Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Cry in and for Central City

Read.

Nothing to Write Home About

Man, I really want to write something today. You ever get that feeling? You know, there's this urge inside to let it all out, but there's really not much there to spill? What do you say when you have nothing to speak of?

It should be easy.

I know lots of people who can go for days with their lips flapping, spewing gibberish. You probably know some, too. They're everywhere.

I kind of want to tell you about the cast party for Calme au Blanc last night, but nothing much went on there. We had it at a little Japanese bar/restaurant called Yuki. We had a tiny room reserved for us and friends of Louie's where we dined on such Asian delicacies as beef stew and french fries. Only they weren't really those things because they had Japanese names and teaspoons of curry stirred in or dusted over them.

Not much to write about there.

But wait.

Wesley's one-man parody of the play was hysterical. He took a lot of lines from the play and said them all real funny-like, you know.

Yeah, like, "Cataclysmic!" and "Bitch!" and "You're the woman who killed happy!" and "Don't look so confused, Enid!"

Maybe you just had to be there.

I could tell you about leaving that place and heading to the Latrine where Lance was working wearing only a tartan kilt, a necktie, and a leather bracelet not worn on his wrist that he kept flashing at the customers.

But that's all so old hat.

For Lance, I mean. Except, of course, for the kilt. He wore that on a dare, and will probably wear it again since he had so much fun in - and under - it.

But, no, I really don't have much to say. So let's just leave it all at that, unsaid.

I wouldn't want to waste your time.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Dangling Conversation

"It must have been a bitch having two shows running at the same time."

"It was."

"Still, there's a silver lining."

"There is?"

"Two cast parties."

Friday, March 28, 2008

A New Garden Design

Bobby finally got it into his head to redesign a part of our front patio's garden. We've now spent two days working on this thing, and he made me take pictures of it today.

This is the pond you discover as you enter the patio from Decatur Street. Yeah, one kid's fishing, the other one's ... and the Buddha sits oblivious.

This is the next section. In this plot, we removed all the ground cover, then he had me uproot a tree trunk, and cart all that cement statuary around. This is also where I discovered that the bricks on the top of the left-hand curve were loose as they sent me flying up and back down on my back when they fell away under my feet.

I called him a son-of-a-bitch for that.

Those marble rocks may look nice to you, but it took twenty heavy bags of the stuff to cover that space.

Now he tells me he expects me to go halves with him on the cost.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

This one's from me. The two below are from Big Dave.



Kyklops is a day ahead with flowers exploding over Japan, while d gives us a glimpse of snow surrendering to the putsch of grass. Bud has loaded some flora; while Dave, in typical Dave fashion, gives us the angst of Spring's awakening. And Bryan posted what I've waited so long to see. Even Joe is getting in the swing of things with a flowering artichoke.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Many People Wore Red to the Big Easies

And lots of other colors, too. You can see them here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pictures at a Party

Kate Jensen and Shannon Williams

Carlos Gonzalez and Brian Sands

Donnie Jay and Timm Holt

Liz Mills and Keith Launey

Losing Ain't So Bad with Free Food and Booze

Finally made it back to the apartment after a night spent at the Big Easies.

I didn't win the award I was nominated for. But that's okay. By the time they announced it, I was incapable of speech. Dirty vodka martinis have a way, dontcha know.

This is what I would have said (excuse the caps - it would have made it easier to read):
THANK YOU, GAMBIT AND THE BIG EASY COMMITTEE.

PLEASE EXCUSE MY TAKING YOUR TIME FOR THIS, BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE I HAVE TO THANK.

THANK YOU, DONNIE JAY, FOR GIVING ME A DELIGHTFUL SECOND CHILDHOOD. AND THANK YOU, TIMM, FOR LETTING ME PLAY IN YOUR SANDBOX.

