Saturday, June 03, 2006

Jeebus, It's Been That Long?

Jeebus, It's Been That Long?

Since I posted an entry here? Time sure flies when you're not doing a damn thing, I guess.
We started rehearsals for "R&G" this week. Just a read-through and two nights of table work, but it seemed to go fairly well. Most of the cast read too fast and sort of skimmed through the text, but since I did mention in the beginning that I wasn't looking for either acting or performances, that's what they gave me.

The thing that concerns me the most at this point is that I don't have Carolyn (Guildenstern) for most of next week, and then I leave for New York, so whatever I don't get blocked tomorrow, Monday, or Tuesday will have to wait until the end of the month, and I hate to think that I'll still be blocking that late into the process. But, as I need to focus on, A) anything we block outside of the space will have to be adapted anyway, and B) once I get back , we'll still have a month. Things may be a little rough for the first week of performances, but I have little doubt they'll eventually pull together.

Pidge leaves for Texas in the morning. She's going to some kind of tech writing conference in Dallas from Monday to Thursday, then to Carbondale to visit her mom. I leave for NY on the 13th, and she doesn't get back until the 14th, so we won't see one another for nearly three weeks, which is the longest we'll have ever been apart since she moved to Oregon from Pittsburgh. She's getting a little weepy tonight, as I'm sure I'll be -- and it's always odd around here without her, but I'll persevere. (I've never told anyone this: YEARS ago, I was taking a train somewhere, and the woman next to me was writing a letter. The trip was slightly bumpy, and I looked over to her letter. She was drawing a little train going up- and downhill, mentioning how it wasn't easy to write under these conditions, "but I persevere." Ever since then -- and it's probably close to 20 years -- I have never used the word "persevere" without thinking of her and her letter.)

Anyway . . .

We're going out to Woodside tomorrow for a picnic and rehearsal. For the non-company members, this will be the first time they see the space, and I can only imagine, not only what they'll think, but also what it looks like now. The company members were going out today to rebuild the stage, and I have no idea how much they got done. Hopefully, enough so that I can block a good portion of Act One. I've got them for three hours, so we should be able to get a lot done - maybe even all of the first act, which would be great and do wonders for my mood.

We went to Michael Spector's memorial today. He died of a brain tumor not quite a month ago, and there was such a sense of -- well, loss, of course (I suppose you get that at any funeral/memorial), but just the random unfairness of life. He would have turned 37 just 12 days after he died, but managed to cram so much into those years. I had no idea he had so many interests and friends (the place was packed, and many of those who'd been on the various lists telling about his dying weren't there). I mean, he was a great and funny guy and the best stage manager ever, but I guess it's one of those cases where you can never have a full sense of all the aspects of someone else's life.

More later. . .

Time Flies Like an Arrow . . .

. . . Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Feels like ages since I've posted. Got the job directing "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern." It'll be a challenge, especially since we'll be doing it outdoors and in various locations in a park (or something) in Woodside. Apparently, lots o' trees and hills; not the most conducive atmosphere for a comedic/dramatic examination of the nature of reality and a deconstruction of "Hamlet;" but it's a challenge, so that's good.Did I mention we saw John Pizzarelli two weeks ago in the city? Followed that up last night by seeing Audra McDonald. It's part of a new -- well, not philosophy, but a goal, I guess -- to see great artists when I can, and to not miss them, like I did Sinatra. We're talking about seeing Tony Bennett in Saratoga in September, but the tickets are dear, and I don't know if I want to see him that much -- but, still. . . .

Anyway, both evenings (Pizzarelli and McDonald, that is) were wonderful. It's such a pleasure (for me, anyway) to watch artists who are so skilled and comfortable with their talents that that ease and pleasure becomes almost a palpable sensation for the audience. Pizzarelli signed CDs after the show, so we got one, and I complimented him on the show and asked if his wife, Jessica Molaskey (whom I adore) is working on a new album. He said she was, which thrilled me almost as much as reading (while I was writing this paragraph, in fact) that she'll be appearing at the Algonquin while I'm there. I am so there.McDonald gave a great show, too, with new and old material. She went up twice, which I'm sure wasn't intentional, but reminded me of nothing so much as a magician or a slight-of-hand artist who will "accidentally" fumble a trick in order to make themselves seem more human or to make their feats that much more impressive. The best thing about both evenings (other than the high entertainment value, natch) was the fact that both of them seemed utterly human and down-to-earth, and people I could hang out with, once I got past the hero worship.Read a play called "Pack of Lies," that I'll probably interview for at Palo Alto next week. Very interesting play based on a true case in London in the early 60s. Middle-class English couple is best friends with an American couple across the street. One day, an MI-5 agent appears at the house and asks the English couple if the government can postion an agent to watch the Americans. Eventually we find out that the Americans might be Soviet spies, and we see the havoc it causes with the friendship and how the situation tests the limits of personal privacy, security, friendship, and where we draw those various lines. Very timely, I think (perhaps not as timely as "The White House Murder Case," but then what is?). It turns out that the Americans are, indeed, spies, but that's almost a MacGuffin. I'd really like to do it (time for a heavy drama, I think), and hope Peter hires me.Not much else. Have a couple of leads on a new Bob Cratchit, so we'll see. Hope to get back to this in less than a couple of weeks.

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