Sunday, October 5, 2008

Back to Real Life

I promise this will be my last "Skin of our Teeth" post.

Friday saw our biggest audience (probably S'70's largest audience ever at TCNJ - over 150!). The crowd was enthusiastic and most of the sound cues were right (I never again got my "winding crank," though). The young lady who ran sound for most of the run was also supposed to make SP lamps and a slingshot for me. She failed there, so why should she have succeeded any better in sound? (I hate lazy kids.) But, the performance was almost magical. The "Announcer' added a bizarre and stunted 'Elvis hip swivel' to his monologues, whenever he didn't get a laugh he thought he should have gotten. Strangely, his way over-the-top performance didn't detract from the rest of the show of show and somehow added yet another layer of surrealism. My Producer, myself and a few cast members laughed ourselves silly while discussing his gestures and posturing at the 'official' cast party at "Homer's" house on Friday.

Closing night was smaller (91), but good. My friends 'M' and 'J' came down to see the show. They are sweet and funny and very silly young ladies who never fail to make me laugh (we saw Xanadu together this summer). And my other beauty, "J" was there with his mother and step-father. I was so happy to see him.

The end, however, proved rather anti-climactic for me. We did a small strike (mostly costumes, props and foam set pieces), but by the time we reached the bar, it was last almost last call. Mind you, this was at 12:10 on a Saturday night. What kind of lame-ass bar has last call at 12:30 on a Saturday night? "Henry" and I each had a beer and then the rest left to go to a diner. I wasn't hungry, so I took Zabina to her new home (she is very happily retired from a career on stage. Tomorrow I am buying her a friend and some toys) and sent out in an email the Open Letter in my previous post. I didn't get the chance for total privacy with "Henry" that I wanted, but I did manage to tell him how proud I was of him and how much I love him. We agreed to go out for his birthday at the end of the month, so maybe we'll get the chance to talk more in depth, then.

So, when all is said and done, how did it go? Very, very well. Was it as personally exciting as my production of Midsummer or as artistically as rewarding as Much Ado or The Food Chain? Almost. It was certainly thrilling to have vindication of my ideas from people who know Wilder so well, and people who know good theatre so well. It was really gorgeous (though I do wish we could have done a better job costuming the 'extras,' but that's a budget issue, more than anything. In fact, with my dream budget, the gears in the roof and walls would have turned as they flew in and out and we would have had actual 'steam' as it all went). And "The Extinct" would have had legs that matched the rest of their bodies (it would have involved cutting foam femurs, knees and tibias and Velcro-ing them to the puppeteers pants, but we also had a time issue). Still, Tappan Wilder (the author's nephew and executor) was thrilled to see them left in, as many productions can't figure out how to do them and either change or omit them, altogether. So I guess you could say I was very pleased.

This will probably be my last posting about my personal theatre experiences until April, when auditions get underway for Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told as part of the annual JTMF AIDS benefit. I will, however, probably post my experience with the "Eden Dreams" Gala in January (another benefit, for an organization which works with Autistic persons). Eden Dreams is both a rewarding and frustrating experience in which I usually end up as little more than a "human prop." It's a long, dull and exasperating night where relatively few in attendance actually appreciate one's participation, and one's talents as a performer are hardly challenged. But, more about that later.

So, for the next few months it's movies, movies, movies (and maybe a raving rant or rambling here and there). Thanks for listening (reading, I guess). It's been surreal...

As always, more anon...


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