Friday, August 31, 2007

The Cast of Nuts

I absolutely hate when theatres don't bother to call those that weren't cast. After waiting for two and a half days (although I gave up hope yesterday afternoon), the cast list was finally posted, late this afternoon.

Officer Harry Haggerty - Don Scarborough
Aaron Levinsky - Anthony Liguori
Franklin Macmillan - Lee Huggins
The Recorder - Ellen Day
Rose Kirk - Mary Ann Luedtke
Arthur Kirk - John Collier
Dr. Herbert Rosenthal - David Polinsky
Judge Murdoch - Bill
Claudia Faith Draper - Shelley Segal

Big congratulations to Tony Liguori, Lee Huggins, and John Collier. Tony will be fabulous (as always). I've worked with both Lee and John and they are both good actors.

I can't wait to see the show!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Auditions, Nuts

One night after Over the Tavern, I was telling Tony Ligouri (who played Chet) how jealous I was that Kelly (who played his wife Ellen) got to work with him. Three years ago, I'd seen a tape of his performance of Joe in a Stained Glass Playhouse production of God's Favorite. I was so impressed with his performance. He's a great actor and he's on my list of actors/actresses I would like to work with. He suggested I audition for Nutssince that was next on his list. I kept checking CTG's website for audition dates and found out that Donna Bradby would be directing. I'd worked with Donna before (The Vagina Monologues) so I was excited to audition for her again.

I got a tad bit lost going to auditions. I somehow had it in my head that I was going to the Carolina Theatre instead of the Cultural Center. By the time I arrived, there were a bunch of people waiting. (As it turned out, auditions for Jewish Broadway were also being held just down the hallway.) Allyson McCauley (who was in Sordid Lives and Daddy's Dying) was there as well. We filled out our paperwork and walked into the rehearsal room.

Donna introduced herself and said a few words. Jay, the stage manager for The Full Monty, is stage managing Nuts. Sides were handed out and finally, at around 8pm, auditions started.

I was called to go first for one of Claudia's monologues. I was the only one that read the entire monologue. I don't usually like going first but I ended up setting the stage for the other "Claudias". (i.e. I didn't wear my flip flop when I was reading. They have no traction on the rehearsal floor. During the next round of readings, several of the other girls went up barefooted!) I listened to the others and thought I did well comparatively. Then we did some scenes. The scenes were short and were more for the two lawyer roles. The girls were given a second Claudia monologue. Ally was first and she did a really good job. I was very impressed with her choices. A couple of others read and then I punched it up a notch.

I felt really good about my audition. What it will boil down to is who Donna will cast as Arthur, Claudia's father. If she casts older, I've got a shot at Claudia. Still, if I don't get cast, I won't be terribly upset, except for not being able to work with Tony. I figure there's a better role on the horizon.

Kindergarten, Day Two

After yesterday's tense moments, I suggested to Allan that we should just have Cade ride the bus to and from school. I told Allan that we needed to establish a bus routine with Cade and that, maybe later, he could occasionally pick Cade up from school. Thankfully Allan agreed.

So this morning, at some ungodly hour, Cade and I waited at the bus stop. I sat on the ground and he sat in my lap. We watched as cars and trucks drove past and we'd discuss the color and the make of the car. I'd ask him where he thought the people were going so early in the morning. We had a very nice conversation. The bus came and he got on and sat in the front seat. I waved to him as the bus drove off and felt the lump in my throat.

I was piddling around the house when I remembered that Mallorie had an ortho appointment and needed to be picked up from high school at 3pm. Cade's bus schedule said he would be arriving home between 2:45p and 3:10p. It was already 2:30p so I decided to wait at the bus stop in the car. Once Cade got off the bus, we could immediately head over to get Mallorie.

As I was backing out of the driveway, who should I see running down our cul-de-sac? Yep, it was Cade. So much for yesterday's assurances that bus drivers don't let kindergartners off without an adult present.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Today is Cade's first day of kindergarten. Just as I did with Mallorie on her first day (10 years ago "today"), I took a few pictures for posterity. After attending open house, Cade doesn't seem as nervous. He's looking forward to seeing his teachers and playing in the classroom.

