Tuesday, January 6, 2009

this little piggie went home

our last 2 shows were fantastic. we sold them both out and were cramming people into the aisles. the show itself was rock solid. it was so gratifying to talk to people who'd been to the previews who'd come back to see the change and hear how impressed they were, how the show had really become it's own entity.
michael, our injured td, was back and finally got to see the show.
feedback on the show has been incredible. people have been moved and delighted by it. Got a tremendous note from the Editor In Cheif of BACKSTAGE about how much he loved it, how glad he was that TOSOS was doing this work and how proud he was to have been involved.
Chris and I have plans for the show's future life, but I don't want to divulge them here b/c I don't want to jinx them. am going to keep the blog going to keep you posted.
strike was mercifully brief b/c Wings wanted the walls for its next production. so we just had to pull everything apart and make piles according to what's ending up where. Kathleen and Donna and I loaded up their mini van w/ my pile (which was surprisingly larger than I remembered it being) and lugged it load by load up my four flights of stairs. My apartment now looks like an apartment within an apartment but given my housekeeping skills it's not real noticeable.
got an email Monday from Doric asking me "does it all feel like a dream?" i was just thinking that yes, it does but in a lingering pleasant way. it feels like it's still floating around in the ether, that it's still in the collective consciousness. i keep getting these amazing emails from people talking about it. so i'm not sad, or even nostalgic, i'm just missing it. i feel like it's right over there i just can't put my hands on it. yet. it definitely doesn't feel over.
anyway, that's all for the moment.
but stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scenes you didn't see...

...unless you saw one of the first two previews.
Here's a scene that we cut after the first two performances. Kyle has a dream in which a plushie character appears and in several different guises advises him to go back to the Bruno Bettelheim book for the solution to Dave's dilemna.
We kept it in because we liked it. Sure it didn't make much sense or add much to the plot but we liked it. Before we even started rehearsal Chris ordered a plushie pig costume so we had it. (The head appears in some of the promo shots.) Moe looked really great (funny/creepy) in it. I had it staged on the two of the forestages simultaneously--one being Kyle's apartment and one being "dreamland".
The truth of the matter is, it just didn't play. As much as Chris and I laughed we were pretty much the only ones. Everyone else was scratching their heads. So we cut it. And the plushie suit. And the bean bag chair. On a much smaller scale it reminded me of that part in ACT ONE when they're (Kaufman and Hart) are trying to come up with an ending to ONCE IN A LIFETIME. Hart writes this big casino scene with showgirls, a big stage on stage etc. but ultimately it doesn't work and they end up chucking everything. Hart writes about seeing all the glittering scenery in the garbage behind the theater and wondering what to do next. Granted, we're talking about way different budgets here and someone will get a lovely new bean bag chair out of it. But I can't help thinking...poor plushie.

Scene 13A??

(Lights up on KYLE dozing. We hear a dreamy, echo-y voice calling from off-stage)

Kyyyyyyle. Kyyyyyle. KYLE!

(Bolts upright)

(A PLUSHIE PIG enters. It looks like a giant pink furry sports mascot for a gay motorcycle club complete with cartoonish leather chaps and vest or perhaps a harness like Dave’s. The PLUSHIE strides sexily toward KYLE)

Whoa. What are the odds?

(The PLUSHIE puts his arm around KYLE and grabs his crotch with the other hand. He then pantomimes for Kyle to follow him offstage using oversized sports-mascot gestures.)

I am totally buggin’. Dude, Dude. I have no idea what you’re saying, man. I don’t understand pig language.

(More, even broader gesticulating from the PLUSHIE who then looks to Kyle. KYLE shrugs, not comprehending. The PLUSHIE hangs it’s head )

Hey, I’m sorry, plushie pig man.

(The PLUSHIE takes of its fuzzy big-head revealing the head of the actor who plays Mama Truth.)


(Relieved that they speak the same language)

Dude, you’re killing me. C’mon. Let’s go make some static. (Indicates off-stage)

Oh man, Dude, I’m sorry, but I’m not really into synthetic fur. That was like a one-time thing.

Aw dude, that’s bogus.

Sorry Dude. You know, you look like somebody I know…


Naw, it’s crazy.

(Suddenly speaks in Mama Truth’s voice)
Crazy? What you talking about crazy, little Maricon?

Mama Truth?

What’s the matter cutie? You don’t like what Mama Done?


Or was Mama just a “one-time thing” too?

I-I-I… Oh man… (realizing) Oh Man, I am so tripping.

(Drops Mama’s persona)
Ya think?


Dude, your subconscious is one dirty place, man.

Yeah well…

I mean hot, but whoa Nellie.

What can I say?