THEATRE IS A COMMUNAL ART, AND A DIRECTOR IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE PEOPLE HE ASSOCIATES WITH: PEOPLE LIKE SHANNON WILLIAMS AND KEITH LAUNEY, CAMMIE WEST AND LIZ MILLS, CHRIS WEAVER AND CARLOS GONZALEZ. YOU ARE SIX OF THE MOST TALENTED PEOPLE IT HAS BEEN MY HONOR TO WORK WITH AND TO HAVE AS FRIENDS AND INSPIRATIONS.

VALHALLA HAD A TOP NOTCH TECHNICAL STAFF WITH ERIC WEBB ON LIGHTS, WESLEY CODER ON SOUND, AND DON MCCOY, OUR DRESSER, WHO NEVER LET AN ACTOR “ENTER NAKED”. MANY OTHER PEOPLE LENT THEIR TALENTS TO OUR PRODUCTION, AS WELL, AND I THANK THEM ALL.

I WANT TO EXPRESS MY APPRECIATION OF STEPHEN MURRELL AND THE STAFF AT COWPOKE’S BAR WHO ALWAYS TREATED US KINDLY AND GAVE US SUCH ENORMOUS SUPPORT.

I WANT TO THANK THE AUDIENCES THAT MADE THEIR WAY TO OUR LITTLE OUT-OF-THE-WAY SPOT ON MARIGNY STREET. YOU’RE THE BEST.

FINALLY, I WANT TO EXPRESS MY DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO BOBBY, MY HEART. YOU’VE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ME. THANK YOU.
I've finally lost them all, all the New Orleans theatre awards. The man (?) from the Times-Picayune will be thrilled.

But do you know what having lost them all really means? It means I never have to put on another suit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

He's Got the Heat On In the House

I'm in a suit, and I'm soaking wet.

I want my mommy.

G'bye ...

Oh, Shit

Bobby's out of the shower. Have to get dressed now.

I wish I was dead.

Shaved and Showered

And all puked out.

At least that'll leave more room for tonight's free food.

Feeling hot and sweaty.

Awards Show Creeping Up

It's nearly five. I'm feeling hot, then chilled. My arms are weak.

My stomach hurts a little.

Have to shave and shower soon.

The Marigny Theatre



Three into One Don't Go

So today's The Day.

Tonight is the the 20th Annual Big Easy Performance Awards where I will not win a Lucite thingy for directing Valhalla, but will have two hours of free food and drink at a table with a bunch of boisterous friends. I also imagine lots of people will be coming by to suck up to me until I lose, so that'll be fun.

This afternoon, I'm going over to the Marigny Theatre to shoot some pictures for Timm who says CBS (!?) wants to have them before coming down to film something (?!) in the theatre in April.

This morning, I have a doctor's appointment where my own personal Doogie Howser will give me grief over the fact that I've stopped losing weight and threaten me again with government-approved amphetamines.

Three things to do in one day is too much for me. Something's gotta give.

I'm canceling that doctor's appointment.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oops, Almost Forgot

Happy Easter.

Al Copeland Dies in Munich

Popeye's Chicken King dies in Munich, Germany.

Sunday Update

Friday night I checked in on [Nameless Play] and found it to be working nicely. People still leave in tears, which I guess is a good thing. But their tears don't come from the same place as mine.

Last night I visited Calme au Blanc. Seeing how different the play has become in a week's time really opened my eyes to the way a performance can grow and change in such a short time. It's exciting and a bit disconcerting to see. Most theatre today is pretty much dried up, as consistent as a movie from performance to performance. But this was organic and fascinating to watch.

The audiences we've had seem to take a lot from the experience. The script is dense and can be understood in different, maybe conflicting ways. I certainly see it differently from the playwright. I think. I can't be sure.

Here's a short clip from the play. Sunday Mislove has just returned from jail to his lovers Eden Duplantier and Frankie St. Pierre.

video

Please excuse the roughness of the video. I really don't know what I'm doing.

First the Man Bro, Now This

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oops

A very embarrassed and belated birthday wish to a young lady in New York.

Louie Lets Loose

video

Friday, March 21, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtapose

Just a pose juxtaposed.

Or:

Kyklops has submitted his entry.

