Hurlyburly

Had a great time working on Hurlyburly at the Chain Theatre. It’s such a great space. At one point it was a chain factory. They have space for small rehearsals downstairs. They can even build scenery there. The lobby is one of the biggest for Off Off spaces in the city and they always have a decent art show on display there. Plus the dressing room is big enough to hold 8 or more people without feeling crammed.

It was really nice of Rich Ferraioli and Greg Cicchino to ask me to audition for the show. It was one of those auditions where they’ve met me and like me but haven’t seen my work. That can be awkward if it doesn’t go well. Ever get in a relationship with someone and only find out too late that they’re not a talented actor? Or not as talented as they claim to be? I don’t recommend it.

Fortunately, this was not the case for me here. (Or, who knows, this may have been a pity casting.)

The cast was really great. Deven Anderson, Jackie Collier, Rachel Cora, Kirk Gostkowski, Brandon Hughes and Christina Perry pulled a lot out of this monster of a script, especially Kirk who was on nearly the whole time as Eddie. This is a long play, even though they got the okay to use the slightly shorter version New Group did in 2005. You don’t see many with that kind of running time nowadays. Part of the festivalization of the theater. I suppose I could argue the merits of both.

Me, left, Kirk, Deven and Brandon (on couch). I liked this set.

Me, left, Kirk, Deven and Brandon (on couch). I liked this set.

I played the role of Artie, who was played on stage by one of my heroes, Wallace Shawn recently and Jerry Stiller in the Broadway production from the ‘80s. I was a little nervous because a good friend of mine, Jackie Sydney, was his assistant back then and she came to see this production. (She gave me a thumbs-up personal review.)

Jackie Collier and me trying to out cool one another backstage.

Jackie Collier and me trying to out cool one another backstage.

It was good to be on stage with other people having spent most of last year doing a solo show. It is a bit strange to me now to not have to carry every moment of a play. But I did to have a ton of laughs backstage. I haven’t had that in a long time. Welcome relief due to a lot of sadness in real life recently. Aimee’s mom died suddenly last month and it’s been, well, tough. I flew out with her for the funeral and other arrangements in Ohio and barely made it back in time due to the snow and cancelled flights to make half-hour for the first preview performance. I’ll write more about this when I have processed it better. On the other hand, this may stay private.

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