Friday, June 17, 2011

Man in Chair

The Drowsy Chaperone (1998)
by Bob Martin and Don McKellar

I hate theatre.  Well, it's so disappointing, isn't it?  You know what I do when I'm sitting in a darkened theatre waiting for the curtain to rise?  I pray.  Dear God, please let it be a good show.  And let it be short, oh Lord in Heaven, please.  Two hours is fine, three hours is too much.  And keep the actors out of the audience.  God.  I didn't pay a hundred dollars to have the fourth wall come crashing down around my ears.  I just want a story, and a few good songs that will take me away.  I just want to be entertained.  I mean, isn't that the point?  Amen.

You know there was a time when people sat in darkened theatres and thought to themselves, "What have George and Ira got for me tonight?"  Or "Can Cole Porter pull it off again?"  Can you imagine?  Now it's, "Please, Elton John, must we continue this charade?"  It used to be, sitting there in the dark, you knew that when the lights came up you would be taken to another world, a world full of color and music and glamour.

Have you heard this joke?  Stop me if you have ...

How many actors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Two ... one to screw it in, and the other to say, "I could've done it better."

I think I may have mentioned in a previous post ("Love Who You Love" back in late April) that all theatre performers (and directors) have personal lists of "dream shows" that they would literally kill to do.  The role of "Man in Chair" in the musical Drowsy Chaperone is one of those for me.  Tonight I saw a production of the musical and I was a bit worried about how I would react to someone doing "MY" role. 

I made an oath to myself that I was taking this "sabbatical" from theatre until the Fall of 2012, so I did NOT audition for the part (much to the astonishment of many of my friends who thought this "sabbatical" thing wasn't serious).  I was thrilled, however, to hear that my friend, Geoffrey, would be playing the role and thought he was a TERRIFIC fit for the part.  From the moment he started speaking the opening lines above in the darkened theatre, I knew he had it nailed.  He was GREAT and I'm sure I'll have another chance at some point ...

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