Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

What’s a China Cabinet Used For?”

April 5, 2010

John Skocik as CARGO

Stephen Sheffer as LANDON

I am pleased to introduce you to the young and talented cast of Ryan Gajewski’s What’s a China Cabinet Used For? for the 16th Annual 15-Minute Play Festival April 19, 2010.  Auditions were this past Saturday and what a busy day it was. However, at the end of an exhausting day we had some perfectly lovely actors from which to choose.

Jeanette Lutz as MARION

Abigail Taylor as Kelsey

Hallelujah that we got all of our first choices.  I’m so looking forward togetting in the rehearsal room with these four and Ryan’s funny script.  All for fifteen minutes of fun and giggles and just a little bit of comic-tragedy.  It’s all going to be over way too fast so I hope that talented gent is working on his next wonderful opus.  And I hope he’ll want to work with me again after this!

15-Minute Play Festival

March 13, 2010

What a pleasant feeling it is that when you’re thinking — oh, what shall I do next?  I’ve sent in my Fringe application and I have a poo-load of work to do and I’m worried that I’ll never accomplish it but I WANT to and I NEED to and surely I will — and out of the damn blue the playwright whose play got you back in the show business after so much time at last year’s Fringe calls you on the phone and casually — nay,  COOLY and NONCHALANTLY with a LAID-BACK SAVOIR FAIRE bordering on SANG FROID even — asks you (after you nattered on for uncountable minutes of digression) to direct his play that was accepted to the 15-Minute Play Festival.  And he never even ever really asked that question directly because that’s not how you two seem to work together.  You talk a lot, he talks a little bit.  Often things are implied and understood and this confuses you and you think it amuses him and you hate to admit it that you are learning about human interaction in such a modern way.  So here you are — not having to just sit and fret about whether or no your magnum opus for Betzy with a Z will be accepted into the Fringe Festival — but rather here you are actually directing and producing

(why does this seemingly endless paperwork involved in producing even a short, short comedy boil my psyche in a caldron of joy like a European jungle explorer unwittingly befriended by cannibals in a B-movie? [complete aside: CONGO MAISIE starring Ann Sothern is on TCM at 7:00 a.m. and if you have to wonder if I’m recording it AGAIN then you have never met me, have you?])

— a 15-minute comedy by a truly humorous young writer who writes truly humorous writings.  Damn!!  Pleasant?!  Did I say, “Pleasant”?  SPECTACULAR is the word.  Them theatrical juices oozing like a floozy in her too-tight dress on a humid night with the rent due and an aching hankering she couldn’t spell if she tried. SO, here’s the flyer for the festival.  The thing is a competition.  The audience votes.  80 seats.  ONE performance Monday evening, April 19.  If you want a ticket (and if you don’t, why in the hell are you even reading this bumptious blog?) set your calendar for March 29 when tickets go on sale and sell out in less than a few hours and go to THEATERMANIA.COM to buy tickets.  No, there are no comps, there are no special arrangements because you love the big time swish director, no no no and no.  Don’t call me, don’t e-mail me.  On March 29 go to THEATERMANIA.COM and order your tickets.  I love the play.  It’s got some great words in it in amusing and intelligent combination.  And you cannot beat a play titled

What’s a China Cabinet Used For?

I did it…

February 11, 2010

…The next day….

August 30, 2009

I represented our company at strike today.  I vacuumed the entire fucking theatre plus the dressing room and box office.  Because the stage manager I hired and who was paid for his supposed commitment was on to his next tech.  My mistake for paying him off before his duties were completed.  Trust NO ONE, kiddies, especially people who pass themselves off as theatre professionals because they idiotically believe that being a professional means merely that they are being paid for their time.  Working through one’s rage with a vacuum cleaner is pleasant, sweaty and fulfilling.  I can vacuum an entire theatre and I was the director of the show yet the stage manager couldn’t even fucking MOP THE GODDAMNED FLOOR before a rehearsal several weeks ago. Sat there stuffing his maw with an egg sandwich.  I went out and bought paper towels, came back, got down on my hands and knees and dried the floor.  And this utter SHIT has the GALL to tell ME what’s wrong with my directing and my production.  Not on your life mister, not on your lazy-assed goddamned life.  You had better stand back, mister, when this bitch starts to sing!

The lonely rehearsal room

August 6, 2009

IMG_5374 This is where I toil and fret, roil and sweat, day after dusky day. THE show business is not easy and it is not merciful, like a playful pantheon of gods who know I worship them and cannot live without them. I sputter and err, I’d tear my hair if I could. Rend garments, bellow tempests. And when I am not in this room, when I am in bed late at night, at three a.m. I awaken shaken wondering if I’ve been mistaken to ever go here at all.  The trembling tries to take me down but I have learned to breathe and after some days of feeling like my heart were lead and my life mere dread, I realize I know what I’m doing and I see what needs to be done and the pain is only temporary.  The pain that leads the way to the gods know what and damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

First rehearsal tonight!

July 23, 2009

First rehearsal tonight with these four lovely and talented (and funny) actors .  I’m slightly — ever so slightly anxious.  It’s just normal anticipation.  I’m going to feel great when I am finally in a rehearsal room with living breathing humans who will bring this lovely and very amusing play to life.  My doubts only concern time.  But, I’m not worried.  The ambient tension I’ve been experiencing is only natural.  I’m like an animal ready to pounce.  Or some such idiotic malarky.  There’s a difference between excitement and anxiety — my body just isn’t quite adjusted yet.

