We have a special guest for you this evening, Ghost, you ready?

Long vacations and writer’s strikes are good times for me to bank new material. In no particular order:

– Hearts and Diamonds now has an arc and a plot; the main characters are in place. This is a 1953 cheer-’em-up musical comedy, loosely based on the Cinderella story. We are watching a modern revival of this dated Broadway tuner, along with two local reviewers who kibbitz from the wings. The story arcs intersect and all ends well.
– Living Dead Girls has a bunch of scenarios, key characters and a basic arc now. A virus infects women across the world, destroying their inhibitions and freeing them to do whatever they want, whenever they want. A gender role reversed zombie movie. Shannon Lark has said she’s willing to hear a story pitch.
– The Country of Dave continues boiling. Dave finds an outcropping of rock off the coast of L.A. and decides to start his own country there. He shows up at the Olympics, makes his own flag, etc. The US gets wind and eventually decides to invade. A dumb comedy with a political twist. Needs work though.
The Hermit Bird replot should be done in a week, dammit! It’s expanding into a two-act full-length from the original one-act. I’ve done a bunch of research on Asperger’s syndrome — it’s been key in figuring out Missy’s objectives and arc. A drama, pretty dark stuff. Virago claims they will put this effing thing on if I get it done.
– Mister Rogers Goes To Heaven. Fred Rogers dies and arrives at a government-style office building, where he learns of his new afterlife responsibilities. A short punchy story with heart; just need to find a few weeks to pound it out.
– And The Bishop’s Eighteen Wives festers away. I know the thing needs a rewrite, but most of my tinkering recently seems to make it worse. But goldurnit, I still think there’s a fun play here. Maybe I need more distance from it.

Right at this moment I’m totally cool

So I’m opening The Deadly Game at Long Beach Playhouse on January 4, 2008. This place is a Theatah with a capital Ah. The lobby is lined with the portraits of the artistic directors over the past seventy years. These are carefully staged portraits of Men and Women who wish to bring Art to the Greater Long Beach Area. The photos of the keepers look out upon us, analytically, critically; black-and-white ghosts from just after the Great World War.

If you listen to the portraits carefully, they will speak the following:

You are in the Theatah now. We welcome you to this Theatrical place, in which many fine Works and Arts have taken presented to our Community. You are now a part of this Continuum, which is the Oldest and Most Respected of its Type. A significant and permanent Link and Guarantee is forged now between you and the many other fine Actors who have graced our stage. Take, for example, DeForrest Kelley. I knew DeForrest when he was knee-high to a field mouse! Thank you, Miriam, I’m handling this presentation. Yes, many fine actors have graced our stage. Now. In exchange for these Privileges. You have certain Responsibilities. Which must be Honored. If you are to continue in our grand Tradition. Point One. There must be no taking the Name of the Creator in Vain. While inside the theatah or on its grounds. All references to any portion of the Trinity, represented in an unflattering Context, will be excised from the Script. I tried to get that changed in seventy-two; ho, don’t even try! Thank you Reginald. Don’t call me Reginald! Point Two. All costumes are to be presented and maintained in good Taste. There is to be no Apparel. As part of any Production. That does not Cover the form in its. Entirety. You ain’t downtown anymore, kid. Thank you, Brenda. Point three. As an Actor and as a member of this Theatah. You are required to perform at a Level of Quality that is becoming unto this Theatah. We fully Expect you to perform in a manner that is Entertaining, without being Ribald, or Appealing. To the baser. Sensibilities. Educate and Stimulate. This our motto, and we abide by it. Most. Strictly. Now. Again, I wish to offer you our most heartfelt Welcome. Now, Enjoy the Process.

So that’s Long Beach. I’m playing Howard Trapp, the dumb but handsome seducer of women.

Meanwhile, I’ve accepted a role in Arms and the Man at Rude Guerrilla. The posters in the lobby at Rude Guerrilla are all less than five years old. They all present lots of hot men and women, shirtless, with female nipples delicately obscured by a random bit of ribbon or vegetation. Rude Guerrilla titles bark at you like chihuahuas in heat: Women Behind Bars, Mysterious Skin, Mercury Fur, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Shoot the Women First, Some Explicit Polaroids, The Sacred Geometry of S&M Porn, Poona The Fuckdog and Other Plays for Children. No, I am not making any of these up. These good folks apparently did an all nude version of Othello a couple years back. Why are they all nude? Why does that make sense dramatically? Doesn’t matter! Let’s go gawp at nekkid people, woo!

So that’s Rude Guerrilla. I’m playing Sergius, the dumb but handsome seducer of women.

No word on my costume yet.

Preacher man talking on TV, putting down the rock and roll

The Iowa caucuses are imperfect but useful indicators of which candidates will be nominated to represent their political parties. As of this writing, in the Republican pool, Mike Huckabee is leading the pool by 39%. The closest contender to the Repblican nomination is Mitt Romney at 17%.

Yeah, that’s just what the US needs right now. A [redacted] conservative southern Baptist minister to run the country. Why does every country on the planet want to push religious ideologues to public power? Separation of church and state; first amendment! Come on, Iowa, you ain’t Iran!

In 1992, AP asked Huckabee a bunch of questions about AIDS research, and he wrote: “If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague… It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.” You have to remember that in 1992, the world was well aware that AIDS is not spread by casual contact.

My source: Fox News, no less. On the plus side, it looks like they’re going to make Obama the Democratic nominee.

Okay, I’m done.