Show on the Road: Friday, July 19

Dear Constant Reader,

We’re down to the final days! It’s your last chance to vote for The Boston Babydolls for “Best Theatre Group” and B.A.B.E. for “Best Dance Classes“!

We were back on the road and back to Pennsylvania. The crew this time was your humble correspondent, Scratch, Brigitte, and Betty. We didn’t have a show on Friday night, so things we a little more relaxed. Nor did we hit the godawful traffic that we did on the way to the Jersey Shore. It was, however, unbelievably hot.

The plan was to stop in Scranton, PA for the night. We’d been hoping to book a show half way between Boston and Johnstown, but the timing didn’t work out, so we had some R&R instead. First stop, The Houdini Museum.

I’m still not clear on the Houdini/Scranton connection, but what the heck. It’s one of those tiny, crowded, labor-of-love museums, with some real gems. One room has items arranged roughly chronologically to illustrate Houdini’s career and the other has more eclectic artifacts. There’s a *lot* of ephemera (programs, posters, photos, clippings, &c).

The gems, in my opinion, were the personal items: huge gold-leaf frames containing photograph portraits of Rabbi and Mrs. Weiss (Houdini’s parents) that hung in Houdini’s house, one of Bess Houdini’s costumes (Betty examined it pretty closely and said it was finely appliqued and the beads were larger than she expected), a vest of Houdini’s with a card-raising gimmick sewn into the pocket, but the one that struck me the most was a tallit (a prayer shawl). It’s unknown if it was Houdini’s personal item or if it belonged to his father, but Houdini kept it at his house. I know that’s not very magical, but it’s very human.

Scratch, using his super-restaurant sense, picked Stirna’s (since 1908) for dinner. Everything was awfully good, especially the chive-parmesan salad dressing, and dessert was included. I could only finish one of the lovely little brownies, so I asked the waitress to wrap up the other. She slipped another one in the box, so it wouldn’t be lonely.

Scratch wanted to check out a potential venue (which turned out to have no potential for a burlesque show) and then we kind of lamely thought about going back to the hotel. Then we saw this mysterious light and decided to check it out.

It’s high atop the Electrical Building. The real thing is much less blurry, and blinks. After reading a plaque about why Scranton was The Electric City, we wandered around gawking at the amazing architecture. Downtown Scranton has some incredible buildings; the Courthouse looks like Hogwarts. Brigitte was sure that every elaborately carved stone edifice was the University of Scranton, so we kept walking and looking.

This is us under the appropriate entrances to a former school (they say “Girls” and “Boys”; I know the pictures aren’t great).

Then we walked past the Masonic Temple — heck, it was a Masonic Cathedral! It appeared to be the happenin’ place on a Friday night in Scranton. Someone overheard our wonderings about some of the buildings and gave us a little orientation, pointed out where the University of Scranton actually was located, explained that everyone pouring out of the Masonic Temple had just been to hear Lamas chanting, and recommended a nearby place for drinks.

We had seen Posh at The Scranton Club on our walk but figured we were too grubby for what looked like a classy joint. After being assured we were dressed just fine, we decided to go. The cocktails were fabulous — and you know I’m not a big drinker. I had a “Hemingwayish” of white rum, St. Germain, orange bitters, honey, muddled strawberries, and lime juice. Just lovely on a sultry evening.

Scratch had a long chat with the owners about performing there in the future, possibly even sooner rather than later. And then it was time for all little Babydolls (and Betty) to go to bed and be well-rested for the drive to Johnstown on the morrow.


Published in: on 22 July 2013 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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