Cyndi Palmer: Making sense of it all | SkyHiNews.com

Cyndi Palmer: Making sense of it all

Cyndi Palmer
A Face in the Crowd

Once again, audiences were blown away by the talent that graced the stage at the Grand Theatre Company in Winter Park. I wanted to make sure to catch the Mud Season Show, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” a unique opportunity (for a great play and to support a good cause) that only lasts for three more performances (tonight and May 2 and 3).

Company co-owner Kimberlee Nanda blended through a variety of colorful, connected characters with the ease of a seasoned actress. Through a wide range of voice fluctuation/accents and facial expression, guests were introduced to several humans who come into visions that appear in the head of Trudy, a bag lady with a mental “hookup with humanity as a whole.”

Characters Trudy, Kimberlee, Judith Beasley, Chrissy, Kate, Agnus, Lynn, Marie, Edie ” even guys Paul and Lud ” and all their quirks are showcased to form a funny sampling of life here on Planet Earth and Trudy is the chosen one who is asked to be the tour guide for invisible aliens conducting research.

To borrow a humorous line from the play, whose book was written by Jane Wagner, Nanda’s performance “opened me up like some sort of bronchial spray.”

I came away from the play with a new-found sense of humility at what passes as intelligent life and my eyes widened to the funny things we humans do in our daily lives.

If you had a brief moment to explain life on this planet to galactic travelers, what would you say? I think I’d have more questions than answers.

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If they played games in outer space “Dayton Dave” Weaver and I would fit right in, I suppose. Weaver was one of eight card players who showed up to vie for the championship during last Sunday’s annual hearts tournament at the Lariat Saloon in Grand Lake. The secret to hearts is that you don’t want them, and the queen of spades adds her evil touch with 13 points by herself (or you try to sweep them all, including the queen).

Players competed in three games, with the top four advancing to the finals. Described as “pretty good games all around,” Weaver said the lowest score was about 78 points (the lower, the better), that there were several competitors who were able to solidify heart runs during the preliminaries, and that someone even was able to reach 100 points exactly, which meant their score got bumped back down to 50.

He, a guy named Bill who was last year’s winner, Sharon Peterson and Randy “Barky Lew” Lewis ended up in the top four (leaving behind a guy named Mike, who used to sell paint at the Grand Lake hardware store, Robyn Johnson and Don Stookey). Weaver won first place, Bill won second, Peterson won third, and Barky Lew’s cards ended him up in fourth.

Apparently, Weaver, who started playing hearts about 30 years ago in the U.S. Army, won “fairly handily,” by about 20 points. When asked what he did with the prize money, he said the meager win is “all gone by now.” Congratulations Dave, and maybe I’ll give you a run for the money next year.

If those theoretical aliens were looking for a place to eat, I’d tell them to go check out the Hungry Bear in Winter Park. It is one of the few restaurants open during mud season in Grand County. I not only enjoyed what was probably the best mojito I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting there before the Grand Theatre Company’s Mud Season spectacular, but a juicy, tasty cherry chipolte chicken. Owner/chef Joe Lavato said he’s putting a parade of new specialty salads on his menu for the summer.

Food for thought: “Such is the human race, often it seems a pity that Noah didn’t miss the boat.” – Mark Twain. “I do not value any view of the universe into which man and the institutions of man enter very largely and absorb much of the attention. Man is but the place where I stand, and the prospect hence is infinite.” – Henry David Thoreau. “Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better.” – Anonymous.

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