Go-o-o back to Bruno-o-o…


I don’t know, just… go back to Bruno.


In the meantime Cutie… LET’S DANCE!

(Music plays, they dance)


Monday, December 29, 2008

Week in review and a review

Monday 12/22:
Monday before the holiday. Monday night shows are always a bit tricky. The show's consistantly strong but I never know what to expect once I walk through the doors of Wings. This Monday was no exception. I was expecting attendance to be a little light but we a good little house. Good thing it wasn't a stampede since Wings Box office didn't show up. (see above) The audience enjoyed it except for 2 freebies from the Stein Senior center who yawned loudly through the 2nd half of the show. And maybe they enjoyed it also, but you know....okay, part of the reason why I stay away from a show once it's up and running is that I start directing the audience, but if it's not costing you any money and your sleepiness is going to affect other people's enjoyment, stay home and watch Murder, She Wrote okay? There, I said it.
No show on Thursday b/c it's Christmas and we got some lovely presents from the critics. The Blade voted us one of the years 10 best and nytheater.com lists us as pick of the week!
Friday I was taking a long winters nap when I awoke to three phone messages from Chris. Patrick, our lead, had a temperature of 102, couldn't hear out of one ear and had a terrible soar throat. We went through a couple of different scenarios and I consulted Doric, but ultimately decided to cancel the show. Jen and Chris stayed at the theater, did laundry and set up for the next show. Robert M. called back our reservations and turned people away who showed. I stayed home and fretted.
Saturday everybody's rest seemed to pay off. Patrick was much better and gave a great show to an almost full house.
Yesterday, Sunday matinee at Wings (which comes close to Monday nights but is a little more predictable) was well attended and I'm assuming well played. I made myself leave lest I start checking people's IDs at the door. When did I get so obsessive? I will watch the last 3 performances, so be warned....

Monday, December 22, 2008

That's so nice!

I've been going to the theater, checking in w/ Jen and Chris, doing the curtain speech and leaving. The show is completely theirs now and I felt I needed to stop hovering in the back of the house imagining things to worry about. I saw the whole show again Saturday and yesterday and was impressed at how solid it is--how much it's own little world it is. I sat back there (okay, hovered a bit) feeling proud and priviledged to have had a hand in it.
Reaction to the show has been great, too. After the show yesterday, two guys came up to Chris and I after the show and told us how much they loved it. That it was great to see a show that was about commitment--and that they'd been together for 35 years! Very cool.
Warning--watch for dropping names: Tina Howe (there's one) told Chris that Edward Albee (oops, there another) had been talking up the show at the last Dramatist Guild meeting. These kind words were posted by our founder (okay, one more) Doric Wilson. Very nice indeed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weekend in review

Catching up w/ the blog today. The show gets tighter and tighter. I have probably said this before, but it's so exciting to watch these actors really take the ball and run w/ it. We had a "magic of live theater" moment when Patrick cut open his hand on his key chain in the first few moments of Saturday's performance. We stopped the show, patched him up and started over--w/ Patrick and Jesse covering brilliantly and the audience getting a good laugh out of it.
We got some press, too!
Check these out!
Q on Stage

How about them parsnips?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Congratulations are in order!

Moe Bertran and his partner David Pumo are getting married today! As of this writing they are in Connecticut tying the knot. They are 2 of the coolest people around so we wish all the best. YEA!!!
The show last night seemed even fresher and more on after the two day break. It's really thrilling to watch great actors grow into and inhabit their roles like this. The audience was terrific and they delivered an amazing show.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Notice

A very quotable review came out on Tuesday from BACKSTAGE. This is great! So frustrating when reviews come out closing weekend and don't have a chance to help your box office.

"Let's face it: Men are pigs - and frankly, some of us have dated more than our fair share of oinkers. But none of us has been as bad off as poor Johnny Lovejoy when his long-term trick, Dave, transforms into an honest-to-goodness pig in Chris Weikel's charming queer confection Pig Tale: An Urban Faerie Story. Whether it's the snout or Dave's unseemly habit of rooting through the garbage, one fact is clear: The boy is swine....With witty banter, Weikel turns the notion of happily ever after on its well-worn head, injecting camp and fetish gags (furries, anyone?) into Pig Tale's fractured fairy-tale format....Weikel creates an engaging metaphor for modern relationships as Dave transforms from sexual object into human romantic partner." Paul Menard, Back Stage

To read the whole review go to BACKSTAGE. He has some quibbles w/ the structure but I think we addressed most of this in the subsequent previews.

We're back at the theater tonight. Our fantastic lighting God, Ahmed saved the day on Tuesday. There was an issue w/ the hay bale that we're going to take a look at.