by Max Brantley
I'm gone. Another episode of "Friday Night Lights" will be on soon. But first I have to drop by Boswell Mourot Fine Art at 5815 Kavanaugh for our event welcoming photographer John McDermott back to town at an exhibit of his Asian photography, "Elegy."
Speaking of far-off places. I got a letter today from the long-absent Norma Bates, writing from Adelaide, Australia. As she wrote on departure in March, Norma is touring with "Split Ends: The Tammy Wynette Story." Norma describes it as a "retrospective Disneyesque 'Alice in Wonderland' greatest hits romp through Tammy's songbook with furry hand-puppets like in 'Avenue Q' exploing my gift for vocal mimicry. With lip-synching." She writes further:
I'm 16 hours ahead of you so I'm sitting in the dressing room getting into character. You have no idea the toll that lip-synching Tammy Wynette's career-arc in toto takes on hyou. Plus 17 lightning-fast wig and costume changes in 90 intermissionless minutes. YOU try it.
Of course the reception to "Split Ends" has been tumultuous.
Max's sweet note was just what I needed during these arduous rehearsals. To know that my Razorbabies miss me and think of me boosted my spirits in ways even recreational substances cannot.
I adore Australia and the Australianese.
First, nobody's religious and everybody's straight, which suits me to a tee, as you can well imagine, mate.
Plus, there're all these short, half-naked dark Godiva-toned people with orange hair and impeccable rhythm from anicent millennia running around with spears looking for work as extras in Peter Jackson films only there aren't any because Weta's in New Zealand so they pose with tourists and teach them to throw their handmade overpriced boomerangs from the outback and pretty much make mincemeat out of Margaret Mead's "innocent primitives" crapola because they're street hustlers like everybody else only they're hustling homemade boomerangs for God's sake. Kind of sad when you think about it. So I don't.
Then again, who's got time to think when you're dodging all these deadly wayward tourist-tossed boomerangs whizzing up and down Chapel Street, mate?
I've been staying with Anthony, son of Richard and Jeanne Pratt -- who's rather a tall poppy in the community, as they say -- though I've yet to meet him. They're sponsors of The Production Company and love hosting visiting talent but I don't bring up Richard (who passed away last year) same as I don't mention Bernie to Ruth Madoff when I stay with her -- though she's downsized and it's been awhile since I've guested and she is considerably older and not as generous now as in days of yore.
Still, the show's going great and the Pratts and Madoffs make Tammy Wynnette look like Mother Teresa so I'm getting in lots of research for my next project -- "Heir Splitting: Shari-Lea (Richard's mistress with whom he had a daughter) My Corrugated Life."
(Editor's note: First-time readers would do well to check Norma's past blog posts for some context.)