Wait Until Dark

*grinning from ear to ear*

Got an email the other day from a fellow Spiraler with a link to a blog review by Russ Bickerstaff of “Wait Until Dark.” It came too late to help the show, but we sold well and got some awesome feedback anyway, even in spite of a weird review in the Freeman, so who the heck cares? ;D

I’m just really encouraged by the fact that the writer of this blog/review still saw the show even though it’d be too late to post anything about it before we closed. I mean– that’s pretty cool, right?

Anyway- here’s a link to the blog, and here’s a big chunk from it:

…the space at Bucketworks was reasonably accommodating for the final performance of Wait Until Dark. It was a hot night and the heat carried into the crowded space as Giffin appeared to give the curtain speech. After a brief and congenial introduction, the show started. The opening of the play faded in slowly, allowing for a cursory evaluation of the set, which was solidly constructed for a theatre company with limited funds. The space almost looked lived-in–very impressive for a show that had only been running for a couple of weekends. The story seeped-in around the edges of the set as Brian Richard and Randal T. Anderson began to set the tone in the role of a pair of ex-cons ho had broken into an apartment in Greenwich Village. Anderson was the rougher-sounding of the two, speaking in a voice that reminded me of a Brooklyn I’d never been to. Richards is a distinctively familiar face, having appeared in a number of shows between Spiral and RSVP over the course of the past few years. Here Richards is the tragic “nice guy” criminal who probably would’ve ended up in a more honest profession had things gone differently for him. Richards and Anderson have a natural rhythm for their dialogue that fits the familiarity of the characters well. It isn’t easy to construct familiarity between two actors onstage in a way that seems entirely natural, but Anderson and Richards pull it off quite nicely.

With the early elements of the plot established between Richards and Anderson, Matthew J. Patten appears onstage in the role of their employer. Patten towers over everyone else onstage as usual, but here his height really adds something–here he’s playing a savvy, sinister criminal and the height adds a physical dimension to a commanding stage presence. Patten’s mastermind outlines a job for the other two: they must find a doll filled with narcotics that one of the apartment’s residents unwittingly brought with him from a trip out of town.

Of course, the three men don’t find the doll right away and the couple who live in the apartment return home quit unaware of the three men or their interest in the apartment. The couple in question are Sam and Susy Hendrix. Sam (Nate Press) is a professional photographer. Susy (Ruth Arnell) is recovering from an accident that has left her blind. Press and Arnell have a palpable chemistry together that establishes itself early, which is good because it has to. Sam doesn’t end up in much of the play, so he has to make enough of an impression early on that we feel his effect on Susy for the rest of the play. Press does an excellent job of doing this without making his character seem too unduly charming or superhuman. In the role of the heroine, Arnell is probably onstage for longer than any other person. Arnell carries the center of the play with casual, well-executed grace. The plot that rushes over the stage seems a bit awkward and artificial, but Arnell does a breathtaking job of grounding the production in a very sympathetic emotional center.

Gloria Loeding rounds out the cast in the role of the girl from the apartment upstairs, also named Gloria. Loeding is playing a girl far younger than she is, but she’s carrying the role pretty well considering the character comes harrowingly close to being little more than a plot device. Her role in the central conflict of the story comes as little surprise, which probably has more to do with the script than the production.

The only major flaw in Spiral’s final production at Bucketworks was the title noun. The climax of the play is slowly bathed in darkness as Susy confronts the villains on her own terms. Though Hooker did an admirable job with the production’s lighting design, the space at Bucketworks spilled too much light … rendering messy, imperfect shades of darkness that felt relatively uncomfortable in the summer heat. …

Isn’t that cool?! :D

I know Brian, Randall and Gloria are in something together that opens in a couple months, and Matthew’s in something that opens around the same time. Don’t know what Doug and Nate are up to, but when I find out, and when I get the details on B, R, G and M I’ll definitely post it here so you can check these people out. They’re great. :D

And then today- or was it yesterday?- I also received an email with a link to Russ’s Year In Review pt. 2 blog post and man: I just can’t stop smiling. :D Part two starts off with: “Towards the end of last February, Spiral Theatre staged the single best romance of the year with Ruth Arnell and Ryan Dance in Butterflies Are Free…”


Too cool, man.

And to Mr. Bickerstaff: Thanks. Really. Thank you so much. You’ve made my mom ‘n’ pop ‘n’ me smile very much this season with your reviews, and we’ve needed that. Thank you.

Laughter is the best medicine…

…when it’s someone else that’s sick.

I have mixed feelings about last night’s show.

A lot of weird things happened that had to be worked around, and I don’t know if it was stuff you’d notice as an audience or not, but some of it really threw us on stage and it’s got me nervous because our SM will be gone for our closing weekend so… yeah. :P

Also: The audience. Most of the time they were great. Vocally responsive at all the right times. Very nice.

But then they kept laughing- loudly- at the worst times. Like- really stressful, “scary” times where honestly: ain’t nothin’ funny going on here.

