Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Salt Girl

I had a reading of my new solo show at the Boston Playwrights Theatre last week, and now I'm busy with re-writes. I'm very excited about the play: it's the first solo show I've written in 10 years (!) It's called "The Salt Girl", and it's about this man who postpones his suicide so he can visit his estranged, unconscious father on his death bed.

And it's a comedy.

Sort of.


I swear.

David Gammons, who I worked with on the amazing "Titus Andronicus" (perhaps one of the best theatre experiences in my life), is the director and designer, with Jeff Adelberg on lights and Adam Stone doing sound/original music. Kate Snodgrass is producing. It's just a wonderful group of people, and a really great vibe. I feel very lucky.

We open November 5th, which seems a millions years away right now. I'll try to keep notes on how it's all progressing.


Saw "Romance" by David Mamet at the ART in Harvard Square last night. It was very VERY funny, a lovely, precise, hilarious cast (with T. as the prosecutor!). Will LeBow in particular was fantastic as the addled judge! God, he is funny in this play!
I was in a reading of Romance about a year ago, so I knew the play already. What was really entertaining (for me) was seeing all the comic flourishes this great group of actors added to the play: those hilarious, unscripted, funny moments.

Check it out if you have a chance. It closes next week. Here's the website:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Much Ado Two

Much Ado has been getting better and better, the audiences have been great!
The reviews have also, for the most part, been very kind.
I'm in this strange new place concerning reviews lately.

I try not to read them, and I didn't for quite awhile. But then I discovered that I didn't like not knowing what was being said: my imagination was always much worse than the actual review. Uncertainty is a terrible, gnawing thing.

So now I read them and try to forget them as best I can. I think the trick is to read them very quickly, ONCE, and then never look or think about it again. So I'm trying that for a while.

Reviews can be incredibly powerful, especially to a small theatre company: they can really help get the word out and fill seats. More people will read our Globe review of "Much Ado" than actually see the show.

There was a bit of a flurry recently over the review of "Pirates!" at the Huntington. Louise Kennedy's review was pretty negative. So the managing director, Michael Maso, got on the Huntington blog and told everyone to write into the Globe and complain about it. And a lot of people did. I've never seen such a thing. It was pretty entertaining.

I had a "flame war" recently with a reviewer for "The Super Heroine Monologues", who didn't like our writing at all (Rick Park and me, that is!). The review itself was sloppy, misspelled, poorly written and ANONYMOUS and this guy had the nerve to be critiquing MY writing? That's sort of where I draw the line: you have to put your name on what you write and stand behind it, I think. And pressing "spell check" doesn't hurt, either.

Then, today, I saw this review online at by this guy named Lance Norris, who totally ripped us all to shreds. The funny thing is: I know Lance Norris: he's this guy from my home town of Cohasset, where he was kind of a zaftig local character. He also played a small part in a film I was in many years ago called "Anathema", so I knew him as a film actor. But I guess he's a critic now. Of sorts.
It's just weird when someone you know from a totally different part of your life suddenly appears out of no where as a critic and pans you.
His review basically tells people that if you come to our show, you will probably be murdered, if not by our bad acting, then by the drug dealers outside with guns who are stealing your car. He goes on and on about how unsafe the neighborhood is where we are performing.

Uh, thanks Lance.

Just to be clear: one of our missions at Actors Shakespeare Project is to bring our plays to neighborhoods and communities that don't usually get to experience live professional theatre. Or Shakespeare. It's a worthy enterprise. And Dudley Square isn't exactly the war zone that Norris makes it out to be. And Hiberian Hall is a lovely space, very close to Mass Ave, and not too far a drive from the BCA and its nice row of restaurants. But it IS a little rough around the edges, so perhaps a little extra caution wouldn't hurt when locking your car/walking to the theatre. So hopefully people will come and make up there own minds. The audience seems to be enjoying the story. And there's something quite lovely about watching Paula and Richard fall in love.

