Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't Feed the Ducks

That is the name of one of the plays the theatre group in the park is doing this year.

In the past, I've been in the plays. I chose to take this year off for a multitude of reasons. First of all, it takes a ton of time! I also didn't like the 3 plays they chose for this year. "Don't Feed the Ducks", I thought was totally inappropriate for this community. It opens with an older man feeding ducks bread while an equally old lady sits on a park bench. The crux of the playlette is the man is tired of living and would like this old lady to take over feeding the ducks for him so he can commit suicide.

OK, now remember I live in a 55+ community. Al, one of my doll babies, will be watching this play, he's 95 and blind and has just fallen and fractured his knee and his hip. We have a plethora of people here without mates. They've outlived at least one, sometimes more. We've got people in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. OK, so they won't get the play anyway! Still, I thought it much too dark a subject for my friends here in Buttonwood Bay.

I went to dress rehearsal last night. I was in a sad mood as I had to go all by myself. Geez, I'm one of the lonely old people in the park myself! The first play dragged. It was over acted, not very funny, and had one of the people I really have a hard time looking at without retching in it. I hope they iron out the kinks before opening night on Monday for sure! I wanted to come home after that one.

The second play began and it was 'Don't Feed the Ducks'. Oh goodie, the play I thought shouldn't be performed at all. Could I sneak out right then??? No, I couldn't. I settled in and resigned myself to the torture. It is a 2 person play and I began to have a glimmer of hope when the lady walked out and sat on the park bench. It was Irene O'Rourke. She's about 102 (OK, she's really in her late 80's probably)years old and one of the mavens of our theatre group. The man sauntered on stage and it was a Dewitt, a gentleman that's always been behind the scenes. Hmmmm I thought, this could be interesting. It was.

Irene did a fabulous job. Never missed a beat. Perfect inflection and projection. She had some really complicated, long, lines. All delivered with ease. She has theater experience, and it showed.

Dewitt did a fabulous job. You'd never know he wasn't always on stage.

I found myself on the edge of my seat hoping that the old lady on the park bench would find a way to give hope to the man feeding the ducks. He was lonely, tired, had no family(his wife died 7 years ago), no friends, ate all his meals alone at a diner where he didn't even enjoy the taste of food anymore. He sat alone at night in the dark as 'why should I turn on the lights when there's no one there to see?'

She did. She did it with humor. She did it with common sense. She did it with caring and compassion, and I think a bit of selfishness. She was lonely also it turned out, so befriending the old duck feeder would help her too. It was lovely. It ended with a planned evening of a bottle of wine, chicken livers on crackers (his dead wife would be asking for her recipe she claimed!), a lovely chicken in a pot with some onions and carrots (the gentleman would find taste in that food for sure she announced), and a game of pinochle with a nice couple down the hall from her. Oh yes, and she also had a fish in the fridge that she insisted he'd need to come back the next night for. He agreed and said he'd bring a really big bottle of wine so there would be enough for two evenings. She left to prepare her chicken livers and he talked to the ducks. He told them he'd found hope and that he'd be around to feed them.

I hope the people in the park that are suffering take some solace in this play. Especially in this park, there's no reason to be lonely. There is a lot to do and a ton of caring people to do it with. Yet another reason I love where I live!

All's well that ends well. Oh wait, that's next years play!


Silverback said...

Lovely review and glad the 'duck' play turned out to have a message plus a sort of happy ending.

Of course you've left us wondering about the 3rd play - was it so bad it didn't warrant a mention at all or are you reserving the review for the next post ??

Daphne said...

Ahhh that sounds good! I love good theatre (though I'm not very tolerant of bad theatre these days!)