Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love in a Library.

A journalist once asked me if my home life ever involved just walking around singing, "You know, like in a musical." I laughed at first, but then I realize that in a lot of ways, it does. Even David has been known to burst into a song about cooking dinner from time to time, and a fly on the wall would definitely catch us dancing in the living room. I've always loved musicals.

I also love the library. And Edinburgh.

Yesterday, David and I saw a musical ... unexpectedly ... in the library ... in Edinburgh! It was a good day.

David was up there returning some books, and I was at home writing in my pajamas. When he walked in, someone handed him a program and said there was a little performance beginning in about 10 minutes. Reason #43958 that I love him -- rather than quickly returning his books and running out the door, he called me excitedly and told me to hurry to the library.

If I were a proper journalist, I would have asked all kinds of questions of the performers and those who looked like they were in charge. It was a lot more fun to enjoy the guerrilla musical as an unsuspecting library patron.

From what I gathered, "Love in a Library" (no relation to Jimmy Buffet) is part of the Edinburgh International Festival and is taking place in different libraries across the city this week (the location is announced on Twitter each morning). It's a 20 minute show with two stellar singers and a pianist who started with Gershwin, ended with Cole Porter, and included Wagner, Schumann, Robert Burns, and more, in between. Swoon!

The story is simple -- a librarian and an English teacher fall in various sections of the library -- but the best part is watching the audience reactions, especially the late arrivals who were certainly not expecting anything choreographed or vocal in their local library. All the while, the regular library staff carries on their business, helping people find books, and re-shelving.

It's funny how the safety of a stage -- or a frame -- somehow makes singing your feelings okay, but the minute you take away the stage, people get slightly uncomfortable. I've busked often enough to know that the busker makes the passerby much more nervous than vice versa. "Love in a Library" is a great example of blurring that framework between the stage and audience.

Seems like this whole Edinburgh Festival thing might be pretty cool after all.

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