However, I had a thoroughly awesome birthday. rightkindofme booked us a weekend at a nice little BnB in Half Moon Bay -- within driving distance if something goes wrong, but far enough away not to constantly remind us of home. And she got us tickets to Giant Bones, a play in the city based on the Peter Beagle book of the same name.
Given how much of a Peter Beagle fanboy I am, it was perfect :-)
If you're interested in the play, I think it stands well on its own. They put a lot of effort into the script and the production, and it shows. The script uses one of the six short stories (the one with the actors) as a sort of lens to portray three more of them, which changes the other three stories a bit -- for instance, Lanak in "The Magician of Karakosk" is a very different character when portrayed by Dardis, because that's who Dardis is, and how he plays characters. But that means the title character is simply different in tone and demeanor than how he's written in the book. It's a neat idea, and they did it well.
They also seem to have written songs based on the world portrayed in the book, and recorded them. They use them as intro music while you're waiting for the play to start, and during the intermission the actors got together and played a bit live (and in character!). It added flavor, and helped flesh out the world a little bit. Probably the book's greatest virtue was how real, solid and intricate its world felt, and the songs helped add a bit of that to the stage production.
If you're not already a fan of either Peter Beagle or the theater, I'm not sure I'd recommend Giant Bones. It cuts down the stories substantially -- they move fast, on stage, in order to fit four of them into two hours. They have a lot of lovely commentary by the actors as they portray their own story, and the three others. It's wonderful, and exactly the kind of thing I like, but... Well, that's only because I'm me, right?
But if you're the kind of person who sees a play because, hey, Tom Stoppard wrote it, or who reads Peter Beagle because hey, Peter Beagle, you'll probably enjoy Giant Bones quite a bit. I did.