Letters to Holly

Sunday, March 30

Day 30: Fifth Show

A heavy mist smothers the clubhouse as we arrive, and the parking lot is already packed. The ticket-table folk say we'll near 100 people tonight. The director pulls us aside to note a change to the props. An unnamed critic noted to him last night that the actors weren't consistent with where they touched the CD player to turn it off. The music is controlled by the tech table. The director wasn't happy conceding the point to the unnamed critic, and he wouldn't say who it was. That means we would know the person, and that means it was Backseat Director from the courtroom play. I hate that guy. That's a tiny detail, and there's more than one way to cut off a CD from playing: You can turn off the power, switch the stereo mode, or hit the "stop" button. Anyway, the director has placed a yellow button on top of the player for us to touch.

It is a good crowd. They answer the director when he gives his pre-show spiel, and we hear someone joke about being scared during the extended black-out before the curtains open. They're obviously expecting to relish this production, and I think the assumption that this will be like previous shows -- light, goofy, hijinx-ensuing -- leaves them confused when they watch me and the wife argue over finances and adultery. They do find lines to laugh at, and most of them are meant to be funny, but it's clear they weren't wholly prepared for this type of show. However, they are with us at the end when we're tightening the screws and my character is falling apart and the murderer is in full bloom. The gunshots seem especially loud, and the actors are caught up in the moment as much as the audience. It's a great ending, and we get good applause.

The receiving line goes well. I see my next-door neighbors and cast members from the courtroom play. The murderer talks with his acting teacher, and they exchange notes for a long time. I get a chance to brag on the director while he's in earshot. I found his particular whiskey at the local store (on sale, even), and I'll give it to him at the cast party tonight. I've already spent some of this morning making a bread appetizer with mustard, onions, and bacon. The rest will be made by Your Sis. Well, except for the party platter brought by one of the women who doubt we know how to throw a party. She called early Sunday morning to announce she was hauling in some extra food, despite our earlier assurances we had it all covered. I think we'll keep her tray in the closet just to prove our point. Today is the last show, and I plan to bring it and bring it strong.

No comments: