramble to find a substitute song we could play.

After church we all headed home to change and eat lunch (highly nutritious peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches for us) and then Richard and I headed over to pick up my parents before driving down to Concord for a play. We overpadded the time needed for the trip, so arrived with plenty of time to poke around REI and drool over the highly overpriced biking gear. And then it was time to get our seats, so off we trotted to the Willows Playhouse, where we met Richard’s parents and little sister who had driven up from Campbell, and we watched a spectacular performance of Children of Eden.

I think everyone but my dad had seen the play before, although he was very familiar with the music. The plot is a summary of biblical history, starting with Adam and Eve and ending with Noah and the ark, but the premise of the play focuses on the relationship between people and god, and how both sides learn and grow.

It’s also an extremely complicated play to put on. Not only does it require a huge amount of costume changes and characters, but it also requires a huge amount of talent. There are so many parts with solos and harmonies that only a large enough and strong enough cast can pull it off.

There was a bit of excitement at the end. During the big almost-a-finale song where everyone’s singing and dancing one of the younger cast members took a wrong step and fell off the stage. Since he happened to be on risers on the stage at the time, it was a pretty high fall, especially since he was pretty small. There were a few tense moments while he was checked over, but luckily it appeared he was more upset and embarrassed by the shock of falling and not seriously injured. The rest of the cast was obviously upset by the whole thing but rallied together and finished out the play to well-earned applause.

The only downside to the play is that it tends to be a little long, and with the little guy falling off the stage that stretched the time even longer. Luckily Richard had made our dinner reservations with lots of time in between, and even luckier, Benihana’s was just across the parking lot, so we were able to meander over there with time to spare. That gave us about ten or fifteen minutes to lurk in the lobby of the restaurant and chat. It was a good choice for dinner for this crowd, since any gathering of my family and Richard’s family can never, ever, be quiet or boring. They’re all a lively and humorous bunch.

We cheered the chef, who prepared our meal in front of us, and we flung chopstick wrappers at each other and we did not succeed in getting them to believe that any of us were having a birthday, and we all ate far too much. After dinner there were hugs goodbye and plans made for Easter dinner and then a short trip into Trader Joe’s to stock up on blintzes and other goodies that can only be found there, and then, finally, onward we went to home from a long and wonderful day.

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