On the damp campus of Bard, where four performances of Les Huguenots are a highlight of this year's Summerscape Festival, illustrating the theme of influences on Richard Wagner (while he rolls in his grave), I ran into many, many friends.
Neil and James: Are you familiar with Meyerbeer's music?
Moi: Am I familiar with Meyerbeer's music?! Why, I had it with my mother's milk (between Cole Porter numbers). I even sang Meyerbeer at my bar mitzvah, instead of that tedious old Biblical exegesis.
Neil: What did you sing? "Si j'étais coquette"?
James: No - he sang "Prëtres de Baal."
Perhaps you'd have to know my rabbi to understand why this was so funny.
All right - full disclosure - I do not have a rabbi and I never had a bar mitzvah. But I am fond of Meyerbeer (up to a point). And I do have witty friends.