Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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OK, so, um, I have a problem. 

Matt is music-directing this show at the Wilmington Drama League called "Disaster!" which is a funny-as-hell spoof on 60s-70s disaster movies (best of all, it only uses real pop tunes from the '70s as the show's songs). They start Tech Week tomorrow, and it opens on January 26th. We saw it on Broadway and loved it. Matt has kinda sworn off theater and said the only way he'd ever be involved with another show is if an impossibly unlikely 'perfect storm' occurred where he was music director for Disaster!, with Nick D'Argenio directing. And guess what happened? Yep. So, Matt's been busy.

Anyway, without giving away spoilers, there is a scene where a character, um, interacts with sharks, and we needed to create some shark-props for this, so Matt bought two stuffed sharks off of Amazon. He brought one of them into the bedroom to show one to me, and I *instantly* fell in love with this shark and I cannot stop hugging it. So Matt saw this and said, "Uh, looks like I need to buy another shark... you're not giving this one up, are you?" NOPE. MY SHARK. MINE. 

So Matt had to buy a new shark because there is no way I could part with this shark... even though they are identical sharks.

The Shark is now Guy #5 who sleeps with us every night. For those keeping track, I have been sleeping with Fishy, which is a fish-shaped pillow I made in 7th Grade Home Ec class, since the day I brought it home in 1982. He travels with me everywhere. 

Next is Radar, who is Matt's teddy bear that we bought at Target for a Radar O'Reilly Halloween costume in probably 2014. (Yes, we named the bear after the MASH character.) 

Then we added Oscar in 2017, who is a teeny bear that came with a box of Russell Stover Valentine's Day chocolates our friend Helen gave us. Most people would toss the bear, but he is so friendly and good... he is not disposable. Oscar sleeps between my pillow and Matt's because he is teeny.

Guy #4 is Huggy Bear, which is a super-cheap, very flat yellow bear that Jeff (my brother) won at Circus Circus in Las Vegas in 1985. Huggy Bear is anti-social and just stays under my pillow. He has lived in a box in the basement for many years, but I found him a few months ago and felt bad he was just in a box. I kinda think he preferred it there, but for now, he's with us.

And now we have a giant fucking shark. 

But, if that's not enough of a problem, I think my Fish is NOT pleased about this latest shark development. When I woke up after my first night with the shark, the shark was on the floor and my Fish was smugly in the bed. I can't say I blame him. 

So now I have to sleep with them separated, Fish on one side of me and the shark on the other. 

This is a LOT of friggin' drama, folks. I'm doing my best.

1/20 '18 10 Comments
Fish heads fish heads, roly poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads, love them up, yum!
Thomas Boutell 1/21 '18
We will be there on the 27th!

Barring disaster. Yuk yuk yuk.

If Matt is swearing off theater, what's next?
Thomas Boutell 1/21 '18
He's been done with theater for a while, really... at least the "putting on the show" onstage/backstage part. He will always be a playwright, but since Hot Breakfast got busy (awww yeaaah) music has been much more front and center.

He was pretty happy knowing he'd never have to music-direct a show ever again... until Nick called and said "Hey, wanna do Disaster! ?" And Matt was all OH GOD DAMMIT FINE. Hahah!

Full disclosure: Wouldn't ya know it... the 27th is only night where Matt will not be at the show playing and/or music directing, since we'll be playing in the 2nd performance of the Springsteen Tribute that night. So the pit band will be playing with a few substitute players, and Steve We will be conducting from behind the piano in Matt's absence.

I rec-o-nize you're a busy people... but the 27th performance may not be the tightest. Just so'z ya know.
Guh! I wonder if we can change our tickets?
Thomas Boutell 1/24 '18
So how 7yr old friendly would this show be?
Ursula Sadiq 1/21 '18
It's PG at the worst, so it'll be fine I suspect, without knowing your specific 7 year old. It is VERY silly. The shark thing I mention is blatantly goofy and not scary.

We do suggest you go 2nd weekend if you can... the show might need a full weekend to hit its stride, I suspect. (They lost a few rehearsals due to weather.)

