Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chicks and Ducks and Geese Better Scurry

I've just come back from the live taping of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me"* with a terrific crush on Peter Segal. Yes, I know he has a family. It isn't the sort of crush that involves breaking up marriages. It's the sort that involves coffee and babysitting your kids for free. Anyway, it's a funny show, but has a tinge of that soporific NPR quality, meaning the energy level is just right for playing while you clean your room and drink tea and maybe lower than is ideal for a live evening. Or perhaps it's just me. I've been waging a three-week war of attrition with this cough, so a voice as harmonic as Carl Kassel's makes me long for afghan blankets. New best friend Peter Segal also had a nasty cold, prompting a fantasy scenario in which we ditched the taping for relaxed conversation in his living room while his wife brought us hot drinks. Yeah. Prolonged illness has really toned down my fantasy life.

After the taping, Segal takes questions from the audience. Now, earlier in the show, he'd dropped a line from a particularly bouncy Broadway standard, very apropos, but so damn bouncy that it immediately got stuck in my head, causing me to become rather bouncy in my seat. This is torturous when you only know one line. "Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry... Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry.. " I couldn't stop myself. I asked if he could sing the rest.

"I've been waiting all my life for someone to ask me that question." Pause. "Do you know how it starts?"

We both knew what was at stake. The possibility of an impromptu sing-a-long Chase Bank Auditorium "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" hung in the air between us. We could sense the glory and the sweetness of the moment. But neither of us knew the words. And so it passed!

Let this teach you, children, never to neglect the classics!

www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/oklahoma/thesurreywiththefringeontop.htm


*It qualifies as theatre. Why? Because that's how the Reader lists it.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

Peter Sagal's one of my favorite entertainers in the city. Your story only reinforces that. :-)

5:56 AM  
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1:39 PM  
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4:37 PM  

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