Well, the first weeks of this, 2013 year of our Lord (it does nor make me a fanatic or extra fervent Christian, rather an aficionado of ol’ way of saying and naming things. Just one more of my idiosyncrasies.) were rather busy. Too busy, for my lazy liking. A hundred and one plans and then new happenings got in a way. Some visits to Important People, some actions, declarations (of course Important, even Very Important). And (as often is the case) all my previous plans got pushed aside. Amid all of these chaos of tending to Temporal Important Things (that, in a true scheme of Things, at the end really have very little importance) I did have a time to visit a wonderful staging (a first in Canada, if I’m not mistaken) od Stanislaus Grochowiak play “The Boys”. Grochowiak was an exceptionally talented and influential poet in Poland in the 60ties and 70ties. Died way too young of , well, alcoholism. As a very, very young poet, just making my first steps into adulthood, I met him and shared few glasses of (in)famous national drink, vodka. Of course, I was very proud that such a revered poet would drink with me, thought of it as an honour, distinction. For him it was probably a rare occasion to find an adoring listener (at that time there was not as many as few years earlier – fame is fleeting) and simply an easy companion to a glass of vodka as his friends, who knew him longer, would avoid Grochowiak’s drinking events, which started to impact his health heavily. Anyhow, in January a very good theatrical ensemble of Vancouver, Teatr Polski , produced the staging of “The Boys”. It was played in the Evergreen Theater in Coquitlam. Lovely location, probably the best stage in entire Metro Vancouver. You just step out on the patio and at your feet lays a small, picturesque lake, above snowy peaks of North Shore mountains. Magic. The production was directed by a talented Vancouver director Marek Czuma(fromerly closely associated with the Shakespeare on the beach theater project). It is not an easy play. Grochwiak has hidden in it multilayers of meanings easily obscured by the main subject of aging. Aging in the Old Folks Home. And primarily about men. There were many portraits of aging women, or mixed sexes. But men alone is altogether different subject. And men from an epoch almost three generations older. A that time there was no questioning of masculinity, manliness and so on. A man was the master of universe. Or so he thought. Grochowiak has shown that really, he was not. He was frail, as lost and as desperate to hold to the vestiges of dignity as any aging female. “The Boys” could have been just a comedy (albeit dark and sad) . Czuma made it very human, very real. The actors played splendidly. Without any doubt I must not forget to mention excellent performances of Elizabeth Kozlowski (as Mother Superior), Richard Kopplinger (as resident Kalmita) and his younger stage-wife, Kamila Marczyk (as Narcissa, a theater star past her prime) alongside the rest of the troupe.
At place of mine ‘professional’ work I encountered some others. The painter Csilla Rosales, whom I never suspected of being a painter until we started talking about art. Then, recently, a very quiet young women who just recorded a concert of Christmas songs. When another person asked me to listen to it, at first I thought seriously that it was Sarah Brightman’s new CD. Than I was told it was the first recording of my own subordinate, whom I never “suspected’ of such beautiful soprano, Kira Johnson. I hope I’m not mistaken if I would risk foretelling that we will hear of her in the future.
Csilla Rosales is about to open her first public Exhibition in Tsawassen. If you heve no other prior plans, it could be very worthwhile to go and see it ( January 31, Tsawwassen Art Centre – 1172-56 Street, Delta)