And it wasn’t that short, clipped, nervous laughter like you get sometimes during suspenseful shows, but loud, prolonged, repeated laughter at the most distracting times that makes you wonder if you are totally sucking up the scene and doing everything wrong because why the hell else would the entire audience be LAUGHING at a moment like this? It makes you wonder what you’re doing so poorly that suddenly a murder scene is funny, or whose fly is open, or what fell off the set wall when this is the first audience that has ever responded this way.


I asked my parents about it (they came last night, yay!) and they said they didn’t get it either and found it distracting too. That’s nice I guess. Means the cast weren’t the only ones who didn’t understand what was happening.

And then: The cell phone.

It’s actually kind of surprising to me that this was the first time where we had a cell phone go off during a performance of this show, so in that respect we’ve been pretty lucky thus far.

But there we were, second to last scene, everything’s finally boiling down to the final moments of *scare*, and this light, tinkly, fairy music starts to play in the front row of the audience. And then continues to play, and gets louder, as whoever owned “the phone too important to be turned off” retrieved it from their purse.

*sigh again*

Why don’t people listen to the announcement at the beginning and turn their phones off? Why? I’ve heard people say as an excuse for this when its their phone that “I never get calls” and “I forgot I had it with me” and stuff like that. But that just seems irresponsible to me. Stop making excuses. If you never get calls then it won’t matter that your phone’s off because by your own admission you won’t be missing anything if you’re unavailable on it for 2 hours, and when the person giving the curtain speech mentions silencing phones and you own one, do yourself a favor and check to see if you have yours on you. “Forgetting you have it on you” is a stupid, stupid excuse and I absolutely don’t accept it.

And now that it sounds like I hated a theatre full of people last night, allow me to back track… ;)

They actually were a great house overall. Responsive, as I mentioned earlier, and appreciative and just very cool in general. And in addition to my mom and dad being there (yay!), Nicole G., Mark N., and CJ D. were there, as well as Beverly S. and Mary K.. Woo hoo! All people I like. :D

The option of going out to a number of different spots did come up last night after the show, but I mean to tell ya: You run around sweating like that in a show like this and tell me *you* don’t feel ready to fall over into bed when it’s over. I skipped it all and went home. That’s right. Calm and boring, just the way I like it.

Actually, I really hate just going home when shows are over. Especially when I have friends there that I haven’t seen in a while. What happened to me? When did I suddenly get so… old? *shudders uncontrollably for three minutes*

Maybe it’ll pass…


Lyrics from “New Math” by Bo Burnham, a 17 year old boy whose gift for clever lyrics reminds me of a combination of Jason Powell and Rick Katschke for some reason.

And no, I do not mean to imply by omission that that “reason” is pedophilia (see below).

In conclusion, watch the video. Or don’t. But it’s kinda funny. So you should.

Um… How ’bout we just get back to the part where I provide a copy of some of the lyrics…

“Havin’ sex is like quadratic expansion
if it can’t be split then it’s time to stop,
and havin’ sex is like doing fractions,
it’s improper for the larger one to be on top,
and havin’ sex is like math homework,
i do it best when i’m alone in my bed.
and squarin’ numbers are just like women,
if they’re under thirteen just do them in your head….”

Ahh… Good times.

Rehearsal for “Wait Until Dark” is going well. I’m off book for my first scene… basically… and pretty comfortable with my lines for most of the rest of the show. It’ll be good to finally get that book out of my hands so I can put more of my focus on maneuvering through the set. I’d like to try running the show blondfolded a few times so I can… Did I just write “blondfolded“??


Yes. Yes that’s what I want to be. Blondfolded.

Yours truly,

Porphyria’s Lover

Goodnight everybody! You’ve been wonderful! (Exit, pursued by a bear)

ETA: WAIT!! I almost forgot about the two pictures I wanted to post! Egad! DISASTER WAS NEARLY UPON US!

The first is a screen shot of an ad that appeared in my Yahoo account yesterday.

I believe the implication is that the rockin’ hot awesome left ass cheek/thigh area is somehow not as rockin’ hot and awesome as the ass cheek/thigh area on the right.

Are any of my straight male or lesbian readers understanding this better than I am?

And do you even see the “dimples” they’re referring to? It looks like maybe she brushed quickly against an end table in need of a bit of dusting, but is that– is that cellulite?

If this stuff will make my legs look like EITHER of the legs in this picture, I will pay so much money for it RIGHT NOW.

I– I’m still kinda scratchin’ my head on this one, folks. I’ll get back to you if I figure out what they’re getting at here.

The next picture is just something I thought was kinda funny.

I was looking up a last name on Facebook when i found two guys in a row with the same exact name (and it’s an unusual-ish last name), both from the UK, and both facing the same direction and drinking a beer in their user pics.

“You are not special.

You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.

You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

Tyler Durden

Okay. Now I’m ready to go.

“French-type” Films

Did Martin Luther King, Jr. really say “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”??


Marilyn Monroe Sex Tape Sells for $1.5M

… Heavily redacted, declassified FBI documents from the 1960s talk about a “French-type” film starring the late actress …

Uh… “French-type”? Wha-???

