Blogging 'Einstein'

Philip Glass's Masterwork, Minute by Breathless Minute

Lucie Jansch

By Eileen Reynolds

Published September 21, 2012.
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(page 5 of 8)

9:18: Okay, I’m getting the hang of this. The automaton chorus is back in the pit, and those two women are back in their chairs, babbling away. The chorus is singing numbers so quickly that they don’t sound like numbers. They’re leaving consonants out so that instead of “1, 2, 3, 4” it sounds like “on-da-tee-fo.” Or “one-da-tree-fo.” Or is that “one da diva”? “One-ah-dee-one-ah-dee…” Ooh, I like when they switch to the more lyrical solfege theme. Sounds like a church choir, almost.

9:28: Oof. Back in the laboratory/court room again. The man to my right exclaims, “All right!” I guess he likes this part. Here comes the automaton chorus again. Are they supposed to be the jury or the crowd? Ah! Stage left has become a jail, bars and all, with two guys in stripes inside. The tall white girl lounges on the big Freud couch and says:

I was in this prematurely air-conditioned supermarket
And there were all these aisles
And there were all these bathing caps that you could buy
That had these kind of 4th-of-July plumes on them
They were red and yellow and blue
I wasn’t tempted to buy one,
But I was reminded of the fact that I’d been avoiding the beach!

Oh, golly! She’s saying it over and over, emphasizing a different part each time. I kind of like this. What are bathing caps with plumes? Bathing caps with fireworks painted on? Or with big feathers coming out the top, like those marching band hats? I decide it’s the second thing. Then I start thinking about choir stalls, and how they’re similar to jury stalls. Jury lofts? Choir lofts? What’s the name of the thing the jury sits in? Or maybe the automatons are in the spectator seats. What are those called? I don’t know a lot about courtrooms.

9:??: Fourth-of-July plumes girl is moving around now, standing in front of the jail. She’s really flirtatious, writhing around and winking at us all throughout her speech. She’s dressed all in white — I think it’s supposed to be like a slinky white robe. Her voice sounds like what people thought was sexy in 1960. Now she’s turned around to face the jail, with her back to us. What is she doing? Touching herself under her clothes? Oh! Now she’s got pants on — black clothes, eek! A Tommy gun! She’s pointing a giant gun at the audience. I didn’t know this show would have so many guns in it. The two prisoners are mimicking her movements. (Oh, and Bojangles woman is talking about Bojangles again.) Now the 4th-of-July plumes gal has a giant multicolored lollipop. What does that mean? She exits. One prisoner carries the other offstage.


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