July 24th, 2008

Have Gun, Will Travel

Stephen Scherer grew up in an anti-gun household. His mother banned even toy guns in the house, at first. But after a while she broke down and bought him and his sister some cute elephant-shaped squirt guns.
But Stephen wanted more. He made complicated pistols with Legos. He played endlessly with a BB gun inherited from a friend. Talking about his early interest in shooting, Stephen now says, "It's sort of like, if it's wrong, you want to do it more."
Now he's going to Beijing, to compete for the U.S. in shooting sports. He's 19.  He wasn't favored to win in the Olympic trials.
"I probably surprised myself more than anybody else there," says Scherer. "Shooting is a very mental sport. A lot of times, it doesn't sink in that you've won until after, because you're so concentrated on the shooting."
Kid, I bet you'll do great.

Just wait,
concentrate,
and shoot straight.

Hunchback Set To Music

With a bunch of friends, we saw a fabulous musical version of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

The music, book, and lyrics are all by Dennis DeYoung, formerly of Styx. He wrote the pop hits, "Lady" and "Come Sail Away".

Hunchback has been a hit here in Chicago. Its original booking has been extended, which required replacing some cast members.  Tonight was the first night on stage with the new cast members.  They sang great, projecting full quantities of excitement, love, and sorrow.

The show had a production back in the late 90's, in Nashville. I suspect, from reading an old review, that the show has been re-tooled to maintain emotional flow and tension, which it does very well.

Quasimodo looks scary,
but offers true sanctuary.