The past week or so has been challenging here at the ol’ blog. There are a lot of things I’ve been wanting to write about, but time has been tight. Between rehearsals for the new show, two reviewing assignments, and increased workload at the day job, it’s been difficult finding a moment or two to even write this much. I even missed my first Random Friday Top 10 – ARGH! So, I’m going to finally get a little caught up here.
First things first: the conclusion of Merry Mount. We finished the run on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th with what I thought was our best performance yet. Everyone was focused yet relaxed, confident that we finally had the show under our belts and could just go out there and have some fun, which we did. I know I felt that way. I wasn’t worrying about my lines or my costume or anything else, I was just playing the part as totally and completely as possible. It was great. Add to that our biggest audience of the run (about two thirds full, including this very friendly face in the front row), and it was a surefire recipe for success.
Then, that very afternoon, it was over to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to rehearse a reading of Joshua William Gelb‘s play, The Tragedie of Bour IV, for that evening’s installment of the hotINK Festival 2008. An interesting and challenging piece in which I tried my best to channel the spirit of Orson Welles giving the title character’s stump speech in Citizen Kane (strictly a judgment call on what I thought the role called for). We had a strong cast, made up mostly of current NYU students (for once I was the oldster of the group – cry me a river), that performed for an enthusiastic audience of about 40-50 people (also made up mostly of current NYU students, it looked like). And, it wasn’t until I read Joshua’s bio that I realized why his name sounded so familiar to me: he’s the author and co-lyricist of Tully (In No Particular Order), which played at last year’s New York Musical Theatre Festival. Nice!
Now it’s on to 3800 Elizabeth, my latest show which opened this past weekend (on Super Bowl Sunday, no less: my thanks to all seven audience members who attended opening night). This one is quite different from anything else I’ve ever worked on before: it’s a 6-episode sitcom, written for the stage, about the ups and downs of three thirtysomething urbanites in Nueva York. This opus is the brainchild of my friend, writer-director Aaron Baker, and is being performed once a week on Sunday nights for the next six weeks at The Battle Ranch. There will be a new episode each week, just like on TV, except for the week we re-run the pilot (for those of you who missed it because you opted for the Super Bowl instead). It’s more Seinfeld-ian than plot-driven, and is pretty ridiculous and funny.
We’ve got a terrific cast that features Peter Handy and Iracel Rivero (pictured above, from left to right, along with yours truly), and guest stars galore including Gyda Arber, Alexis Black, Bryan Enk, Ian W. Hill, and Christiaan Koop. We’ve even got a theme song, opening credits, commercials, the whole shebang. To top it all off, each episode is roughly a half hour long and they’re all free.
Let me repeat that: FREE.
As in: no admission price.
You cannot beat that, people.
Seriously, you should come check us out: you know you like to laugh.