Letters to Holly

Monday, June 1

So Much Occurs.

The last posted ended with
And that's that.

Except it isn't.

I was invited to join the artistic committee Saturday, and the meeting focused primarily on the summer slate of productions. We had two planned: the just canceled Rainmaker and the kid's show, Winnie the Pooh. The show scheduled after these runs in late October.

The first show is kaput because there weren't enough people auditioning. This wasn't helped by two shows debuting on the same weekend, including ours. The repertory is burned out. So what's the theatre's answer to this lack of actors? MORE SHOWS.

Here's what they want to do:

July 4 -- run a daylong performance of a kid's theatre melodrama. Maybe four performances during the day to bring in people attending the downtown holiday festival. This means we need to announce it, cast it, rehearse it, and mount it in just over a month on a holiday when most families might vamoose.

Two weeks later, run a Broadway revue dinner theatre. This isn't cast yet either.

Two weeks later, run a new show of short one-acts, including the one I just directed. Our mom actress is adamant she won't due the show without her script. The theatre wants to do the show as traditional show. No scripts. We have one play picked out of three, and no assurances of any returning cast members for my show or any slated for the other one-acts.

Two weeks later, Winnie the Pooh. Also not cast.

Two weeks later, audition for a musical to run late September. The musical isn't picked, it has no director or musical crew nor a cast.

Four weeks after the musical ends, the October show would run. We have a director but no cast.

MADNESS. Who will work backstage for these shows? Who will act in them? My idea of doing a full-up radio format for the one-acts was poo-pooed. It would allow the theatre to use five actors performing eight parts and eliminate the need for three directors and three backstage crews. That was dismissed.

Just this morning, I got a call about the mom part in my play. It was the insane director of the courtroom murder play. She wants the part. She was calling to have the part given to her over the phone. I told her, honestly, I understood the performance was not certain nor did I know for sure my original actress was out of the show. I took her number and told her I'd call when I knew more. That's probably a lie. She's cuckoo for Cocoa-Puffs, and I object to her effrontery. I ALSO object to this kind of ex cathedra gossiping among the repertory. It causes just this kind of complications.

I haven't agreed to direct the show again. Nothing has been established. the committee was brainstorming.

One thing it is making definite is a big musical next summer, and they picked Annie. They want to bring in families to work the show, on and offstage. If we reduce the number of shows and limit the seats for each, we can easily sell out each show.

Still ... more shows. Unbelievable.

+ + +

As I left for the meeting, Your Sis said she wanted to look at motorcycles. We went back to the Asheville store, and she bought a bike, the very same bike at the very same store I wrote about here. It's a brand-new Honda Rebel, and it had 2 miles on it. She test drove it in the parking lot following a short period of familiarizing herself with the gears and controls. After about two hours of forms and signatures and small talk with salesmen, she drove off the lot and back home on her bike. We took the parkway home, and she had no trouble with the curves, hills, or other motorists. She looked like she's ridden for years. She's goofy with joy.

We got home, ate a quick supper, changed, and drove right back out for the prom. It was at a new location, a country club across from the airport, and the weather was perfect. They had a a photo booth and Slurpee machines and a dance tent. It went swimmingly. We hung out with teachers and students alike. Your Sis was a vision in a small black dress, and I rented a tux. We were, dare I say, mackin'.

She did have to go into chaperon mode when a girl got sick. She blamed a bad sushi dinner, and Your Sis had hair-holding duty for almost an hour. We've all been there. I killed time with more Slurpees and talking gardens with teachers.

She drove her bike to work on Sunday, and I ran at the college for the first time this year. it hurt. I haven't tried three miles in almost two months, and the heat was brutal.

I discovered that, if an adult (like me) wears a superhero logo shirt out and about, children who see you will think you're that hero. Two different boys, aged no more than 4, went gaga over my Superman shirt in the grocery store and started bouncing in place. I could have given autographs.

We capped the night with homemade pizza and Speed Racer. I suspect the movie did poorly at the box office because it's much too long a movie for the kids it targets. It's a good family film, but the visual effects were overwhelming on our TV. On the movie screen, they may have been smothering. I do think the HDTV folks missed out by not promoting this as the DVD that could spark HDTV sales; it certainly pops off our TV, and we have a regular DVD player.

She's a leetle teender from the bike, but she's enjoying it. My Mom is in shock at the bike. She didn't know I married a hoodlum.


Anonymous said...

wow! congratulations on the play. and thanks for posting the pics of my sister on the bike! amazing!

Gregory said...

This was right after we got back from Asheville, and she was a bit pooped.