I spent much of Thursday driving around the highlands of Boise in my rented car, then made my way to the Boise Art Museum for a sneak peek at Frank Lloyd Wright and the House Beautiful, which opens Saturday. As I drove I listened to Twin Falls, the new Deidre Rodman-Steve Swallow CD, and I couldn’t have made a better choice: Rodman comes from Boise, and Twin Falls is a sequence of lyrical duets for acoustic piano and electric bass in which she and Swallow evoke with great subtlety the stony landscapes among which I wandered all afternoon.
Once I got back to the hotel, I turned on my iBook and plugged into the Web, where I ran across a New York Times story about Jack Larson and Noel Neill, who played Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane a half-century ago in the Superman TV series. Not only are they both alive and well, but it seems that Larson, who later wrote the libretti for operas by Virgil Thomson and Ned Rorem, lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Brentwood, California. Charmed by the coincidence, I did a bit of Googling and quickly found a photo of Larson’s home, a gorgeous Usonian built in 1939. (It’s S. 272 in the Wright catalogue, if you’re interested.)
Later on I dined at the Milky Way with Dana Oland, a smart young ex-dancer who covers the arts for the Idaho Statesman. Should you ever find yourself in Boise, I strongly suggest you make a point of eating there, too. After dinner I headed out Warm Springs Avenue to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival to see Love’s Labour’s Lost, which ends with my favorite curtain line in all of Shakespeare: The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You that way: we this way.
Now I’m packing my bag and regretting my imminent departure from Boise, with which I find myself much taken. Tomorrow morning I fly to Salt Lake City, change planes for Saint George, pick up another rental car at the airport, drive to Cedar City, and see three shows at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. I wish I could stick around for another day or two, but I can’t. I never can. No sooner do I find my bearings in one town than I’m off to the next one, looking for another aisle seat and another tasty meal. You that way: I this way.