Last night was Pat McCurdy's annual show at the Terrace. Unlike other years, where I'd take the day off, get there around noon and enjoy a day out in the sun, saving a table up in the front, I took it even easier. I meandered down to the Terrace after work, getting there a little after 6 with a falafel sandwich from Mediterranean Cafe. I ate down by the shore and read the Isthmus.No matter what is going on, it is fun to be at the Terrace on a nice day. West Side Andy and Glen Davis where playing for Jazz at Five. Love those guys.
I also wandered around the Union for a bit, and checked out the new exhibitions in the Gallery. Lucky me, I got there during the opening reception, so I scored some brownies, cranberry bars, and punch. Of the two exhibitions, one caught my interest and the other was kinda meh.
The Porter Butts Gallery was divided into two sections. In the front the gallery, dozens of small silver bells were suspended from wired pulled taut across the ceiling. Each wire was attached to a small stand which also held a small speaker. The speakers were projecting recorded thunderstorm sounds, and from time to time, the vibrations of the sounds would set all of the bells jinggling. Cool, if a little noisy at times.
The back of the gallery was seperated by a wall. In this back section, pieces of old wooden furniture--mostly chest of drawers--were hovering at odd angles, usually with only two legs touching the ground. Strong tensionwires were used to suspend and secure the furniture from the walls and ceiling. In each piece, one drawer had been removed and replaced with a facing of milk plexiglass, behind which glowed a flourescent light. I greatly admired the surreal quality of the grouping.
The Class of 1925 Gallery contained the work of a different artist. There was only one piece, standing on a low table at the center of the room. It was a intricately twisting tower of grey Legos, which stood about two feet high. It was certainly a splendid structure, yet as the one and only object in a show, it was underwhelming.
Back out on the Terrace, the sky was approaching dusk, and boats where moving towards the shore. Some where calling it a night, and others where just settling in to listen to the show. I grabbed a seat on a low wall behind the stage. I had a good view of things, albeit from the back. I was surrounded by families with goofily happy small children, who ran around and got themselves dizzy with joyful abandon.
Shortly before the show, an college-aged couple and an older couple (the young man's parents, it was revealed) sat down next to me on the wall. As luck would have it, they were a great bunch to be sitting near, as the parents had never seen Pat McCurdy before, and they totally loved it. I've discovered that most people either love him or hate him the first time they see him, and it is great fun to watch someone discover the joy of Pat for the first time. Listening to them laugh and being surprised at all the right places helped to make the show new again for me. Granted, I hadn't been to a show in about a year, but I've been to so many that I still know a lot of it by heart. At one point, while the son was off on a beer run with his girlfriend, the dad started asking me about the show...if I'd seen it before. When I told him that I had, he asked me if I knew where to get CDs (I pointed him to the merchandise table) and which one's I'd recommend (I said Pat in Person Vol 1 or 2 would be good choices). He hopped right over to the table and bought a couple of CDs.
After a while, my friends found me, and we all enjoyed the show together. We sang, we danced, we made funny gestures, we laughed and we chatted. We all agreed that we do need to make and effort to get back to the shows more. Maybe not every week, like in college, but at least one a month or so. I'd like that.
Followed up the night with a stroll up and down the length of State St., pretty sure that I might well have been the soberest person on the street (besides those who were working, like the police and the cab drivers).
Have I mentioned that I love summer?