Cade and I went to school together this morning for Kindergarten Orientation. We sat together in the auditorium with all the other kindergartners and their parents. The principal and kindergarten teachers were introduced and each said a few words. Then the kids were called to line up with their teachers. They would go to their rooms and the parents were to remain in the auditorium for additional information. When Cade's teacher was called I asked him if he wanted me to walk him down. He said yes. I brought him to the line, gave him a quick kiss, and told him I was proud of him. Then off they went. I could feel the lump in my throat, but I didn't cry. I listened to the principal and then we were dismissed to the cafeteria to meet with the individual teachers. Cade has Mrs. Wuwert, who is just returning from time off with her 13-month old son. Today was the first time she's left him, so she was a bit emotional. She seems very nice and genuine. I think Cade is in wonderful hands.

After our informational session with Mrs. Wuwert, we were able to go back to the classrooms to say our goodbyes. Cade didn't see me until I tapped him on the head. He got up and gave me a big hug. The lump returned. I wrote a note letting the teachers know that I was going to pick Cade up that afternoon. I kissed Cade, told him I would pick him up after school and I said my goodbyes.

I got all the way home without crying. And actually, as of this writing, I haven't yet cried. I think it's because I'd gotten used to dropping Cade off at daycare. (And I bawled that first day!) I've got about an hour and a half before I pick up Cade. I can't wait to hear about his first day!

Update 5:03pm - I waited in line forever to pick Cade up at school. When I finally got to the sidewalk, I didn't see Cade anywhere. Mrs. Lavalle, Cade's other teacher, walked over and told me that they couldn't find Cade. (WHAT?!) She said he was in the car rider line, but then she turned around and he was gone. Before I could launch into full panic mode, she said she would go and check the office to see if he was there.

After what seems like hours, she finally came back to report that Cade was on the bus. (WHAT?!)"The correct bus?" I asked. She nodded her head and told me to go home and wait for the bus to drop him off. She reassured me that bus drivers don't let the kindergartners off unless an adult is present. Still not quite sure this was the correct thing to do, I headed home.

I pulled in the driveway, grabbed my cellphone and ran to the top of the street. It was almost 3pm (school lets out at 2:20p) and I was worried that I had already missed Cade. Mrs. Wuwert called to apologize. She explained that, since Mrs. L had my note about Cade being a car rider, she didn't realize he wasn't supposed to be on the bus. (What teachers in the same room don't talk?) She reassured me that he was placed on the correct bus. I very calmly told her I was concerned that, since I was at the school waiting to pick him up, that Cade had missed his stop. I asked her if she could check to find out what stop Trevor Downs Court was on the bus route.

It was 3:09p and after several buses (several! how many buses does Forsyth County need?!)drove past, one finally slowed down and flashed lights. The door opened and the female bus driver started talking to me. I've no idea what she said, I just wanted to see my son. Finally she shut up and Cade stepped off the bus. Grinning.

I resisted the urge to yell at him (we discussed, several times that he would be a car rider today) and the urge to hug the life out of him. "So, you rode the bus home." I very calmly said. "How was it?" He gave me his biggest face and replied, "It was totally awesome!"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Love and Support

Myla, April, Tony, Michael, Mimi, Heather and Jeff, Emily, J Dawg, Tim, Georgia, Jim, Teresa and Reid, Norman, Marge, Kevin and Miriam, Cheri and Paul, Bill and Kathy, Gregg, Patricia, Craig, Jeff, Chad, Kenny and Amanda, Mallorie, Allan, Barbara, and my Mom...

Thank you so much for bravely coming to see Bug. Your love and support are priceless!