I believe I'm ushering on Feb 3rd, if that's any incentive. :-)
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 1/21 '18edited
I was thinking the 4th - can't do the 3rd. It's the kid's birthday. Making this a present!
Ursula Sadiq 1/22 '18
And tickets acquired! If you make it to the showing on the 4th, I'll meet you then!
Ursula Sadiq 1/23 '18

On the night of the Tony Awards, Matt heard that they had released a big block of Hamilton tickets, and by some miracle, they weren't eleventy-billion dollars. Matt nabbed two, and we're going this Wednesday night.

Matt and I are the only two living souls who have never heard a single song from Hamilton. I can't quote any lines, I can't tell you what it's about other than what I remember about Alexander Hamilton from history class, which ain't much.

We've kept the fact that we have tickets (NO Autocorrect, not "rickets") quiet, because we got tired of people telling us, often quite forcefully, how we should prepare for attending the show. 

  • "Make sure you listen to the whole show a bunch of times and read the lyrics simultaneously, because you'll never catch it all in the theater."
  • "Absolutely do NOT listen to it beforehand. Just peruse the lyrics so this way when you hear them you'll recognize them and you'll understand it better."
  • "Read the plot synopsis online!"
  • Etc etc etc etc etc.

So we decided that we would go in totally cold. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote it for people to enjoy on opening night, before there were cast recordings and Wikipedia entries and obsessive tumblr accounts.  So I will attend with open ears, hoping to catch as much as I can, knowing I won't catch it all. I will trust that the creators created something I can follow.  I will trust that the director directed it well, and I will trust that the actors will have good diction.  

"And dat's eet."

      (-- Mike from The Ham Fam.)


(x-posted to livejournal.)

You two aren't alone. I don't think I've heard a single song. That's partly on purpose. I still haven't watched Titanic. #JustSayin

Also? You get many points for that quote. Many points.

I do have a bit of related sad news: Mike no longer owns the HamFam. He previously sold the business but kept the property (leased) and now he's gone and sold the whole shebang. I am genuinely a little heartbroken about it. I'll live, but still - my HamFam is no more. *back of hand to forehead*
Matt Lichtenwalner 2/7 '17edited
>> Mike no longer owns the HamFam.

Nooo! I think I remember when he sold it, because we went to visit him at his other place. But poo! Now he has nothing to do with it? I guess that really is "eet."

(I figured you'd like me tossing that in there.)

(I'm not sure if I typed it because it just popped into my head (as it often does), or if it popped into my head because the Ham of HamFam is the same Ham of Ha... oh shut up Jill.
Works either way.

Yeah. It's the end of an era, to be sure. Of course, I hold out a small shred of hope - the way the Greeks are, he could very well wind up buying it back in a couple of years.

I wouldn't call that probable, but it's possible. *hopeful looks off to the horizon*
I haven't heard a single song either, and I probably know even less about Alexander Hamilton than you do, ha. But, I am soooo excited you two have tickets, and I can't wait to hear all about it!
Leela 2/7 '17
Have fun! After you see it, call me up so we can Hamilnerd together.
Hamilnerd! Wheee!
Bring Kleenex.
I shall.

Actually, I followed Boutell's lead and switched to a hanky... but I have the feeling this may be a multi-hanky show.
haven't heard anything either.
rone 2/7 '17
Do friends give you shit about it? Like, if you mention to someone that you haven't heard it do they look at you as if you've never heard of oxygen? Because MAN, that shit gets old.

(I'm hoping you reply, "No, because my friends aren't assholes.")

[For the record, my dear Philadels, the people giving me shit are a few local community theater people, not Philadel people. You don't know them.]
I know it from my kid, but I have never Listened To Hamilton Properly.
I don't have any friends.
rone 2/8 '17
It's true. I'm imaginary.
You're... complex.
rone 2/9 '17
And irrational.
Starting to sound like we could start an 'uncool kids club'... :)
All I know about Hamilton (the man and the play) I learned from Drunk History. Not kidding. Okay, I might've known a few historical bits about the guy. But, just sayin'

Congrats! Have a blast! Even if it's a blast into multiple hankies.
Anne Mollo 2/7 '17
Go in cold -- it'll all be fresh. I'd love to see it. My son is actually becoming excited about musicals & that door was opened by the music of Hamilton.