Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Humbug, Not

Fifteen years ago, Laura and I took Bill and P.K. -- then aged 8 and 6 -- to the ACT Theatre for their annual production of A Christmas Carol. They loved it, and we've been going ever since. Some years back -- when the ACT moved downtown -- we added a steak dinner apres-show at the Union Street Grill. (When the Union Street changed its menu, we switched to Ruth's Chris.) Somewhere along the line, we began the evening by viewing the Gingerbread Village in the Sheraton Hotel. The last three years, T. and her sons have joined us. We have all come to eagerly anticipate the evening.

Maybe it's me, but last night's outing was especially nice. For starters, the performance was the best in years. The director made some subtle alterations to the script that freshened things, the actor playing Scrooge portrayed him as a real person and not a caricature, and the Jacob Marley was the best we've seen. (Marley has the best scene, and we usually analyze the performance to death.) And at dinner the six of us were so comfortable together. Since there were five men, the conversation veered from literature to sports, movies to video games. T. more than held her own, and pointed out that every year we close the evening with a discussion of boxing. My new family!

After, Bill met up with some friends leaving the Queens of the Stone Age concert. I dropped PK off and went home. Before hitting the sack, I pulled out the DVD of the Red Sox' game 6 triumph over the Indians. Just as I hit the Start button, Bill and Pete walked in, followed not long after by PK. The four of us watched the highlights of games 6 and 7 contentedly, past, present, and future seeming for once assured.

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