(Special kudos to Ally, who delayed packing for a two-week trip to attend a dress rehearsal.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Emails with Call Sign "Mickey"

Ok, it wasn't an email. It was a yahoo messenger communication. Still, I was very happy to hear from Mark. He's alive and well, and somehow surviving the intense heat of Kuwait. (Makes you feel bad when complaining of the recent high temps here, doesn't it?)

Unfortunately I didn't have long to talk to him. I was on my way out the door for call time for Bug. He promised to keep more in touch and send some pictures.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Even More Bug Reviews

A friend sent me the online link to the Winston-Salem Journal's Bug review. Apparently comments were posted from some other audience members...

Posted on 08/22 at 03:46 PM
Why did you waste our time on this show -- badly written - badly executed.
Honey, I didn't hold a gun to your head and force you to purchase a ticket.

Posted on 08/21 at 08:54 AM
I agree with the write -- the show was horrible, slow, overacte by Agnes, and a total giveaway of plot and outcome by Peter. RC was okay, but too well spoken to be the bumpkin she tried to play, and the "physical violence" was laughable, especially when soo much attention was drawn to it when it was so weak. Get real!
Dude, the bruises on Kelly's arms from the "physical violence" were real. And tank yew for the compliment.

Posted on 08/20 at 03:24 PM
Unfortunately I must totall disagree with this reviewer. I was sitting only a couple of seats behind him, so I believe we saw the same show. I found the pacing horribly abismal and slow. I felt Ms. Wallace played the character much too strongly to ever have believed that she was abused, frightened, or even the slightest bit drawn into the situation. Her lack of levels and vocal expression as well as limited phsycial characterization were horrible. She never connected emotionally, and over
Hmmm, "levels" and "vocal expression"? Geez, you sound like an acting teacher. You know what they say - those who can't act, teach. I'm pretty sure I didn't see you at auditions.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I received an orange envelope in the mail today. I opened it up, and found this card inside. North Davidson Senior High School Twenty Year Reunion. I started laughing. They messed up! No way have I been out of school for 20 years. Through my laughter I started singing our graduation chant - "We are high, We are Heaven, We are class of '87".

Wait, what? 1987. And it's 2007. Well, hell. I guess I have been out of school for 20 years. Am I really that old?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

And Another Bug Review

By Emily Mark

I was a little wary of seeing this show, as I'd read the script before and didn't particularly care for it and I'd seen the movie, which was awful. The five actors in this production, however, changed my feeling on the story. I enjoyed the stage play quite a bit. All of the roles were very well-played. I was most impressed by how each of the actors found the humor in each of their characters. Michael Caine says a good actor always finds the humor in his scenes, even when they're incredibly dramatic. Each of these actors found those particular moments and it made for an excellent opening night. Bravo!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Another Bug Review

By Heather Hamby Maggs

I went to go see the Theatre Alliance of Winston-Salem's production of Bug last night and I was pleasantly surprised to be absolutely entralled the entire performance. I am not someone who is usually interested in non-musicals. They just don't entertain me. However, this was one of the most well acted performances I have seen in the Triad and the realism was what shocked and astounded me. The play centers around a waitress living in a seedy Oklahoma City motel and trying to avoid her abusive ex-husband. One night her good friend, RC, shows up with a man she just met and trying to talk the waitress, Agnes, into going to a party. When Agnes refuses, the mysterious man asks if he can stay with her. He ends up staying the night at the hotel and as their relationship develops, they have sex. Later that night, the man, Peter, wakes up with a bug crawling on him and there begins a series of questions to which there are no answers and even if there were, you aren't sure you would want to know them. Peter continues to see the bugs as they infest his body and the hotel room. Other characters can't see them. At first, Agnes can't but then she can. In a dizzy spiral of what is either delusional paranoia or the unraveling of a sick government experiment, the story of Bug unfolds. I won't give away the story, but for every bit that this scenerio sounds far-fetched, the actors carry it through with 100% believablity. There is not one weak performance and there is no one person deserving of more praise than another. Kelly Wallace is a powerful lead as Agnes and Mark March more than matches her energy as Peter. Cheryl Ann Roberts and Ken Ashford have two of the more stunning scenes: one of which features a shocking death and the other a head-to head showdown between two "realities." I can not for the life of me remember the name of the actor who played Agnes's ex-husband [it was Don Gunther], but menacing doesn't even begin to describe his portrayal. I was physically and emotionally disturbed each time he was present on stage, part of that can also be contributed to Kelly Wallace's fine acting. Jamie Lawson does a bang-up job directing this difficult piece while Jeff Driver's set is a force all its own. The stage crew got to have a lot of fun with this show, I can tell!

