10 Minute Play Festival
2020-01-24, 11:38 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
So Lioness is a proud AA member, has been sober 18 years, etc. Unfortunately, her son isn’t. And he’s knocked up two ladies now, or so we found out last week when she announced that she had another grandchild.* Lioness’s kid gives me deja vu about my mom’s friend Drama Pat’s now deceased son because he did a lot of the same things.
* Baby momma #2 wanted to name the kid “Dad’s Name, Jr,” which Lioness objected to because a kid should be able to have their own identity and not their dad’s. The feeling I got was that Lioness wouldn’t want the kid to deal with dad’s issues. Baby momma was persuaded to call the kid “DadFirst DadMiddle ExtraMiddleName” instead.
Lioness also mentioned that Baby Momma #1 is on drugs and homeless these days, I don’t even know who was supposed to be taking care of the baby. Well, Lioness has been out all week “at court”, we assumed because she was trying to get custody of Grandchild #1. Oh, no. We found out today that she was trying to get custody of Grandchild #2, only twelve days old, because traces of drugs were found in the kid’s poop and CPS kicked in on Baby Momma #2. And she’s probably having to do the same for Grandchild #1.
Which is to say that well....she won’t be back to work indefinitely. Fuuuuuuuck. Though I assume she got custody of Grandchild #2 because she sent out photos tonight.
Tonight I went to the 10 minute play festival. I felt sad that most of my friends were in it and I wasn’t, but what can you do, I clearly didn’t belong/don’t belong in this one either and this is going to be something I experience very frequently if I stick around here. I saw a few folks I knew in the audience but didn’t sit by or talk to them. I think Linda was working and I saw Val with Michael, now in a wheelchair, but that last part made me sad, so I did not go up. Deja vu about Dad is not fun.
I was sitting by some of Bruce the playwright’s friends (also friends of Kristine the playwright as well) who came all the way from Redding. The lady knits, ‘nuff said on our conversation there. There were a lot of people at this one, it was nearly full on the seating. The guy friend of Bruce's said he'd bet Bruce a drink that it would get more people than Bruce expected--he thought they'd get around 40 in the audience.
Jim and Ana started out by doing announcements. Jim was dressed in a cat onesie and brought out rubber ducks themed to moments of the show.
“Where’s This Train Going?” Robert is Jack, a guy just taking the subway. Cameron was WEARING JEANS, which is officially the most horrifying weird and wrong thing I have seen in person so far in 2020, but I’m sure that will easily be topped by well, literally anything else in 2020. Anyway, she plays Monica, a SUPER overly chatty woman trying to forcibly make conversation with Jack, who is not into it but is being polite about it. At one point she knocks over the contents of her purse (I was looking to see if she shoplifted but never quite caught it) and has a lot of weird stuff in there. After Jack gets off, another guy on the train (who I don’t know) meets Monica and asks what she got, and they go through the guy’s wallet. Then there’s the surprise ending where Jack turns out to be a cop...bwahahahahah. I gotta say, that worked.
”Missing The Boat, Son” was another Mark Smith special, about a 28-year-old college dropout (played by Brian) who applies to be a farmhand because it sounds “fun” and he wants free room and board to move out from his brother’s house. The rancher he interviews with (Trent), as you may guess from the title, is not into this idea. From what Brian said, this is most likely autobiographical. It was okay, I guess, but didn’t really feel like it did anything unexpected.
Life of Trees: As previously mentioned during the auditions, this is about a guy who’s estranged from his brother over a piano, and then his cute little 7-year-old talks him into calling him. The blonde chick in the audition, whatever her name is (I saw it in the program and it is kr8tively/distinctively spelled enough I think I won’t replicate it here because of Google), was in it. I wasn’t super impressed, but that wasn’t a real interesting part anyway, though I did laugh at the line about “whoever invented folded sheets had no idea how to fold them.” Rodney cast himself as the lead, ahem. He was all right. Laurel played Maddy the 7-year-old. I don’t think it was super clear from watching it in full (as opposed to reading it in full) that she’s seven. Laurel certainly dressed kiddish, but given that she’s a fairly tall lady, it ... yeah, she was adorable, but it was kind of weird. If I hadn’t read the script I would have thought that Maddy was supposed to be older or ah....maybe has some mental issues with delayed development or something, I dunno. She’s cute but the casting of this was odd. (And it gets weirder, see below.)
Astronauts in Love: Sigh. My favorite, obviously, for many reasons. Ana got the role of Alice the female astronaut and the playwright was right, it was her show. She’s recounting how she was stranded in space alone, no response from Earth, and the only one she can get over the radio is Kiril, a Russian astronaut who also hasn’t been able to get anyone on the line. They fall in love over the radio because they have no one else to talk to, and then she loses his signal and never hears from him again. Somehow she gets rescued, everyone on Earth is fine, it was just “technical difficulties”*, she goes back home and hopes that someday she hears from him, and then presumably either she does or they hit some kind of Imagine Spot where she imagines that they reunite. And it’s adorable.
* er....yeah, this seemed a bit off to me somehow. Like, aren’t they isolated for 100+ days and it’s just technical difficulties? I was expecting nuclear war or Y: The Last Man or something as the explanation for this, but nope.
