BSG: Sine Qua Non, or the admiral loves the president

I realize my audience of fellow BSGers has dwindled to one, so anniemcq you'll have to indulge me here, and the rest of you can hit the snooze button and go back to your pretty, pretty dreams.

First: a Cylon in charge of the fleet? What could possibly go wrong?

Second: Caprica Six is pregnant with TIGH's baby?

Third: Lee is the president now? That whiny, preachy, self-righteous blowhard? (They hit this pretty straight on the nose and then kept on hitting, and obviously I'm not wild about Lee anyway, so whatever.)

Fourth: How long was that dead cat in that bag?

Fifth: sine qua non: "without which not" or "without which (there is) nothing." According to Romo Lampkin, poet/lawyer extraordinaire: "Those things we deem essential, without which we cannot bear living, without which life in general loses its specific value, becomes abstract."

Dudes, I have been waiting FOUR LONG YEARS for Adama to admit that Roslin is his sine qua non. Oh, We the People have known since at least Season Two that he loved her (and she him), but for a million silly reasons—like the fact that the two of them carried the weight and futures of all humankind on their shoulders—neither could admit it out loud to anybody, and least of all to each other. We the People watched from afar as this relationship foundered and grew and at last took hold, based on nothing but hard-earned trust, abiding respect, and a shared love of words. Necessity. Humanity. Tyranny. Blood and brutality and intergalactic jump after intergalactic jump after intergalactic jump, and shouting by whisper. Really, it took a long time. Long enough for him to realize, finally, that he can't live without her, that she's his One True Thing, and to say it out loud. Long enough for him to give up everything he knows and go floating off into the ether, alone, to wait for her—the dying leader—to return, with only a tattered book and an ocean of stars to keep him company. Will she live if he can somehow wish her back? Of course not. (And for Bill Adama, watching her die will be the only thing more painful than admitting he loves her in the first place. Man's a man.) So he waits. And thus all my soap opera shippery dreams at last are coming true! And all for the good of America.

Mandy Patinkin @ CSC

Oh my goodness! So I step inside the theater and see Mandy Patinkin is already sitting on stage talking to Paul Ford, his pianist. The usher shows me to the front row (front row!) and I realize Mandy Patinkin isn’t talking to Paul Ford, he’s running through his lines—for Prospero, in The Tempest—as the audience members find their seats and continue to chat, although certainly nothing in my day so far has contained anything that’s more interesting than watching Mandy Patinkin rehearse for The Tempest. And I also realize this all sounds way too precious, and maybe you would have thought so even if you’d been there beside me, but please. I’m the kind of girl who eats that shit up.

Also, this conversation, with a woman a couple seats down from me:

“Mr. Patinkin!”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Can you say, ‘My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.’?”

“Are you a rich lady?”


“Then we can’t afford it.”

Or something to that effect.

Anyway, I sat right here, and Mandy Patinkin stood right up there, in a shorter version of his Georges Seurat beard which by now is almost all gray and actually makes him look a little like Stephen Sondheim, and he sang “Children and Art” to me, and “Sunday,” and “Franklin Shepard Inc.” and “Bring Him Home” (during which the lady next to me nearly died from excitement), and some Tom Waits and some John Lennon and yes, some Yiddish, and “Oklahoma” and “Over the Rainbow,” and then he sang this—the first minute of which is close to my favorite minute of music in the whole entire world, and the rest of which wouldn’t kill you to hear, either: "Pleasant Little Kingdom / Too Many Mornings" (from Follies, music and lyrics by Mr. Stephen Sondheim. He did both as solos, but “Too Many Mornings” is a duet with Judy Blazer on his album Oscar & Steve).

Pamela’s First Musical @ Town Hall

Today was a staged reading of Wendy Wasserstein’s “Pamela’s First Musical,” with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by David Zippel, to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Open Doors mentoring program. Based on Wasserstein’s children’s book, the musical was completed after both she and Coleman passed away. What a lovely tribute it was to them both, and to Broadway and New York, to the power of imagination, blank stages, blank pages, children who feel out of place and those larger-than-life grownups who help them find their way. Starring little Lila Coogan as Pamela and the ever-fabulous Donna Murphy as her fabulous Aunt Louise, with special appearances by Gregg Edelman, Carolee Carmello, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, Tommy Tune, Lillias White, Sandy Duncan, Donna McKechnie, Kathie Lee Gifford, and even—yes—Michael Riedel. The perfect antidote to a rainy day, the perfect wish to build a dream on. The minute the lights came up, Sarah said “I want to see it again.” Except there is no again: that’s where the magic comes from.

And ooh, darling! Please bring Donna Murphy back to Broadway! How many times do I have to ask?

Endgame @ BAM

Somehow over the past 20 years my mind mixed together Beckett with Pinter and then capped them both off with “Zoo Story,” which I’ve just come to find out was written by neither. Crazy up there! We went to see Endgame because of Stritchie, you know, but it was stellar all around (I thought Max Casella—you will remember him as Vinnie of “Doogie Howser” fame—was the breakout). Something in me was itching to hate it—such meaningfulness about meaninglessness reflexively ruffles my feathers—but I enjoyed it quite a lot, while remaining deeply disturbed. Those two sad old people trapped in those crumpled little trash cans, and that simple line, “Go and see is she dead.” Knowing she would be dead. And “You’re on earth, there’s no cure for that!” And the poetry of it. Almost did me in.

Also, sitting one row in front of us: Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes, with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard right in front of them. V. v. classy.

You got a problem with that?

It is said that New Yorkers are rude, but I think what people mean by that is that New Yorkers are more familiar. The man who waits on you in the delicatessen is likely to call you sweetheart. (Feminists have gotten used to this.) People on the bus will say, “I have the same handbag as you. How much did you pay?” If they don’t like the way you are treating your children, they will tell you. And should you try to cut in front of somebody in the grocery store checkout line, you will be swiftly corrected. My mother, who lives in California, doesn’t like to be kept waiting, so when she goes into the bank, she says to the people in the line, “Oh, I have just one little thing to ask the teller. Do you mind?” Then she scoots to the front of the line, takes the next teller and transacts her business, which is typically no briefer than anyone else’s. People let her do this because she is an old lady. In New York, she wouldn’t get away with it for a second.

+ You got a problem with that?

This is probably also the reason the lady sitting next to Sarah at Camelot last weekend felt it was appropriate to floss her teeth during Act I.