Only three more weeks left! Hope you can make it! Here's the info below:

Much Ado About Nothing
By William ShakespeareDirected by Benjamin EvettMay 14 – June 14Roxbury Center for Arts at Hibernian Hall
182 -186 Dudley Street, Roxbury
(Easy to get to, located just off I-93, one block from Dudley T stop, lots of parking within walking distance of the venue)
SALE - $10 OFF Memorial Day Weekend Performances!
Directions to Hibernian Hall
or call 866-811-4111

THE REVIEWS - "'Much Ado' is much more than a love story"

The Boston Globe“Love, both in the first bright spark of attraction and in the slowly building glow of old flames, provides both heat and light for [ASPs] fine, fizzy production… we have the pure delight of watching Paula Plum and Richard Snee create an intricate, intelligent, and intoxicating dance between these two prickly lovers.” –Louise KennedyFULL REVIEW
The Boston Phoenix“…the swank-on-a-shoestring ASP affair, managing to wed Noël Coward–esque sparring to the slapstick…[Plum] conveys almost from the beginning the vulnerability of prickly, brainy Beatrice. And Snee manages to seem both debonair and silly — often at once.” –Carolyn ClayFULL REVIEW
EDGE Boston
“The cast do a heart-stopping job… Snee and Plum sizzle, serving volleys of wit and electricity at one another… this is "Much Ado" done right.” –Killian MelloyFULL REVIEW
The Patriot Ledger
“To watch a show presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project is to marvel at the agility of a small band of actors covering all the roles. Director Ben Evett has chosen this company from the “A list” of Boston’s theatrical community.” –Iris FangerFULL REVIEW
The Boston Herald“…this is a production of small flourishes and light joys. Evett’s production functions on a shoestring, and uses it to hilarious metatheatrical effect… it’s a lot of fun. And on a warm summer evening, what more do you need?” –Jenna SchererFULL REVIEW
or call 866-811-4111
2009/2010 Subscriptions Now Available
Early Bird Pricing!
$10 Off All Packages!
Download Subscription FormOr call Joanna at 617-776-2200 ext. 225
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Arts At The Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville MA, 02143.
(617) 776-2200
2009 Best Theater Company - The Boston Phoenix, " of the most relevant and provocative companies in the Greater Boston area."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

crack head

I just auditioned for the role of "crack head" (is that hyphenated?) in the upcoming film "The Fighter". One scene, two lines.
The irony is, if I get the part, those two lines will probably pay more than the entire run and rehearsal of "Much Ado About Nothing".
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my head cracked.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I don't understand... other people may read this blog, or even find it if they were looking for it. I tried doing a Google search for it, and nothing came up, which surprised me. I wonder why that is...
Perhaps it's for the best.

Much Ado

We are deep into rehearsals for "Much Ado About Nothing" with the Actors Shakespeare Project, a company I helped to found with a group of other Boston actors.
I have never been in the play before, tho I've seen it quite a number of times. Being in it is a very different experience: it's an impossibly lighthearted play. I don't mean that in a frivolous way, but in a rather profound way: it captures this innate sense of fun and joy and mischief that humans just contain in there core, somewhere. Even the dark aspects seem light (hence, I suppose, the title!)

We are doing the play in Roxbury, on the corner of Harrison and Dudley, at a space called Hiberian Hall, which is a renovated arts center building from the 50s (perhaps earlier). The space has been quite a challenge: the room tends to suck up your voice something AWFUL. The neighborhood is also a little off the beaten track and a bit rough around the edges, so there is concern about getting people to come in to see the show.

We are doing the play in the round, which has been quite a challenge.

Paula Plum and Richard Snee are playing Beatrice and Benedick. I'm playing Don Pedro, the Prince. I thought I would just have a couple of lines, but the guy actually never shuts up. Who knew?
Most of us are double cast, so we morph into different characters: Doug Lockwood plays Don John and Dogberry, which I think is a really interesting combination.

We open next week. I'll try to keep you posted on how it goes. Truthfully, I forgot that I had this blog until recently, when I was writing on another blog, and i "signed in", and up popped this "indentity". Kind of cool.