Peter Zerneck and Jennifer Tullock:


John J. Isgro and Robert Micheli:



July 19, 2009

Listen, I have been really swamped with getting this production together which is certainly not a complaint, just a fact.  I had to replace an actor — luckily before rehearsals began but unluckily after postcards were printed.  Too bad.  The actor was very talented but the actor was over eager to try and do too many things and have his cake, eat it, and probably get an award for baking the cake as well as for the having and the eventual eating of the cake.  Youthful enthusiasm is a lovely thing if it ain’t interfering with my plans.  Sorry, no, you can’t do a show down the street at the same time we are performing our show and run over or ride your scooter over and pop in for the final scenes.  There’s not enough booze and pills on the planet for me to survive that sort of anxiety.  Sorry.  And then at the last minute, after you have tried to convince me you can do both, to say, oh, I’ll get the other show to re-cast so I can do your show because I’d rather do your show.  All this FIVE days after you listed NO CONFLICTS on your conflicts sheet.  Sorry, all this discussion is just way to much effort when I can just cast someone who has no conflicts and all my lovely actors will be lined up in a neat row before the curtain goes up, all in the same theatre, all committed to one project.  Oh, it feels good to get that out.  So, I should be trying to map out a damn rehearsal schedule — a project I have been avoiding all weekend.  And here I am tapping away.  I think I’ll go to the Y for a swim to try and calm down a little and return to all this later this afternoon.

RF4776031Saw the new Harry Potter film.  I kept trying to convince myself as more minutes dragged by that this was a good film and I was enjoying it.  No, I enjoyed some bits — cute little character bits with the angst of teens in and out of love.  However, the plot flew out the proverbial window at some point and Harry is left looking like a useless flaccid fool, unable to act.  Really really really different from the book and so many details dispensed with completely.  Every plot point that is fought so hard for on the page is just so easily covered in the film.  Like there’s no danger at all.  I hope they get back to good storytelling for the last two movies.  I will start re-reading the books this week (yeah, like I have time for that!).

Ran a 4-mile race on Saturday in Central Park and did pretty well.  Something around 34 minutes.  I don’t know the official time yet.  Now, what the hell sort of photo or image shall I insert into this rambling post?  Oh, yes, that works nicely.  Thank you.

We have our cast!

July 13, 2009


Auditions tomorrow

July 9, 2009

IMG_4299 I’m excited and nervous and totally ready and under-prepared but Lorraine is keeping me in line and close to sane and I just wish I didn’t feel like I was coming down with some sort of malarial malaise. I know I’ll be fine not just because I have to be fine but because I will be fine because I want to be fine. It’s just this being ready to go but it’s not time yet sort of nonsense that gets my corpuscles clattering and wow I gotta teach tonight so maybe that’ll take my mind off it. Being sure is great and fine and all but being sure doesn’t mean a fella can’t be wrong. But I’m not wrong. I’m right. I’m always right. And this is all, as the playwright would say, “Cool”!


July 3, 2009

Whew, I have been in a whirlwind this week trying to get all the little things done for the Fringe show.  Applications, casting notices, budget, meetings.  I’m all in a tizzy like that Kansas tornado.  But I just popped two batches of mint brownies into the oven and then I will relax with some sushi while I cull through the many submissions from eager actors who want to be in Ryan Gajewski’s (rhymes with Paddy Chayefsky’s) fun and funny play George and Laura Bush Perform… Our Favorite Sitcom Episodes.  Don’t be shy about hitting that donate button.  If five hundred of you give ten bucks that’s five thousand dollars which is my goal.  Or fifty of you give one hundred dollars.  It’s not that much to ask.  But I understand that times are tough.  Not to worry.  We’ll get there.  I may have a stage manager who is actually someone I went to college with — it’s a surprising and joyous turn of events but I’m not counting my goddamned chickens yet!  Especially since the eggs went into the brownie mix!

Fringe Festival Show – Donations

June 28, 2009

To defray costs of renting rehearsal space, etc., I am offering readers the opportunity to invest in the future of Ryan Gajewski’s play.  Over on the right I have placed a “DONATE” button and if you can, donate a few shekels which we will spend on the production.  You will be thanked most profusely.  I thank you, Ryan thanks you, but I don’t think George and Laura Bush will thank you.  One amusing thing.  I was at a Marketing Mixer for the Fringe Festival this 42-20530981weekend and I was chatting up the play with a nice young gent (I’ve mentioned him before) who is working for the Fringe Festival.  We were discussing casting and I mentioned how I was beating the bushes — and then I caught myself — Beating the bushes for Bushes!  I am ridiculous even when I’m not trying.  Now, regarding the donations.  These go to my PayPal account so I can use the funds while Ryan is off on vacation in Australia.  If there is a surplus it will be returned at the end of the production.  Note that these are not donations to me as a blogger or as a human or as a swish or as anything else I may be at any given moment.  These are specifically donations — investments, if you will – in the play George and Laura Bush Perform… Our Favorite Sitcom Episodes. Encourage your friends to donate.  And if you cannot donate — please buy a ticket to the show (more info to follow) as tickets will only be $15 dollars.