Thursday, November 19, 2009
While the "Heroes" cast are working out how to haul their stone canine friend--in between listening to great interviews with Mike Nussbaum on NPR and on tv, commemorating Veterans' Day and regaling us with tales of WWII service--I have been swashing and smashing along in the front lines of stage combat in the city and opening more mayhem on the theatre front. There has been "Ernani" at Lyric Opera (possibly should be titled "Inane-i" if it weren't for the stellar, and very lovely, principals, and an amazing beautiful set and costumes by Scott Marr); and "High Holidays" at the Goodman ("Brighton Beach Memoirs" meets "August: Osage County," with a dose of Yiddish thrown in--literally); and "Holes" at Theatre School at DePaul (I love to hear 500 schoolkids scream and stand when the fights begin!).
But nothing has been nearly as exciting as what I did this past Saturday--I danced with wolves, literally! I went, with my wife Patrice, to Wolf Creek Habitat, near Brookville in southern Indiana (very southern, like 33 miles from Cincinnati) where a lovely couple rescue wolves that cannot be released back into the wild, usually because they have been "imprinted" by humans. And there are four siblings that were born at Wolf Creek and raised by hand, so that they can be used for educational purposes. Visiting with those four wolves was an amazing experience! It is not for the faint of heart, because they are still very large, very fierce animals--as the dead deer debris scattered throughout their penned areas makes clear--and one definitely has to play by the rules, their rules. But they are beautiful and powerful, playful and mischievous, welcoming and warm. I had wolf kisses and nibbles on the neck. I had wolf noses poking all over me. I had wolves standing with their paws on my shoulders, nose to nose, or literally stepping onto my shoulders from a platform above me. And just when you think the Alpha male has had enough, he trots over and rolls on his back to have his belly rubbed, just like a regular big dog. But just to keep you in perspective, one of the females then wanders passed with a deer's scalp in her teeth. If you are interested in wildlife and in experiencing the great animals of the world, check this place out, or donate to support them (they have a great website and you can see lots of pictures of the wolves with their friends).
We stayed near by in Metamora, a quaint, bizarre little historic town, built by the Whitewater Canal, full of historic buildings, strange little country stores and antiques shops. And we ate at the Ertel Winery in near by Batesville, where there are free wine tastings of the local brew while you wait for a table--and the food was pretty good too! (apparently the only decent restaurant in the area).
Now I am off to Baltimore to tech in the remount of Lookingglass' "Around The World In 80 Days" and then I start rehearsals for Marriott's "My Fair Lady".
Happy Thanksgiving and howl at the moon!