Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Numbers Are In

So, unofficial word came down from our producer today about the JTMF's fund-raising efforts this year...

I think I'll keep you in suspense for the moment and talk instead about the many joys associated with working on a JTMF production.

As a director, I have been privileged to work with some the area's most talented and dedicated actors, designers and technicians year after year. I was in our first two productions. I played Sterling in Jeffrey and Arnold in Torch Song Trilogy (the former was exhilarating while the latter was exhausting).

The next year, in an effort to attract a wider audience, we went with a perennial favorite: Neil Simon's The Odd Couple (not an actual pic from our show). I was asked to direct and in an effort to make the show more relevant to our core audience, I updated some of the dialog and cast a woman in the role of Speed. It actually worked quite well, though did nothing to increase our audience.

The next year we did two One Acts: Paul Rudnick's Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach and Nicky Silver's The Altruists. Taking a cue from Rudnick's piece, we called the evening "What Causes Homosexuality?" Again we saw some low audience numbers, but it introduced us to some very talented folks, including an exceptionally talented young man who would go on to become one of my best friends and an ardent supporter of our cause. Of course, I'm talking about my Dear D (not an actual picture of him, either -- in case you haven't figured that out by now). Gorgeous, talented and just an all-around terrific human being, D is the kind of person one hopes all of one's friends are like and he has been in every production I've directed since, including The Skin of Our Teeth for another company.

Anyway, the following year was our 5th Anniversary, and we celebrated with a gorgeous production of Charles Busch's Psycho Beach Party. It was our second most successful year and Opening Night featured a Red Carpet Gala, hosted by "Joan Rivers" and attended by "Peggy Lee" and "Diana Ross," among other JTMF "Celebrities." After that came Joe Orton's hilarious sex farce What the Butler Saw, followed by a rather magical production of Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. Which leads us right up to this year's production of Del Shores' Sordid Lives.

As with most JTMF shows, Sordid Lives created a microcosmic family, of which I am proud to be a member. My astonishingly good cast (which included both K and D) jumped into the show with full abandon, trusting me and having the time of their lives playing these outrageous (but very real) characters. Thanks to expanded media coverage (provided with the help of another dear friend) and some terrific performances by an amazing cast, Sordid Lives proved to the JTMF's 3rd highest grossing show and we managed to raise nearly $7000.00 over the course of just three performances.

Not only was Sordid Lives a financial success, but so many people told us it was one of the best shows we've ever done, I can't help but think of it as an artistic success, as well. In addition, a cast member (who shall remain nameless until he decides it's appropriate) came out to yours truly on the second night of the run, citing the supportive and safe atmosphere of the company as one of his reasons for doing so. I can only consider this a double mitzvah for the production.

Okay -- I promise to stop writing about this show, except to say that it is still not too late to take part by making a donation at our website, or volunteering for our first ever Winter Fundraiser, featuring a staged Radio Play version of It's a Wonderful Life this coming December. I won't be directing this one. Instead, I'll be heading up the live Foley crew, creating live sound effects the old-fashioned way.

Finally, before I'm off to the Land of Nod, I have to give a shout out to the terrific tech support staff at HP; and in particular to Nicole and Phil E., both of whom were instrumental in ridding my PC of the virus which caused me so many problems over the past week. You guys rock!

I promise a return to my usual nonsense tomorrow.

More, anon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Well done.