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.