Saturday, July 23, 2016

Good shows, proud parents, and our crazy Friday

For the last couple of weekends, my daughter Rachel has been performing in DC's Capital Fringe Festival in a production of How to Give Birth to a Rabbit. Rabbit tells the story of Mary Toft, who in the 18th century perpetrated the hoax of giving birth to rabbits (and other rodents) to an amazed England.  Rachel plays Mary.

The production is a song cycle, meaning there's no real dialogue, just songs, on a spare stage with the band on one side. We saw it last weekend and really enjoyed it. It's definitely "fringe" theater, but it was a fun experience. Rabbit runs for one more show, tomorrow night (July 24) at 6PM.

Here are some reviews of the show. Two good and one not so good, and a publicity link on the local NBC affiliate.

DC Metro Theater Arts
DC Theater Scene

Last night, Rachel started a second show, 99 - A Rock Opera, playing at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre. 99 is about the 2011 Occupy Movement in Cleveland. Rachel again plays a character named Mary, this one the wife of a guy who gets involved in the movement.

The music was really good and the performers all excellent. There was a little trouble with the sound balance, but this was also a fun experience, with some of the audience (including us) on lawn chairs in the middle of the action. 99 has two more shows this weekend and then plays three times next weekend.

Here's a good review that just came out along with a promotional article. Read the review until the very end!

DC Metro Theater Arts

So, what happened last night?

Rachel opened in 99 at 7PM in Silver Spring and had a performance of Rabbit in DC at 9:45PM. We knew this might be a problem, so we planned ahead.

Rachel and Carol (with Ben) drove separate cars to Silver Spring where I met them by Metro straight from work. Happily, 99 ended at around 8:15 which gave Rachel an hour to make a 9:15 call to Rabbit, a 20-30 minute drive. The plan had been for one of us to go with Rachel to drop her off at the theatre so she wouldn't have to find a parking spot in the ridiculously crowded H street NE area of DC. But since she had so much time, she decided to just drive by herself and we could go home. That all changed when we found a huge line of cars trying to get out of the parking garage.

Basically, it took us 20 minutes to get out of the stupid parking garage in Silver Spring. By this point, Rachel getting to DC and finding a parking space and making curtain was looking problematic. So while still in the garage, Carol got out and rode with Rachel. We then all drove to DC, Ben and I to find and hold a parking spot on the crowded street, and Carol to drop off Rachel and then take the parking spot so Rachel could drive home after the show.

It was a stressful ride because any DC traffic backups would definitely make Rachel late for her show. But we got there on time, and it all worked out.  Carol dropped Rachel off right around 9:35PM, and Rachel made it without them having to delay the curtain. Ben and I found a space reasonably close and after some comedic back and forth with Carol, she eventually found us and we gave Rachel's car the space.

The one downside is that I didn't slow down enough when exiting off the BW Parkway onto Benning Road and got nailed by a traffic camera. I am awaiting the amount of my ticket with huge trepidation.

If you're in the area and you'd like to see either show, here are the remaining times.

How to Give Birth to a Rabbit - Sunday, July 24, 6:00 PM,
                                                  Atlas Performing Arts Center

99 - A Rock Opera - Saturday July 23, 7:00PM,
                                   Sunday July 24, 1:00PM,
                                   Friday July 29, 7:00PM,
                                   Saturday July 30, 7:00PM,
                                   Sunday July 31, 1:00 PM.
                                   Silver Spring Black Box Theatre.

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