Helping the community also includes your entertainment

Last week I wrote about taking the opportunity to help your community and your country (your extended community) by buying locally, either locally made goods or services provided by local people. This is a reminder that you can include entertainment as well. Nothing could be more local than musicians and actors who live in your community.

Among the theaters in town is the Laurence Olivier Theater, the home of the Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica. Participants in Little Theatre include both expats and Ticos. Surprise someone or widen their experience by giving them a ticket or gift certificate to a play. You can accomplish two good deeds if you give a gift of a ticket to this weekend’s performance of Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” which is sponsored by the Women’s Club of Costa Rica to raise money to help finance young Tico educational needs. The play opens tonight. You can call 2268-2182 for reservations for Sunday or the box office at 8858-1446 for information about the run.

One of the joys of living in the city is the accessibility of music, the arts and live theater. This increases as we get older. We have the time to enjoy the cultural part of life without having to drive long ways to do so.

In their latest newsletter, Gloria and Paul Yeatman list 10 reasons why they chose and are happy living in the charming small town of San Ramón de Alajuela. Over the years I have written about why I choose San José. One of the reasons is connected to what I mentioned above. But there are others.

The Yeatmans didn’t mention their love of having all kinds of undomesticated animal life nearby. One reason I didn’t choose a small town or the country is that at this stage of my life, I have enough on my plate understanding the behavior of my fellow humans. My daughter, who lives in a small town in New Mexico, had, within the course of one evening, visits from a snake and a scorpion. I’m delighted and fulfilled by the colorful and demanding birds that gobble up the ripe bananas I put out for them. Over time they have learned that it is better to cooperate with one another to get their share.

I have learned to respect the intelligence of birds and, by extension, that of other animals, but, I am happy to respect them from afar. So the other morning just as I was waking up and sitting up in my bed, I thought I saw a squirrel in my hallway. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t recall ever dreaming about squirrels. This would be a first. Except I was awake. The squirrel disappeared down the hallway. I got up and went in search of him. And there he was in the kitchen scrambling at the window above the rack of drying dishes on my sink drain board. He was trying to get through one of the louvers of the window. But they were closed, and he was growing frantic. I didn’t try to approach him to help because I knew he was too upset to accept my aid peacefully.

I could almost feel his mind working as mine was. He came in through a louver, so that was how he was going to get out, but not through this one. He jumped off the ledge and scampered down the hall to my study with me not far behind. I recalled, at the same time he realized, that it was a window in my study that I had forgotten to close. He had found his freedom by the time I reached the window. So I closed it and went about picking up his fear drops and rewashing the dishes in the rack. I think that squirrel would be happier in San Ramón.

Yes, I think I will limit my observation to the antics of humans, and from past experience, I know that Neil Simon can reveal some very funny antics people are prone to, and with Tom Humes as director and Lisa de Fuso producing, this production should let us laugh at our funnier sides.

Wherever you live, laughing is available and good for you.

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