Chaos Attraction

Biography Night

2019-04-08, 8:37 p.m.

First night of rehearsal. Didn’t do a whole lot, strictly speaking, beyond a few opening bits in which you’re supposed to act like your character. Most of this was dedicated to going around and having people introduce themselves as their characters. Some people do extremely good New Yawk accents (I am pretty much sucking at this and plan on dedicating my therapy appointments for the next six weeks to that). I was especially amused by the following:

(a) The bride’s mother wrote out pages and pages of her entire autobiography and sounds very exacting. Sadly, as you can tell, we did NOT get to talk with our scene partners before making these things up, because Tina was all “my mom wasn’t around much, I pretty much did what I want” and lord knows this mother was Not The Type.

(b) The groom’s father was a “pipe guy” in the mob before running the strip club. Also did delightful accent.

(c) The actress playing Donna...well, Donna is very intimidating. She wants to be a star and even was wearing a dress with stars on it. I wish I could do that.

(d) The guy playing Dominic had it absolutely nailed and had ah, fake cigarettes he was playing with. I am guessing those two are either dating or platonically close IRL because they had the fighting/dating routine down.

(e) To account for the age difference, the guy playing Michael said he was Tina’s guidance counselor when they met “but I waited until she was 18!”

(f) The guy playing Barry, who appears to be the real life boyfriend of Tina, is REALLY REALLY MEGA SUPER PSYCHED TO PLAY A DRUG DEALER. Which he is categorically not allowed to do because the director wants to cut out the cocaine plot. not know how this is going to go. His whole drug dealer act was funny as fuck, though.

(g) And then we had my husband Vinnie. I went last in this whole thing--it worked out that way and it’s what I wanted to do deliberately because I knew I’d have to drop some stuff in what I made up to have to deal with his. It’s also why I didn’t write down my autobiography even though I considered it.

He first goes on in great detail about his great-grandfather coming to Ellis Island and changing their name to Black...he likes to gamble, he met me in high school and got me pregnant after prom, we had three sons, Giuseppe, Carmine, and Jose (the first two after relatives, he had no explanation for Jose)*, he gambled away all our money and I won a lottery ticket to buy “Vinnie’s Coliseum,” and he loooooves Frank Sinatra and has blue eyes and was also born in Hoboken.

* note: as far as I can tell from the script book they have four kids, Mikey, Furiosa(!), Nicki and...unknown fourth kid, I don’t think any of them are in the show. I was going to assume the last one was probably Vinnie Jr.

So I had to go with “When we met, I was the one in high school.” Which was pretty much what I made up anyway after I saw this casting. So as far as I’m concerned, Loretta was the only child of older parents (and has my grandmother’s very Italian last name nobody can spell), was a rebel, met Vinnie (who was MUCH OLDER) when he got her and her friends into a club when she was fifteen, he told her he was going to make her a star, but she got pregnant at sixteen and got kicked out of Catholic high school, they had four kids pretty much every other year, I said he left out Furiosa, the catering company was my parents’ that they left to me so we could make a living, I’m kind of bored with doing that. Now all the kids have moved out, I don’t have much to do, I knit like an old lady now, and sometimes I put on music and dance when I’m alone.

The director was having people ask questions of the characters afterwards and she immediately asked me “Where do you live?” and I was all, “I have no goddamned idea about New York neighborhoods.” At best I figured either the Bronx or Staten Island, but god knows New Yorkers are EXTREMELY PARTICULAR about where they live* so I didn’t feel like I could guess on that one. It was the kind of thing I was hoping she wouldn’t ask so I could ask my shrink tomorrow. What happened to asking favorite food, because I figured that one out (bonbons, any food that has another food stuffed inside it). But noooooo. So we all got a “figure that out for yourselves.” My “husband* helpfully yelled out “The Bronx!” and I said, “Yes, let’s go with that.”

* note: the guy who went before me (Tony’s brother, I think) claimed to have an apartment by Central Park and was immediately called out by Dominic as to how could he afford an apartment there.

In other news, the director apologized for not having everyone’s lines set yet and said she is frantically rearranging things, cutting a bunch of Father Mark’s lines, etc. so nobody should memorize anything yet. To which I was all “I have one paragraph in the entire show about telling people how to line up, whatever” to that.

She cut a couple of characters because...I guess she didn’t have the right people or something, I’m not totally sure on that, but anyway, she cut the live band and the bandleader, Donny...whatever his name was, I forget. The reason I mention this is that (a) Dominic was all “how am I supposed to have a temporary fight with Donna about her flirting with that guy if he’s not there?” and (b) she said she was going to rearrange Donny’s lines and apportion them out to Vinnie...and me. So, HMMMMMMMM. Maybe this won’t be so not-fun after all if I get more lines.

We shall see.

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