Letters to Holly

Wednesday, May 20

Crash and Burn

I contacted Brick through Facebook, and he is indeed in town. He was called in for a prominent role (if not the lead) in the three-act play that debuts mere hours after the one-act I'm directing. Apparently, the original lead backed out. I also heard that another actor dropped out without any warning. His mother called the director to say the young'en was unavailable on Sundays. The director and some other backstage folks hoped Brick could take the lead for Rainmaker, but he said he's learning 500 lines in two weeks. He can't do another show so soon after. Understandable. I passed along the news, and it didn't go over well.

Again, we're doing too many shows while reliant on too few actors. A company that can't cast a six-person comedy and a seven-person drama within three months is producing two debut plays on the same weekend. And they wonder why they can't find anyone, why they have to call people (like me) and ask them to even consider reading the script.

There's word that the first scheduled play of the fall -- Bell, Book and Candle, the romantic witch comedy -- will be scuttled and replaced with a musical. Musicals bring in more money. They also cost more money to produce. Traditionally, musical directors are paid more, and the sets are opulent. The last musical this theatre did looked like an off-Broadway show; it was decked out more than any other show I've seen here.

Killing Bell is also gonna kill my theatre liaison. He's planned to direct this show for about ten years, and, every time I talk to him, he's chomping at the bit to get started. He's already dream-cast it (including Brick and me), and I don't want to be in the room if he's told the show is no go. He's threatened to walk away from the theatre before. This might be the last straw.

The audition last night actually had a real-live applicant for the female lead, and she read the entire time. I read a few scenes as different characters, and my opinion of how I did differed from the director's. He still thinks I'm reading too loudly, too belligerently. Starbuck is pretty ardent in his philosophy, and I don't see him soft-selling his shtick. When we were through the director asked me to consider doing theatre in Hendersonville, but he also said he had doubts about rainmaker seeing the light of day.

As I type, I'm writing off the play and concentrating on my directing. We start again tonight after practically a week off, and I hope my oldest actress customized her script so she can pipe up quicker.

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Phantom Menace turned ten years old yesterday. I was working at the daily paper then, and we covered the midnight toy release and the line of fans waiting for the first showing. I knew someone who sat in line for at least a few days, maybe a week. She had two friends acting as bodyguards. I saw it with Your Sister, and it might have been my second time seeing it. Can't recall.

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The biggest sports story of the day combines wrestling and basketball. The WWE does a Monday show each week. The USA Network carries the show live from 9 to 11 p.m. Months ago, the WWE booked their Monday show for Denver's only arena, a venue that serves as the home court for the Nuggets basketball team. They've sold 10,000 tickets already. When the venue was booked for the WWE, the team owners apparently didn't think the Nuggets would make it this far into the playoffs. They did. They are one of four teams left to vie for the title. The NBA schedule says Denver will host a game that very same Monday at the same time the WWE is supposed to be there.

Everyone assumes the NBA will toss the WWE a basket of money to relocate, but it will take quite a lot. The WWE drives dozens of trucks across the country as part of their never-ending national tour. If they have to go to another city Monday, it'll wreck their travel schedule. Also, there's the matter of filling two hours of live airtime and the 10,000 tickets sold. It's a mess.

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Using the curry cookbook you gave us a few years back as inspiration, Your Sister made an original curry last night. 'Twas delish. It's my turn to make dinner tonight, but the rehearsal will stretch until 8:30, and we'll be eating late.

Picture of the Day
The crew of Atlantis before they went spaceward.

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