I fell asleep and just woke up in time to find three more posts: Dave, Bud, and Bryan.

Next week's theme: Spring.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Taking It One Day at a Time

Yesterday, Bobby and I braved the frontier and headed out to the Parish to look at tuxedos to wear to the Big Easy Awards on Monday. We finally found a nice looking one at an outlet store on one of the many service roads out there.

It was a three-button suit in a fine fabric. It looked swell on its hanger on the rack. I tried it on.

I looked just as short and fat and dumpy in a tuxedo as I do in a regular suit. So I saved my money and had a Chinese lunch instead.

My fortune cookie had a double fortune in it.

The first one said, "You have a charming way with words. Send email to a friend."

Consider this my letter to the world.

The second one said, "An unexpected event will soon make your life more exciting."

This sounds to me like something that Delphic Oracle would have said, like, "If you go to war, a great nation will be destroyed ... (your own)."

I really don't want any more excitement in my life, thank you very much. I want to be able to sleep again instead.

This morning the first review came out for [Nameless Play]. It sings the praises of the actor who drove all of us out of our minds, dismisses the other actor (who in actuality is carrying the old man's dead weight because he cannot remember his lines), and describes my direction as "spare and not much more than adequate."

I feel so insufficient to be so detested by someone so insignificant.

And, of course, he's completely wrong.

I had nothing to do with the direction of this show.

Two people have already called to tell me, "Told you so."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gettin' My Blood to Boilin'

A local aging chorine keeps a blog. I recently visited it and found this quote:
It is comforting, when one arrives for one's audition for a Tennessee Williams play and one has doubts about one's ability to perform the works of Tennessee Williams, to discover that the door to the theatre is locked and one must access the theatre by walking through the gay bar that is attached to said theatre, and there is a drag show in full swing in the gay bar with an Amazonian drag queen in a fluffy pink dress lip-syncing to "Popular" from Wicked. This helps one to remember that the Tennessee Williams play is, after all, being produced in a tiny performance space behind a gay bar, which makes one relax somewhat. (I mean no disrespect here to the Marigny Theatre, which has presented some highly regarded, albeit low-budget, productions.)

So thank you, random drag queen, because the above scenario apparently enabled me to do my best at the audition for Night of the Iguana, and I have been cast as Hannah, one of the two female leads. So fear not, dear readers: you will soon see me on the stage once more! (You might even get to catch a drag show, too.)
Hey, if coming to a theatre connected to a gay bar makes you feel superior enough to try to tackle Williams, go for it, power grrl. I'm sad, though, to hear the low-budget comment yet again thrown at a cabaret theatre that puts its faith in the written word and the talents of some of the city's best actors. Our stage is small and cannot support the kind of sets some aficionados long for.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't belong. The Greeks didn't mind being low-budget. Not Shakespeare, Garrick, or Kean. Neither did Forrest nor Cushman nor Booth. Certainly not Duse or Gordon Craig, Beck, Malina, or Brook.

Speaking of Brook, he once famously said, "I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged."

Theatre isn't The Theayter. The Theayter is a carny sideshow.

Oh, and dear gypsy, I'm sorry your director canceled your Tennessee Williams play. Keep trying, though.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

F Y I

bedroom toys

Isn't It Time I Wrote Something Again?

I mean, it's not like there's nothing going on. I've got two shows running and one in rehearsal. Dave has just finished the new poster for the new show and here it is. We all think it's pretty nice. What's even nicer is the fact that the frame is real, just as it is, and came from Bud. I think it's really a shame that Dave is abandoning his God-given talent to pursue this nursing kick he's on. Come back to your senses, Dave.

I'm trying to catch up on my sleep a little, but not having too much luck in that. I have stopped waking up at four in the morning. I don't like that, though, because that was my time - time where I had the world to myself.

Soon, I'm going to have to go shopping for a tuxedo to wear next Monday night to the Big Easy Awards. I don't expect to win, but I do plan on getting stinkin' at Harrah's Casino. I may even drop some caustic audibles, if you know what I mean. I will have a speech prepared just in case, but I know I won't be able to read it. I'll just grab one of my actor-guests, drag him or her up to the dais with me, and direct them to read it for me. With feeling.

