Tea Time Musings — The “Summer Stock” Feeling Movie

Summer stock are those plays that are put on in Summer as a way for all those theater folks to keep their chops up. As if an actor will suddenly forget how to emote if he isn’t constantly portraying some character (other than himself). Makes sense. As they say, practice makes perfect. The more my hubby practices at the piano, the better he plays.

A movie I saw not long ago with Frank Langella and Tom Hulce was a double Summer stock whammy. First, it was about an actual Summer stock theater group. Second, the movie itself seemed to be merely an acting exercise to keep the actors’ chops up in-between better roles.

Langella had portrayed Count Dracula the year before and played Sherlock Holmes in a TV series the next year. So playing “Harry Crystal” in this one where he’s a rather desperate actor trying to hold on to his career is quite a change but not at all true of his real-life career.

Hulce was in Animal House two years earlier, had a recurring role on the TV series St. Elsewhere three years later, and had the title role in Amadeus the next year. So, this Summer stock experience served him in good stead.

As usual, I try to relate just about anything and everything to tea. So, yes, I think there are things such as “Summer stock teas.” Here’s how it works:

You have some wonderful premium teas. Perhaps some Ti Kuan Yin, some raw pu-erh, or even some lovely Fujian red tea. It’s rather pricey, so you don’t have a large supply. It runs out. More is on order, but you’ve gotten a notice from the vendor that it’s backordered. You are one of those gongfu-style steepers and want to keep up your “steeping chops.” Time for a “Summer stock tea.” That is, a tea you can still infuse gongfu style but that is inexpensive enough to have on hand for when you run out of that better stuff.

A few suggestions:

  • Lover’s Leap Estate Tea — a Ceylon tea that you can infuse more than once but that will fit your budget.
  • China Mao Feng Green Tea — not too pricey yet a very nice green tea that you can steep multiple times.
  • Gunpowder Tea — a fairly well-known green tea, with versions available from a variety of vendors. Avoid the Kusmi version since it’s totally overpriced. You should be able to get 3 or 4 infusions from the same leaves.

Well, enough musings over the teacup. More to come in future, and exclusive to this blog. I write so much for other blogs that it’s been hard to find time to do things like this. But now that we’re settled in our new home, I will be making a real effort. Other writing projects in the offing, too.

© 2013 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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