News Column

Erie Times-News, Pa., Dana Massing column

August 5, 2014

By Dana Massing, Erie Times-News, Pa.



Aug. 05--Tennis took me to the mummies and Shakespeare led me to "Star Trek."

It's funny how a connection sometimes develops between two seemingly totally unrelated things.

A couple years ago, during one of the weekly tennis classes I take, I met the mummies. Not literally, of course. But that's where I first heard their brand of funk, courtesy of tennis pro Mark Goldin, who likes to have music playing while he teaches the class. A buddy had told him about "Here Come the Mummies," and we began hitting tennis balls to the group's upbeat songs.

To be honest, it's not a style of music that I and several others in the class would probably have picked to listen to. But we found ourselves enjoying the music Mark played.

And when the Mummies performed at an 8 Great Tuesdays concert in July in Erie, some of us from tennis were clapping along and enjoying ourselves with the packed crowd at Liberty Park.

Quite a few years before that, I took a college class on Shakespeare. The professor showed a video from the Royal Shakespeare Company with actor Patrick Stewart.

I was vaguely aware that at the time he was appearing on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but I'd never watched that TV show and had only seen a few episodes of the original "Star Trek." I remember feeling a little sorry for Stewart, that he'd fallen from Shakespeare to science fiction.

But he'd so interested me in the Shakespeare video that I did tune in to "The Next Generation" that week. Then I watched the next episode, and the next and the rest of that series. I found that I enjoyed not only Stewart's performances, but also the other actors and the stories. I even eventually met some wonderful fellow fans with whom I still keep in touch.

I continued to follow Stewart's career after his version of "Star Trek" ended, and it led us both back to Shakespeare. In 2008, he was starring on Broadway in my favorite Shakespeare tragedy, "Macbeth," and I scored a seat at what was the best nonmusical theater show I've ever seen.

Keeping an open mind and being willing to follow unlikely links have led to some great entertainment for me. I wonder where I'm headed next.

DANA MASSING can be reached at 870-1729. Send e-mail to dana.massing@timesnews.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNmassing.

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(c)2014 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)

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Source: Erie Times-News (PA)


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