Okay - over the next week or so I'm going to try to post a little about the convention in Toronto and seeing Randy in Cabaret, but it might take a while, and this post is going to be all over the place.
After a trying trip (I started out at 6.00am in SF at the airport on the way to Winnipeg and never actually got there), I wound up having an extra day or so in Toronto.
That being the case, I took myself to the hockey hall of fame to indulge one of my other passions. I was a very happy hockey fann as my beloved Pens had actually won the Stanley Cup while I was flying across the Pacific to SF.
Anyway, for anyone who's interested, here's me in front of one of Mario's display cases. (You have to imagine me saying "Mario" in hushed and reverent accent.)
Arrived at the conference hotel on Thursday and started the process of catching up with so many friends made at other conferenes and events. We wound up at Woody's that afternoon and if anyone has one of the photos that we took on the steps, I'd love one because mine just didn't appear on my camera. No idea what happened there.
(Or actually, did that happen on Friday?)
Anyway, on Friday evening the convention proper started with the VIP dinner. For the first half, I was sitting next to Randy, and when they did a swap over, next to Makyla. What a honey she is!
It isn't encouraged to take photos of the guests at the dinners, and stuff, but instead I asked Randy if he'd take a photo of us and he was sweet enough to do that. I've fuzzed out a few of the faces, because I don't have their permission to share their images online. The ones left, I'm reasonably confident won't mind.
So here we are - taken by Mr. Harrison himself.
We all had a great time and Randy was in fine form. Very relaxed and chatty.
After the dinner, most of the gang headed off to a Pride event at "Babylon", which Randy was hosting, but I bailed in favour of a reasonably early night.
Everyone who went seemed to enjoy it though.
I'm going to leave Saturday and Sunday for now, since i need to reference my notes about who said what in the panels and stuff, and move on to Monday.
Caught up with two other friends who happened to be in the area but weren't at the convention. Had a really nice lunch with them. While I was waiting for them, I did a little wandering around and found this church. It blew me away. How wonderful it would be if all churches were so accepting.
(I've enlarged the banner at the side to make it easier to read.)
Tuesday morning it was a sad final goodbye and then off to the airport to get to San Francisco where I had a ticket to Cabaret for both Tuesday night and Wednesday matinee.
Amazingly, I ran into Danielle and Barbara at the theatre. Hard not to since they were sitting right in front of me!
The show was simply amazing. I can't speak highly enough of both the production and the performances - Randy's in particular. It's absolutely riveting and the final scene is simply chilling. There is a moment of shocked silence before the applause starts which is incredibly telling.
It's also very topical. For those who don't know the show, it's set in Berlin in the 30's during the rise of the Nazi party. It deals with the way in which people's willed ignorance, and their apathy and their fear, allowed the Nazis to come to power. The final scene very simply but quite shockingly illustrates the outcome.
it made me think about what is going on in the world today, with the Brexit vote and with Trump ranting about how he's going to use racial profiling.
Remember the words about how the Nazis got away with what they did ... they go something like ...
When they came for the Socialists, I didn't nothing, for I was not a Socialist. When they came for the Trade Unionists, I did nothing, for I was not in a Union. When they came for the Jews I did nothing, for I was not a Jew. When they came for me, I could do nothing, for there was no one left to speak out for me.
Start that out with "When they came for the Muslims ..." or "When they came for the Gays ..." and you can see how the forces of fascism could very easily get a very firm grip in today's climate.
Anyway, the show was great and Randy was wonderful and when we waited for him after the show he greeted us with hugs and thanks for coming, and when he heard I was flying home next night I got an extra hug and a little peck on the cheek for a goodbye.
Here are the photos that someone
took. The first, where we're smiling is more than a little blurred. In the second we both look a little anxious/ bewildered because we couldn't work out what the person with the camera was doing. It was kind of funny, actually.
So that was that. Well, except that I saw the matinee on Wednesday as well (from the front row if you don't mind) and loved it just as much.
If you can get to a performance, i guarantee it will be worth your while.
If you need a little more inspiration, look at the pretty posters.
And without me.
Sorry about the reflections on the last two - was tricky trying to take them in daylight and worse at night.
Next post will be about the convention and I hope to have it up by the end of the week.