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Tuesday, 11 November
Cry "Fuck!" And Let Slip The Dogs Of War

So we got the show open, and it all went fine. Nothing serious got fucked up--an actress forgot a rather important prop one night (a phone), which she had to leave the stage to retrieve, stranding an actor briefly, but he sat placidly and waited--and then we drank some champagne, and talked about the press (we had some, nothing published yet) and had a good time.

After opening night on Thursday, there was the usual polite after-show get-together, and one of the crew members prepared some lovely food. I wandered up to the counter. "Any beer or wine back there?" "I, uh, I think someone forgot it." I stared emptily at the counter full of dreary nutrition. FORGOT? This is like me forgetting to take my feet with me on my way to work. But ah, well, a minor blip. I merely filed it mentally away along with all of the other minor grievances to take up with The Director, alongside the Issue of the Whorish Wig and That One Time She Threw A Stuffed Monkey At Me.

After our Sunday matinee, we held a little "talk to the audience" thingy where the actors all gather onstage and field questions from the lonely souls who choose to stay behind and query us about this or that. It was a decent lot; there were relatively few weird or silly questions, although we did get that old chestnut, "Do you really think it was necessary to use the f-word so much?" She was a sweet enough woman, but it's hard not to roll your eyes. "It's true," you want to reply, "I'm so bummed that 'to blazes' has gone so far out of vogue. That would make for some really corking dialogue!"

Mac: Argh! These blasted critics! To blazes with them!

Jenny: Daddy! I will not tolerate this scurrilous tongue-waggery!

Mac: Fie! I heap befoulment upon them! 23-Skiddoo!

Jenny: Oh! Oh! Your invective--! You rail like a fiddle-fingered Brobdingnag oyster-shucker!

Mac: Are you saying I am not boss? For I am totally boss!

Jenny: O nutsackian incourtesy! 'Swounds!

Another great question was: "Why is the play called Abstract Expression?" We kind of looked at our shoes and collectively willed the spirit of the playwright to visit the room and give us an noncorporeal lecture on her reasoning. As that didn't seem to be in the cards, I dithered at some length to offer my D-minus answer: "Uh, well, I think the playwright might be trying to make the point that all human expression is kind of muddled--or abstract--whether it be painting or music or acting or just talking. We talk around or past one another all the time, in all mediums, I think." I left out the suggestion that perhaps the title came from the fact that one of the central characters is an abstract expressionist.

The other woman piped up again. "I just don't know that you have to keep saying the f-word."

I wanted to hand her a can of paint and a canvas and say, "Show me what you mean." Maybe that would be getting somewhere.


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Comments

What the f*** is she talking about anyway?

Props to the One Who Sits Placidly. That's hard to do.

Comment number: 001870   Posted by: moose on November 11, 2003 09:18 AM from IP: 216.161.136.219

Well, she has a point. How many times in the course of one play to you really need to say "FABULOUS!"? Or are you doing the traitorous homo thing again?

Comment number: 001871   Posted by: anapestic on November 11, 2003 09:44 AM from IP: 66.160.108.162

Post Dramatic Stress Disorder

Comment number: 001872   Posted by: jimbo on November 11, 2003 01:59 PM from IP: 63.251.52.217

You shoulda said: "Well, it's kinda like being Smurfs. Remember how Smurfs had their own Smurf language and everything was 'Smurfing this' and 'Smurfing that'? Well....we are all Fucks."

Comment number: 001873   Posted by: heather on November 11, 2003 09:16 PM from IP: 63.227.131.182

Um yeah, somebody has been watching the 'Revenge of the 80's'

Comment number: 001874   Posted by: heather on November 11, 2003 09:17 PM from IP: 63.227.131.182

HA! But that was a good one - huh?! huh?!

nevermind.

Comment number: 001875   Posted by: heather on November 11, 2003 09:19 PM from IP: 63.227.131.182

It sounds more like an audience vent session...They should let us do that in all plays afterwards. Like: Why? Why did both Romeo and Juliet both have to die! I object! Change the play--can't you just change it a little teeny bit? It would feel so good for us passive recipients of art to get to complain for a change. I want Guernica to be happier! I want it to be yellow!

Bertolt Brecht wouldn't like that though. We are supposed to go out after a play and foment revolution. We are supposed to leave enraged and dissatisfied--So the 'don't say fuck' lady is really a success in that sense.

Comment number: 001876   Posted by: Miel on November 11, 2003 11:00 PM from IP: 68.160.135.102

Bertolt Brecht wouldn't like that though. We are supposed to go out after a play and foment revolution. We are supposed to leave enraged and dissatisfied . . .

Good old Brecht. I've left many of his shows enraged and dissatisfied, but for reasons he perhaps didn't intend. There's a production in town right now of "Caucasian Chalk Circle" that I'm totally terrified to go see. Everyone fucks up Brecht.

Heather, we are all fucks. I'm glad you've been reading your Mamet.

Comment number: 001877   Posted by: Skot on November 11, 2003 11:37 PM from IP: 63.187.232.184

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