Sunday, October 21, 2012

Twenty-Thirteen


Last night we attended the second annual Talespinner Children's Theatre benefit at Mahall's in Lakewood. Theme for the evening was "Glam Rock" which for some reason the kids today confuse with Hair Metal ... my wife almost cried when we had to explain to one of our party exactly who David Bowie is.

Regardless, it was a tremendous evening. My favorite moment of the night was before we'd even left my parents' house, watching the girl spraying my wife with glitter in the driveway. Precious moments. I knew I wasn't going to swing any kind of Lou Reed look, I can't fit into those pants right now. But a headpiece in the education department rehearsal space gave me an idea, and so I cobbled together an ensemble inspired by Ming the Merciless. I am glad to say there were several on hand who didn't even recognize me at first glance.

Followers of this blog may notice a certain slacking off since Styles closed last March. Henry VIII inspired numerous entries about production, and there were the occasional events which warranted mention in a Cleveland-writing blog. But there's not much research going on, not much to share Just my day-job, and my home-life. This will all change very shortly.

Next year will be busy indeed. I have three productions in 2013, one of which was announced at the benefit last night and I am now free to discuss all of them.

"DOUBLE HEART (THE COURTSHIP OF BEATRICE AND BENEDICK)"
Every year, Great Lakes Theater offers a free play which tours 21 locations in Cuyahoga, Summit and Lorain Counties that is tied to themes represented in one of its mainstage productions. This March they will present Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Several years ago I saw a production and a certain exchange jumped out at me:
Don Pedro: Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
Beatrice: Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for a single one.
And their history as lovers, or one potential history, was revealed to me. I was elated when Daniel gave me the green light ... on one condition.

He asked, "Can you write it in verse?"

Uh. Sure! And that's what I have done. One hour tragic romance told in verse, including humor both high and low, a sword fight, and dancing! For those who can't get enough of me, I will be playing four different roles in this one. Sigh.

"THESE ARE THE TIMES"
Yes. At long last, the so-called "Cleveland Centennial" which inspired this blog will come to a stage near you. You have three chances, March 7, 8 & 9 to experience this fictional panorama of Cleveland during its heyday at Cleveland Public Theatre.

Ten years ago, CPT started its popular Big Box series, giving local artists the opportunity to showcase new works. That year -- 2003 -- I had the unique chance to share my first solo production, I Hate This (a play without the baby). I can't express how excited an apprehensive I am about having the chance to get a reaction to this new piece from a Cleveland audience.

"ADVENTURES IN SLUMBERLAND"
For the 2013 Holiday Season, Talespinner Children's Theatre will present this world premiere adaptation, based upon characters created by Winsor McCay for his groundbreaking comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. For Pandemonium I developed a five-minute treatment. It was a delightful experience, and made me feel confident that I could expand it into an hour-long piece for kids.

We decided not to use the name of the main character in the title, because everyone would think it was about a fish.

Last night at the benefit I won for Best Costume: Male. It's going to be quite a year.

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