Once upon a time back in the late 90s, I had a boyfriend who liked me to read to him, so he'd pour a glass of wine and we'd lay in bed and night after night, I'd read a book of his choosing. He was slow reader, so that was part of it, but mostly he just enjoyed hearing someone else read to him. I thought of him tonight as I spent an evening drinking wine and being read to.
I met my most hipster-like friend for wine at Ipanema (where else?) and to catch up since we hadn't gotten together since before Christmas. I went with the Beyond Sauvignon Blanc out of Constantia, South Africa, an area I've visited and one which produces superior white wines. My friend presumed I was drinking white wine in hopes of Spring coming soon ( a girl can wish, can't she?). We had a lot of ground to cover, he and I, in terms of what we'd each been up to for the past two months and then I had to run. He accused me of using him to fill an empty interim period, but actually he had canceled on me last week, so I felt no friend guilt and left.
I wanted to catch the Richmond Shakespeare Second Tuesday staged reading. I know it's the fourth Wednesday, but snow had rescheduled things a bit. It's a great deal; they gather actors to do a show using minimal scenery, props and rehearsal and it's for one night only. While I've never been to one of theirs, most staged readings I've attended were essentially seated actors rising when they read their lines. In this case, the action was staged (although they did hold their scripts throughout; it is a reading after all)) with a fair amount of physicality and interaction. And the extremely reasonable cost of admission ($15) entitles you to wine with the reading.
Tonight they were doing The Merchant of Venice, notorious for its perceived anti-Semetism, an attitude which clearly made the audience uncomfortable in places (there were a lot of students there tonight). More striking to me was the glaring and obnoxious superiority of the Christians in the play. But it's Shakespeare, so there was also hidden identities, lovers wanting to be together and wonderfully comic characters. And of course, beautiful language, like, "Choose me and risk everything you've got." But is he referring to marriage being a gamble or just to a drastic turning point in life?
I would have been satisfied with just wine and being read to and ended up with even more. For one thing, they had dessert; the chocolate sponge cake with cherry whipped cream filling was to die for. And while I wasn't stretched out in bed, I didn't have to do the reading either.
I think my former BF was on to something.