Well, as promised, I'm back... just not without tons of pictures. And really, really tired. But the pics are forthcoming (as soon as I figure out how to open the files the photographer sent me). For now, you'll have to do with a repeat of our publicity photo of the cast.
And what a cast! I know I already crowed about them, but I have to give credit where its due... these six amazing actors deserve 80% of the credit for the artistic success of Die Mommie Die! The other twenty percent is probably evenly divided between my lighting designer, sound designer, costume designer and myself (I have to take some credit - it would be disingenuous not to).
The Friday night house was good. They were ready to laugh and ready to give, scarfing up most of the silent auction items offered that night. They found the show hilarious (a co-worker told me her face hurt from laughing so much) and were generous at the donation jar, too.
But Friday's real highlight came after the show at the 'official' cast party. First, some background: You all know Dear D by now (by reputation, if not by face). He's a truly gifted actor and all-around great human being. He's always ready to help out with carpentry (his bread and butter) and goes along with whatever crazy idea we have for him (this year it was a huge rubber "appliance" stuffed down the right leg of his very tight costumes). D set a new JTMF record this year with 7 consecutive performances, starting with 2005's production of The Altruists. Because of all that, Tracy and I wanted to do something special for our dear friend. D is almost as obsessed with movies as I am (though our ideas of a "good" movie aren't always the same). D's favorite movie of all time is Rocky. In fact, he'll watch almost anything with Stallone, over and over again (except maybe Judge Dredd or Stop, or My Mom Will Shoot, which even he admits is awful). Anyway, at the party we (Tracy and I) presented him with a token of our appreciation: a boxing glove signed by Stallone, complete with Certificate of Authenticity. He cried. We cried. Everyone else cheered.
Sadly, Saturday night's crowd was the polar opposite of Friday's: small, unwilling to laugh out loud and cheap. Only one silent auction item went and the donation jar was pitifully low on cash. The cast carried on, working their asses off for whatever laughs they could garner from the tiny crowd. I felt terrible for them, working so hard for such little response. Highly dispirited, we left the theatre early and while a few of us stopped for a drink, most just went home.
Then came the Sunday matinee. The crowd was huge! We decided to run the silent auction (not something we normally do on Sunday) and sold 6 big-ticket items. The audience was massively responsive and my cast got to close the show on a very high note. So, like every JTMF benefit, Die Mommie Die! was a mixed bag containing artistic satisfaction for myself, my cast and my crew, while raising funds for three important causes. As soon as I figure out what's wrong, I'll post photos, so I suppose this is actually the penultimate Die Mommie Die! post.
Because they deserve to be recognized again, the people in the picture above are: [standing, L to R] David Hamm (Angela Arden); Kathy Garofano (Bootsie Carp) and John Devennie, Sr,. (Sol P. Sussman), [seated, L to R] Matty Daley (Lance Sussman); Damian Gaeta (Tony Parker) and Kelly Reilly (Edith Sussman).
It's still not too late to help. You can make a safe and secure donation via PayPal at www.jtmf.org or buy a ticket in December when we present A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play.