The Bug Review!

Buckle Up: Betts' Bug sure to make audience unsettled
By Ken Keuffel
Journal Reporter

“Buckle up and brace yourself … ”

So begins the recording that callers will hear when they dial Theatre Alliance for reservations to its latest production: a play by Tracy Letts called Bug, which opened last night in Dunn Auditorium.

The advertising is true. Patrons should prepare to be unsettled at every turn, for nothing is ever quite what it seems in this tension-filled, slyly comic and occasionally gross science-fictionlike drama. One thing is certain: bugs definitely bite two characters in a seedy motel room outside Oklahoma City.

The two characters are Agnes (Kelly Wallace), a 44-year-old drug-abusing woman who is making the motel her home until her lesbian friend R.C. (Cheryl Ann Roberts) introduces her to Peter (Mark March). It doesn’t take long for Peter to move into the room and then into Agnes’ bed. When he does, the bugs appear and grow in number and ferocity, as does the flow of blood from the bites and self-inflicted surgery. The bugs might live under Peter’s skin or they might live under his tooth. Who or what is responsible? Peter or the military?

Peter might be an AWOL veteran of the Gulf War. And he might be the victim of some diabolical government experiment. He might have lost his marbles, or he might be perfectly sane.

Agnes may have “lost” her son when he was taken from her in a supermarket six years ago. And she may be hiding out from an abusive former husband, Jerry Goss (Don Gunther). And is Dr. Sweet (Ken Ashford) treating Peter for delusional paranoia or is he in cahoots with something the government would prefer you’d never know?

Strong acting, particularly by Wallace and March, contributes to a pacing that is just right in Jamie Lawson’s staging. And however improbable some of the play’s content may seem, we gain a greater appreciation of a way of living most of us haven’t seen and likely never will.

It’s difficult not to sympathize with Agnes: If you’re as lonely, desperate and scared as Agnes is, drugs and booze and maybe a man, any man, become your escape.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, a comedy

While I have done several shows at the Stained Glass Playhouse, I've never seen one of their musicals. Two things brought me to see A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: I knew most of the cast and crew, and it's one of the classic comedy musicals on my list of shows to see before I die. Their production, which closed today, was outstanding. Alvin, the cast and crew are to be commended on a wonderful show. Sylvia really outdid herself with the costumes and Brian with his set. Bravo to everyone!!

Mikey Wiseman played Pseudolus, and man, he was awesome! His voice and his energy were amazing. Kenny Mathews was hysterical as Hysterium. (I posted a picture of him as a Pepper from last year's Beauty and the Beast. You'll have to decide if he's better looking in the wedding dress!) Tyler Medinger was so very sweet as the love-struck Hero. David Webster as Senex was delightful, as was Roland Kruger as Erronius.

All the “Ladies of the Evening” were well dressed and very entertaining. I loved Allyson Edwards' Tintinabula costume (which was, I was told, purchased via Ebay!) and Pat Mathew's Viking costume was hilariously revealing.

The show was wonderfully entertaining, and enjoyed a sold-out run. I was also told that Rosemary Harris (Aunt May from the Spiderman movies) attended a performance. This kind of support is exactly what Alvin and Stained Glass needs.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

This is Why I Don't Like Bridges

Ken and Mallorie both make fun of my outward nervousness any time we drive over a bridge. While I will agree that bridges are marvels of modern engineering, they are not infallible. As evident by the recent failure of this bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.