Stockholm. Day 27
A bite to eat after the theater. IT'S the next to last day of our trip around the world, and we wonder what we'd do if we had it to do all over again. We decide we'd do exactly the same, with the possible exception of ordering the French-fried Camembert with cloudberry compote. Somehow it sounds good tonight after the theater. We've been wanting cloudberries ever since reading about them in Finland. But this compote is simply sweet sticky jam, and the wedge of cheese is covered with a tough greasy shell. The fried parsley isn't bad though. And the atmosphere is tremendous. We're with a Stockholm couple to whom we've been introduced from afar by friends back home. They've suggested this huge, multileveled restaurant-with-dancing, which is all but vibrating with young Swedish men and women. They pass by our table like a parade of vivid clothing and vertical hair.Skip to next paragraph
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It's not only this place. There seem to be queues at every disco on into the night. It's a Friday night, to be sure.
By contrast, the roistering of peasants on Midsummer's Night has been staged with unexpected -- and effective -- quietness in the ``Miss Julie'' we have just seen. The play is by Sweden's great 19th-century dramatist August Strindberg. The staging is by Sweden's great 20th-century director Ingmar Bergman. Are we really here for such a combination?
Our new Stockholm friends, who understand the language, have reservations about the acting. To us, with memories of English-language versions, there is a whole new feeling to the story of Miss Julie and her liaison with a servant who has crude plans for upward mobility.
No trouble finding 20th-century art in Stockholm. The National Museum, along with its renowned historical treasures, has an exhibition of Torsten Billman's graphic, socially conscious prints. The Modern Museet has an extensive international show of jazz photography, all looking somewhat more sedate than the scene at a Stockholm jazz club last night, where some people could not keep from dancing in aisles not made for dancing. Joan and I gravitate toward a 1916 painting of Strindberg by Gosta Adrian-Nilsson that gives him a satanic look to go along with our memories of his play.
We see much art that is brand new in Stockholm's Old Town, Gamla Stan. Even, by another name, the livres d'artiste -- artists' one-of-a-kind books -- that Joan has introduced me to recently.
I, on the other hand, inform her of the Sonny Rollins tune being played in the street to the beat of a boom box by two young women with saxophones and brush-cut blond hair. It is ``St. Thomas.''
Roderick Nordell is the Monitor's feature editor. Tomorrow he goes home.