A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

The Grandkid At The Gateway Theatre - A Gabork Of A Play
Friday, April 18, 2014




Pippa Mackie & Rebecca Stewart
I will not hide from those who read this that presently my 16-year old granddaughter and I are mutually experiencing a period of somewhat difficult transition.  I have learned that the best technique to handle a teenager from hell is to not badger, sermonize, suggest, shout at and most of all not to lose my cool when confronted by teenage illogical.

But with all the lows come a few highs. Last Sunday Rebecca accepted my texted (iPhone 3G) invite to come over. I had a tray in the sunny garden with some aged American cheddar, slices of watermelon, crackers and my father’s mate. On a separate stool (a beautiful Chinese ceramic stool, or is it a plant stand?) I had a kettle with water that had almost boiled (to make a proper mate you must never allow the water to boil). I made the concession to my granddaughter by making a sugar bowl available.

My granddaughter is the only person I know in Vancouver with whom I can indulge in that so Argentine ritual of the mate. That the lovely mate gourd is my father’s and is at least 80 years old makes that special Argentine bond that I have with Rebecca all that more special.

We, Rebecca and I, found something of that ritual magic in the John Lazarus play The Grandkid at Richmond’s Gateway Theatre. This theatre is a promising venue for good theatre, an alternative option for those who do not want to drive (or take transit) to Vancouver’s bustling theatrical community.

This two-person play (Richard Newman as Julius and Pippa Mackie as Abby) is directed just right by Natasha Nadir.

My good friend, novelist, writer and film reviewer John Lekich knew John Lazarus when the playwright lived in Vancouver. Lekich told me that Lazarus writes plays that are not complex in structure but are beautiful in helping us learn about ourselves. 

Pippa Mackie & actor friend Anton Lipovitzky
From our vantage point of centre front row Rebecca and I sat not knowing what to expect. I had seen Richard Newman before as Polonius in Bard on the Beach. Of Pippa Mackie I know a bit more. I photographed her as new talent for the Straight two years ago and saw her last year in Pi Theatre’s brutal but unforgettable Terminus


I had an inkling then that the play would have good acting.

During the intermission, an elderly woman (much older than this 71 year-old grandfather) sitting behind me told her friends, “I like him but she is a bit over the top.” They went on talking but I could not resist interjecting, “Do any of you have a 16-year old granddaughter like this one (pointing at Rebecca) and do any of you remember your grandchildren? If you do you will then know that Mackie is dead on with her gestures, her door slamming, even how she talks. Rebecca and I cannot figure if this is exceptional acting or that at 25 Mackie is young enough to remember what it was like.”

The people behind warmed up to us and were delighted to find out that in the audience of the theatre, full of the blue rinse crowd there was a genuine grandkid.

Of  Mackie’s performance my Rebecca was short and sweet (of sweet there is more later), “She is me.”

The Grandkid’s very Jewish content made my very Latin/Argentine relationship with Rebecca all the more enjoyable and understandable. The Grandkid’s very Canadian outlook/content made is easier for me to appreciate living north of the 49th parallel. Richard Newman plays a grandfather a tad younger, 68, than this one. But repeating Rebecca’s words, “He was indeed me, in some ways.”

After the show, as promised, Mackie came out to talk to the two of us and I took my snap. Rebecca and I said very little in the car, knowing we had seen a good play.

But something that Rebecca had told me earlier lingered with me. And in spite of what I could perceive as possible negativity I saw it as the opposite.

“I told my friend that I was going with my grandfather to the theatre tonight.” They said, “You must be joking. You mean he is still alive?”

In The Grandkid Abby gives Julius ten more years of life. She gives him meaning and his moribund career is rejuvenated. I can state here that my Rebecca keeps me alert and on my toes. As for the meaning of the word gabork you have until April 26 to find out.

And finally to the more “sweet” promised above. Thanks to my friend Lekich and his memory (who can channel pachyderms) I can reveal that the studious and wonderful actor, Richard Newman was part of a band I once saw in the 80s. The band’s name was Sweet Dick. Now, what would Abby have said about that?

 
Richard Newman centre right with sunglasses






Sweet Dick
Vancouver, British Columbia
1981 - 2005
Members
 
Ken Arbuthnot "Bert Wienie Dick" ~ Guitar, Vocals
Linda Kidder "Lips Dick" ~ Bass, Vocals
Drew Neville "Daffy Dick" ~ Piano
Richard Newman "Rick Dickulous"  ~ Percussion, Vocals
Peter Padden "PP Dick" ~ Drums, Vocals
Bob Popowich "Rob Roy the Highland Dick" ~ Bass, Vocals
Dan Smith "Humpback Dick" ~ Guitar, Vocals
Ron Stelting "Radar Lovedick" ~ Percussion, Vocals



     

Previous Posts
The Bomb-Itty Of Errors -Teaches An Old Dog A New ...

Dead Toads

Saintly Derivations

The Name Of That Rose

Annie Captured Our Hearts In Red

Monica Huggett & Two Grounds For Praise At The Pla...

Monica Huggett - Fantastically Baroque - Early Mus...

Los Artistas & La Modelo

Three Bohemians, LInda, Borges & La Recoleta

Surgeons Must Be Very Careful



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12/20/15 - 12/27/15

12/27/15 - 1/3/16

1/3/16 - 1/10/16

1/10/16 - 1/17/16

1/31/16 - 2/7/16

2/7/16 - 2/14/16

2/14/16 - 2/21/16

2/21/16 - 2/28/16

2/28/16 - 3/6/16

3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17