Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fahrenheit 451

I'm not blogging because of  New Year's resolution - I never do anything because of  New Year's resolution.

We went to Fahrenheit 451 at Theatre in the Round on Friday night.  The acting wasn't superlative, and the story is a little long winded in places because Bradbury turned book lectures into dramatic monologues (he wrote the screenplay himself), but it was still very enjoyable and a nice addition to the Shakespeare and Christie we sometimes see there.  Montag and Mildred (his wife) were believable, and Captain Beatty definitely had a psycho/evangelist/true believer vibe.

The set was well done for a minimalist attack.  They papered over the props/furniture, and it was modular so they could reuse it for walls and blocks and a sofa to switch between the fire station, Mildred's living room, and outside the town.

Their choice of books to burn amused me - I wonder if they bought my company's books by the pound or if someone is a lawyer in their spare time.

The play is VERY different from the book, but I'd read the book so long ago I couldn't quite remember all the details.  Apparently Bradbury modeled the play after the movie.  I had to go check the plot notes at Wikipedia, and they confirmed Beatty was a much worse character in the book, met a much more violent end (burned alive vs. a dog, although the dog noises in the play were scary, sort of Cloverfield-ish; they're releasing Cloverfield 2 btw, trailer here), and the book memorizers made more sense because there was a threat that civilization might end, at least temporarily, so the threat of no books meant not carrying forward culture after a catastrophe.

By the way - the Wikipedia page has a section on F451 being banned if you're into irony [link to a post on some local book burning].  The idea of burning the Bible, not the actual fact of it, was what triggered the ban.

Eryn was excited because the program talked about a video game from 1984.  I told her I'd owned it (and you can get a copy for emulation on DosBox) and that what I remembered more than anything else was the dogs.  It made me appreciate that some people really miss the days of text games when the focus was on the story and not open world.  Eryn's been playing Life Is Strange lately which seems to attempt to get back to some of that story telling while not losing the modern gaming approach.

We went to Town Hall prior to the play.  We were trying to go to Ramen Kazama, but the place was absolutely packed as we drove by, with people standing around waiting for tables. It worked out, because TiTR had given us a 20% off one meal coupon we used on Eryn's steak (she's a steak fiend), and Pooteewheet tried the Three Hour Tour Chestnut (in a tulip glass despite not a high level of alcohol) and agreed with this reviewer who said: "Shit gets Cadburry real quick..."

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