In January, Marianne Weems visited us in Paris so that she and Shannon could work on a book they are writing together on Marianne’s theater company, The Builders Association. Then the whole family went with Marianne to Liège, Belgium so that we could see their latest show, Continuous City, in Liège’s international performance festival. The show was fabulous, spectacular and poignant–very well-received by Liège audiences and Jack and Daphne who sat in the first row. While there for the weekend, we had a fun time with the Builders’ cast, especially Moe (also a member of the Five Lesbian Brothers) who played intensely with Jack and his Gormiti. The kids also enjoyed getting to know the Tchantchès, an historic trickster figure who has a variety of madcap experiences helping Charlemagne and drinking excessively. The Wallon Museum in Liège offered a vivid presentation of this Francophone political movement within Belgium; we actually had no idea how little we knew about Belgium’s internal politics. Jack and Daphne each got to a buy a new stuffy/doo-doo in Liège. Jack decided to name his new little stuffed monkey “Moe.”
Marianne Weems, artistic director of The Builders Association, just spent a couple of days with us. She’s working on a project with Shannon and it was great to have her. I (Michael) unexpectedly got to visit with her because my trip to Amsterdam was canceled when my computer bag, containing computer & passport, was stolen. More on her visit in another blog post, but I can’t resist sharing the following text message exchange between the two of us.
Grammy-O and Papa John (Michael’s parents, Olga and John) visited us in October. Olga arrived on the Sunday just before Michael headed off to the states for a Sakai conference at Virginia Tech. She stayed with us and Shannon really welcomed the help–something Grammy-O is well known for doing in Berkeley. In any case, we asked Olga to write something up for the blog (be warned, if you visit us you’ll be expected to write!). The rest of this is from Grammy-O:
Right next to Daphne’s classroom is a small restaurant. Daphne has been excited by looking in the windows with the neatly folded, cone-shaped napkins and imagining eating dinner there. More than once she has snatched a business card from those made available outside the restaurant and brought them home. The restaurant is called Le Refuge du Passé (no website) and we had the occasion to try it on Thanksgiving night (we had our celebration on Friday), when Grammy-O and Papa John were visiting. It’s a small restaurant consisting of two rooms, each decorated with a wide variety of items relating to movies, music and theatre especially. We were especially gratified to see an old poster for “Le Dindon,” which means turkey in French, coincidentally also advertising a production of the Feydeau play that will be directed by Chris Herold in Shannon’s theatre department in Berkeley this spring (in translation). Continue reading