I'm feeling a little disjointed right now. I'd better stop for a while and take a nap.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Paddy's Day on Magazine Street

Yesterday, I had to spend the whole afternoon on a front porch on Magazine Street so Bobby could enjoy the Annual Irish Channel Saint Patrick's Day Parade. My left arm is sunburned, but I have to admit the food was great. Here are a few snapshots of the revelers.

Some people have no shame. At least, the overall color of the shirt matches the sun-pinkened complexion.

Some other people have less than no shame. Notice the slightly unbuttoned fly.

Hot, sexy, mysterious daddy type in a cool Tilley hat. Gotta get me one of those.

White-bread boi trying to look all sexy and mysterious. First, lower the brim, bubba.

Sweet, lovely lady from Oklahoma learns how to get the goods.

The baby of the house. He took to me like I was some long lost relative. Come to think of it, his head was about my size, and he looked a lot like my late Aunt Loule. Coincidence? I think not.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Openings

That's a loaded title, isn't it? Sorry, didn't think.

Last night we opened Calme au Blanc. It was lovely. Not a large house, but the people there seemed to enjoy it. The cast delivered focused, aware performances.

Tonight, I inflict [Nameless Play] on an unsuspecting public. May God forgive me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mary Ann, No!

Poor Darling.
A surprise birthday party for Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island, ended with a nearly three-hour tour of the sheriff's office and jail in Teton County, Idaho, after she was caught with marijuana in her vehicle while driving home.

Ms. Wells is serving six months' unsupervised probation, according to news reports. She was sentenced Feb. 29 to five days in jail, fined $410.50 and placed on probation after pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving.

Under a plea agreement, three misdemeanor counts – driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance – were dropped in the Oct. 18 incident.

We still love you, sweetheart.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bamboozle

Damn you, Dave Hotstream!

It's still early on this side of the world, and Denys has weighed in on this week's impossible challenge, while Kykops is brimming with hope for a financial windfall and is sharing his dreams with us.

Meanwhile, Dave has bamboozled us all with a video (!). Not fair, Dave. We could have all done better had we known videos would be allowed.

Bryan has awakened.

And, whoa, even our old friend Joe has jumped into the skillet.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Best Quote of the Day - Hell, of the Week

"There's something very basic about rubbing honey on your skin and going steaming with a bunch of strange Russian men."

Big Brothers

You know what's really cool?

What's really cool is when you're having a visit from one of your big brothers - somebody you've looked up to all your life - and you get to hand him something like this week's Gambit Weekly. You get to tell him to check out page 47 and to go to the bottom of the page where it lists your name as a nominee for a Big Easy Award as Best Director of a Comedy for Valhalla.

When he does, you shiver like a little girl. Okay, that's not cool, but you can't help it.

But - then! - it gets cool again when you get to hand him a stack of Gambits that you've lifted from your very own street corner coffee shop and tell him to take them all back to your old home town.

Of course, later on, you begin to reflect on some of those people who didn't get the same kind of recognition, who want this kind of affirmation so badly because, deep down, they can never be sure they're as good as they imagine themselves to be, as good as they need to be.

But in your own heart, you know better than anybody else that, if this kind of thing is something you really deserve, it isn't just for you. Every board in your house rests on the one that came before and supports the one that comes later on. You know that what this really means is that somebody has finally noticed a little rag-tag bunch of ne'er-do-wells who like nothing better than to get together and put on a show. You know, too, that this might mean that people who like to go to shows might begin to think that you and your little theatre might have something worthwhile to offer.

In the meantime, you walk your brother to his four-door pickup truck (they use those in the country) and make sure he puts that stack of Gambits in the back seat, and you watch him drive off, making sure none of them fly out the window.

A few minutes later, life goes on.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Brother Russell ...

... Showing off his new crawfish tattoo.
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