Of course Scott was amazing, as ever. I figured for many reasons he’d get the part, but also because he’s the only one who can do a Russian accent. And while the playwright said they didn’t have to do a Russian accent, uh, that part really needed one, IMO. At the very least, the line about how his English is good really doesn’t work without him having one. The one concern I heard about off and on was that Scott says he can’t do the Russian accent very loudly, or at least not his usual. I find this ironic because he’s probably the loudest (or at least, can get the volume up as loud as he wants--he’s not like a perpetual screamer or anything) guy I know. As of Tuesday he was debating not doing the accent for that reason, and also old people’s hearing. I personally thought you could hear and understand him just fine from where I was parked in the back* and I don’t have the world’s best hearing, but the aforementioned friends of Bruce said they couldn’t understand him. But then they spent the entire intermission saying they can’t hear TV shows either. I....don’t think I am going to mention this to him under the circumstances, but it’s not like we’re going to talk again while the show is going on anyway.
* i.e. trying to NOT be a conspicuous damn laugher this time.
Anyway: they were, of course, adorable, reuniting and dancing together and awwwww. (Also, hey, there’s a change from pining over Cameron, I suppose.) I continue to be amused that he gets forced to dance in scenes when, as he likes to say, he can’t dance. (Still wondering how auditioning for Singing In The Rain is gonna go for him, but not my business.) Had I wanted to talk to the playwright again, which under the circumstances I do not and it’s not like he’d remember me anyway, I would have given compliments to the chef for this one, or something.
Incidentally, both as an actress (of sorts, on the most minor level) and as someone in this weird awkward situation, watching him fall in love onstage repeatedly vs. uh, whatever the fuck is going on here IRL or not... yeah, I don’t know what to say about it, other than “hm, yep, that certainly does seem familiar, doesn’t it, that look.”
El Don Rey: Rodney wrote this one and cast himself in it. This was my least favorite one in the show, as it was mostly kinda unpleasant. No offense meant to my friends in it, but this was not too fun. Cranky guy (Robert) is an alcoholic drinking at home, brooding and sniping at his wife (Ana, sadly dressed as a frumpy housewife) and being a jerk, and while this wasn’t my exact family situation growing up, bitchy parents at home is not my jam. He also is flashing back to his grandpa (Rodney, better over here) wanting him to make something of himself. Laurel plays “The Devil,” i.e. a hot white redhead lady in a sexy dress, being flirty. Laurel, at least, looks like she is having fun. I would like to note the sheer perversity of Rodney casting her as (a) a 7-year-old, supposedly, and then (b) the sexy devil woman.
I do not think Rodney and I will ever be simpatico with each other. Call it a hunch, and I shall avoid him if he directs anything. I was amused at the people behind me being all, “Now we know a lot more about Rodney after this.”
The Rug: Linda directed this and it features Brian as Jerry the “opera lover” (I assume given the heavy coding this is really just about being gay, except somehow they can’t spell out “gay” even though it is 2020) and Bridget as his mother, who Jerry calls when he shot and killed a guy and hid him under the rug. Mostly this is about Jerry coming out as an “opera lover” and his mother being horrified, and eventually finding out that Jerry shot the strange guy he had over at his house over a difference of opinion about opera. In a way it is all very silly, and ends with Bridget calling some ex-con relative to take care of the body. Also, Brian has on an "I Heart Opera" shirt under his hoodie, which somehow Laurel had on for the bow at the end and he had on her rainbow socks.
You know, when I was reading up on 10 minute plays, all the websites said they had to solve a problem. I’m not sure if that is a thing that has gone on with these or not?
Blue Bench: Jim directed this one and did the voiceover. It features some weird kid who wants to ogle naked ladies sneaking around a circus (I did not know the guy who was cast as that) being confronted and then chatting with some faceless guy (Jesse, in a mask and vest as blingy as mine was in the last show) about his family and stuff. This was my second least favorite, mostly because the kid is fairly unpleasant/irritating. Jesse did well, though. They seemed to come to some kind of revelation/recognition of each other by the end, but I’m not sure what? Relatives? Secretly his dad? I am not sure.
Reservations: It wasn’t quite as shocking as the jeans, mind you, but Cameron also danced around a bit in this one. She got the role of Trixie the cat, who has decided to set up a date with Rover the dog (Rover thinks he’s meeting a French poodle) because her owners are moving to Canada and she wants a new home. She was, of course, saucy and manipulative and gonna do what she wants. Trent played Rover the dog and good lord, was he ever very very very doggie. Wow. I had no idea the guy was THAT goofy, that was near-Scott levels of it.
Speaking of again, Scott played the snooty waiter in this one, extremely amusingly. He definitely got to have a lot of fun with snooty voice and facial expressions and the ridiculousness of all of this stuff. (Janene said previously she wished she could have gotten that part.) He also had on a very lovely purple shirt. Mmm, purple. Thought about complimenting it, but that just would have gotten weird.
Afterwards I said hi to most folks (Cameron wandered off, I dunno where Robert was). I don’t think I ended up saying a damn thing to Scott though, so we just hugged and he said thanks for coming.
And that was that.