Tom Cruise Concerned About Posh Spice’s Influence on Katie Holmes

… During another recent outing to Madeo, Katie and Posh shared a green salad without dressing, one piece of fish and one side of steamed spinach, Life and Style reported. They also ordered one regular Coke and two glasses of ice.

“Katie poured half the soda into each of their glasses, then filled up the rest with bottled water,” a Madeo regular told the magazine.”

What?! *Gah!* If that’s what it takes to be thin– man I’m just not so sure I want it…

100 Best First Lines from Novels

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. -Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation.  -Walter Abish, Alphabetical Africa (1974)

47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. -C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

78. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.  -L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)


In other news: I’m an idiot.

I’m reading George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (it’s incredible) and I just finished the second book about an hour ago and was all set to dive right into the third book when I realized, much to my horror, that the book sitting on my shelf isn’t the third book but the fourth!

I bought books two and (apparently) four when I was in Dallas in November so that as soon as I finished book one I could move right into the next one. I’d intended to buy two through four at the time, but decided to save a few bucks and some space in my luggage on my return trip to Wisconsin, so I put book (apparently) three back on the shelf.


For some reason I cannot understand myself, I spent ages and ages finishing up book two. Don’t ask me how or why I did it; glutton for punishment perhaps. In the meantime I’ve been ignoring the book on my shelf because it didn’t matter yet, so I had no idea that all this time I’ve been sitting here with a book I can’t read yet!

Well it damn well matters now that I want to read book three and can’t. Doggonit…

I’m picking it up at B&N tomorrow on my way home from work, as well as putting in an order for the “Wait Until Dark” script. *sigh* How am I ever going to memorize that bloomin’ thing…

Where can I find her, a woman like that, like Jessie’s girl?

“Reality is something you rise above.”
Liza Minelli


In rather shocking news here at Dad’s Roofing Company, Inc., one of our sales guys, E.E., called me up on Saturday to inform me that his wife S. E.- the one who sat next to me at the baseball game on Friday- had suffered a mini-stroke some time during the 7th inning and was in the hospital undergoing an MRI at the time of his call.

She’s 30.

At the time her speech was slurred- when she could speak- her vision was blurry- when she could see, and her brain was swelling for no discernible reason. They think it might have been stress induced. Stress? Yeah, I imagine a few of us have heard of that.

They are an amazing couple. Different in all the right ways, similar in all the right ways, great relationship, three wonderful kids; all in all a very committed, loving, young family.

She’s 30.

I know there are incidences every year of people having strokes, heart attacks, etc. at unexpectedly young ages and at seemingly triggerless times. But it hits home so hard when it’s someone you know.

Two of the symptoms that S.E. had which tipped doctors off to the fact that it was probably a stroke were a sudden extremely painful headache in the back of her head, and pupils dilated to the point that there was almost no iris color still visible. Had E.E. known that these were indicators he could’ve taken her to the emergency room almost 24 hours sooner.

Please please please take a quick peak through this article on WebMD. I know an online article isn’t the best means of learning about life saving tips and symptoms to watch for, but even an online overview has got to be better than no prior knowledge at all, right? I just never thought… 30 years old… It’s worth knowing more about, especially if it can be brought on for reasons other than age, genetics, pre-existing conditions, etc.


Just found out I’ll be performing in Spiral Theatre‘s production of “Wait Until Dark” this July. Too cool, man! I’m still waiting to hear who all else is in it. There wasn’t a formal audition so I didn’t get to see what all of Spiral’s choices were but based on people who’ve given truly exceptional performances there in the past I have a few ideas and let me tell you: I. Am. Excited. If Mark brings out his first string here then this is going to be PHENOMENAL. I know the tickets are higher priced than at his previous location, but if this goes as well as I think it will, this will be a show that is not to be missed. Yay Mark!!

There are only six performances of this one so it’ll take some planning ahead. It runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm on July 11 and 12, 18 and 19, and 25 and 26.

I’ll be playing the part of Susy Hendrix, a blind woman who… does a bunch of stuff. I won’t get into it. Look it up. Or don’t. If you’ve seen the movie version, this is the party Audrey Hepburn played, and oh boy do I hope people aren’t expecting to see a Hepburn-esque performance, ’cause “statuesque” I sure as hell ain’t.

The show will be running at Bucketworks on 6th and Vliet. Tix are higher by $5 here: $20 for non-Bucketworks members, $15 for members. Though if you think you’ll see a few shows there this year it’s worth joining to be able to get the discount and to use their space. Holy cow, man. This is NOT the same Bucketworks that was over on MLK the past few years. Wow. Total overhaul. Every reservation I had about working there (which, to be fair, was based largely in part on who I’d’ve been working with) is gone and I now plan on joining.

If you have time to head down there you MUST arrange a tour with James Carlson, one of the guys running the place. And Erin: if you go, ask him about the “Lego” wedding and the remote control car race.


I think I’m going to subscribe to Wired. I always enjoy the online articles. I think I’d get a kick out of being able to bring it around with me. And it’s $10 bucks for a year’s subscription. Not bad, eh?