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August 25, 2008

Are you as bored as I am?

August 24. Day 55.

It definitely sounded good: Head to Del Mar, an adorable oceanfront community that calls itself a "village" in promotional brochures, to watch a free reading of the Twelfth Night. The performance would take place in a park as the sun was setting over the Pacific. Capital way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


When Mr. A and I got there, a woman handed him an envelope and explained that our suggested donation "should be $10. Each." (There was an emphasis on the "each," I promise. For whatever that's worth.)

The seats were facing the sun, which at 5 p.m. was burrowing directly into my retinas.

And the play. Ninety minutes, no intermission. Five actors divvied up the characters among them, drawing names out of a hat. That led to some interesting gender switches in a play that's already about mistaken identities. But there was no differentiation among their various personae, so when a woman played both Sir Toby and Orsino with the same tone and swagger, it was impossible to tell them apart. I enjoy Shakespeare, and community theaters can be excellent venues, but this was... something else.

I looked around. Half of the audience was frowning and the rest tittered politely when it appeared something funny was happening. Mr. A and I exchanged ever more insistent glances. Each was wondering, I suspect, "Are you as bored as I am?"

Finally, I couldn't take it any more.

"Are you as bored as I am?" I whispered.

He nodded and then we made a run for it -- but not before leaving a symbolic $3 in the envelope, the only cash our collective wallets, but still not enough to say "Sorry!"

Gained: $17 and ninety minutes.
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