The Viewing Room
2019-10-04, 10:43 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
So tonight I went to the Viewing Room premiere. This was the "gala" night, which has a half hour of champagne and cheesecake beforehand. And unbeknownst to me, table seating, which Anita was handling again.
For context before I begin this whole thing: if anyone ever still reads this that hasn't met me in real life, I laugh like Mozart. Especially around the 0.37 second mark on the last video with the birthday cake. It's long, it's loud, it's conspicuous, it just comes out like that. When we had to watch Amadeus in orchestra class, everyone turned around and GLARED AT ME. I don't normally care too much, but occasionally it's really damn conspicuous.
Now, knowing this, I had planned to seat myself like say, in the very back row, in the darkest corner, trying to be less bloody obvious about it all. Except not only was there table seating, I got seated right in front, next to the playwright. Anita must like me. Anyway, I had a fun chat with the playwright, who did not remember me and thought I was Laure. (Hah.) I seem to have this effect at auditions somehow. I dunno how I blend in those where I don't anywhere else in life.* But anyway, we talked about my outfit, I asked him how the play was going and he said he hadn't seen it yet because he thought it might weird out the actors, and there's going to be another production of it around Boston after this one. We've both taken classes at the Comedy Spot (he did sketchwriting too). He said he wasn't a good actor but keeps getting into things, it sounds like it's because he knows people. We talked about shows I was in and improv. I talked to him a bit about the 10 minute play competition and he was all "are you wedded to the infomercial idea?" and I was all eh, not especially, we'll see if I ever bake this idea or not.
* She says, having worn this skirt to the show. Clearly I was not trying to blend visually.
I also saw Matthew’s mom and Doris from karaoke, and Germaine, Linda, Nancy and Steve (on their way to Europe tomorrow, they said they saw Little Shop at the matinee), Jesse, and even spotted Bev in the back. I feel popular.
So, the plot of this again: a family with five adult kids (one of which hasn’t been seen in like 30 years since he stomped out at age 18, Chet Jr. shows up at the end after the funeral director calls him to come) are at their dad’s funeral, except Dad is somehow animated enough to be chatty and get out of the casket, but only the relatives can see him. The funeral director that wanders in and out can’t. Matthew the youngest son gets there first, finds this out right off and then tries to keep Dad quiet and in the casket for most of the first act. Eventually Dad decides to just out himself during the eulogy, and this whole thing gets blamed on the “psychic” sister Debby, who “channeled” him earlier in the first act.* Debby is alll, it wasn’t me. The brief explanation in the show is that Chet Sr. got some sort of day pass to show up for a few hours at the funeral to sort out stuff and figure out if his family really loved him or if they’re all just resentful. Both, I’m presuming, as some folks had more issues than others. So it’s about those issues and arguing and a dance number at the end and a family reunion.
* Considering that her channeling was stuff along the lines of stereotypical dad stuff like “turn the heat off” or other things involving saving money, and Dad was there, I’m inclined to say she wasn’t actually channeling the dead dad in front of her...but heck if I know on the playwright’s intention on that, I didn’t ask. Wanted to, but didn’t. Maybe I’ll ask Janene what she thinks at karaoke later.
I’m biased since I know all but one person in the cast (I don’t know the guy who played the dad, never met him), but everyone was good and funny and the physical comedy moments (mostly Cody) were great and the line deliveries were great and I enjoyed it.
I did find out from the playwright later that the guy playing the dad missed a lot of lines, but as an audience member, I couldn’t tell and folks covered for that brilliantly. I guess Cody was fine on lines though! The playwright said he liked the energy, thought Robert and Scott did particularly well and mentioned Scott as being the only one doing an accent, but it was different from the production that he worked on. I suspect it’s because this one didn’t really worry about trying to match the ages as written in the script, since most of the cast was a lot younger than intended. (Scott did put gray in his beard.)
After the show was over, everyone in it who knows me was all, “We could hear you laughing in the green room.” and “That’s Jennifer!” and in Jesse’s case, “Can you come back on other nights?” I’m an “easy laugher,”* can’t argue with that. I was trying not to cackle so much, I swear...not that that works. Clearly still having some effect there anyway, but they seemed to like it. I guess the outfit stood out even beyond stage lights too. Dona, the actress who played the mom, was telling me about her brother who died this year and how he was a loud laugher too. Awwww.
* Now I’m thinking song parody to “Easy Lover.”
During intermission I talked to Nancy about trip planning and frankly, dragging 9 people to Paris gets a giant “arrrrrrgh” out of me. Would make me nuts. I talked to Germaine and my directors (Linda and Anita) about assisting with costumes if possible. Afterwards I did thank Anita for putting me in the show even though I don’t really fit any of the parts (I think she liked how I was doing Miss Glace this week since she mentioned it to everyone) but would appreciate if we can come up with anything else for me to do. She said she’d work on it, in the “we’ll figure out something” sort of way. Huzzah and fingers crossed for that.
Amusing synchronicity (albeit not one dealing with my uh....stuff) today: afterwards I was hanging out with the cast and the playwright and we were talking about Dona and then, out of nowhere because no music was playing and the sound guy was hanging out with the rest of us, “Oh Donna” starts playing. I was all, “good job, whoever did that.”
So all of that was fun.