Huckelberry Hostel Commission: Day 35 (+Vigil)

Alright, D: what the crap happened? You had this commission thing due, when? Last what? Last Wednesday. Last Wednesday, D! And what have you got? Don’t answer that because it’s rhetorical. I know what you’ve got. I know what you’ve got because I live on a couch in your head listening to you and your brain converse. And what you and your brain have NOT been conversing about this past week is your Huckleberry commission. There’s been a whole lot o’ chatter about a whole heapin’ lot of crap, but not too damn much of it has been about Huckleberry. Which, given that it was due in on Wednesday, seems a wee bit problematic. What are you gonna to write on your blog! You set up this whole last month as this follow-the-playwright-as-he-writes-his-commission thing: What are you gonna do? Tell them you failed!? You can’t write such things on a blog. What if the word got out! Why are you even writing a blog when you should be writing that damn commission that you’re 5 days passed due on!

Listen, everything is just fine. You need to calm your shit down. Onsite doesn’t go into rehearsal until May 15. I’ve worked out a timeline with them that makes sense to get them drafts of the script that they can give me feedback on, which is great because it makes the whole process even more collaborative and because they’ve actually been in the space whereas I’m working off photos. The initial deadline wasn’t missed: it was pushed. I always figured it probably would. Last time I wrote for Onsite, circumstances were such that they needed me to pop out a play in 3 days, which I was happy to do for them. And it was a fine, serviceable play, but my aspirations are higher now. And my life is busier. But everything is just fine . . . if only I could read Huckleberry Finn faster! Why is Huck Finn such a slower read than Tom Sawyer? Is it because the story is told with Huck as the narrator, whereas Tom Sawyer is narrated by Twain? Is it just denser? But taxes are filed and we’ve survived the crunch at work (knock on wood). Alice shows tonight and Playground is done for the season. Even Rachel has finished the hard part of her final project (though she still has three weeks to go). The major elements of the wedding are falling into place, which should give us a bit of  a breather until we have to start fretting over all the small elements. Everything is settling down comparatively. Focusing on Huckleberry Hostel will be much easier now.

Hah! Famous last words!

Shut up, you!

In other news, we opened Vigil last Wednesday. If I have not yet fully expressed my fanboy attitude towards playwright/director Morris Panych and his husband designer Ken MacDonald, I will put it on the record here. I  love Morris’s style of fable-like dark-humor and Ken’s colorful, shadow-filled sets that remind me of graphic novels: they are a perfect pairing. I will come clean, Vigil was not my favorite play of his. I am more partial to The Dishwashers and Girl in the Goldfish Bowl. But then I finally saw Vigil on opening (having been too busy to get to any of the previews), and it surprised me: the humor comes across on the page, but the emotional impact requires seeing. And Marco Barricelli and Olympia Dukakis are ridiculously amazing. Seriously: see this play. Introduce yourself to this playwright’s work. You will not be disappointed.

Olympia Dukakis and Marco Barricelli in A.C.T.'s production of VIGIL. Photo by Kevin Berne.

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