Bye, Bye Bunbury

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I couldn’t be more gratified by the final performance with Bunbury Theatre at the Henry Clay.  Or the whole run, for that matter.  Juergen, Matt & Kit brought Maria, Jenn & me into the Bunbury family.  I can’t say enough about my experience with this company.  Please consider supporting the rest of their season.  Go to bunbury.org and check it out.  Special shout out to Jenn Allen Meredith, who handled all the social media coverage.  Really made a difference in coverage and awareness.  Hire Jenn to do the same for your project.  No kidding.

The run was interrupted by stupid winter weather, I was under the weather for much of rehearsal and performance period, but in the end, it was still one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with this show.  I never know if I’m going to get the chance to do the show again.  I never know if my latest show is the last show.   I will say, if this is it, it would be a great way to go out.  I have never been more “in the zone” than I was in today’s final performance. And there’s nothing better than that.

We also got some great reviews and features this run.  Check them out on the press page.  Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us.  Till next time…

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Happy Birthday, Ysaye Barnwell!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

ysayeDon’t you love the song that starts and ends Eenie Meanie? When I added that to the show in 2006, everything gelled in a way it hadn’t before. The song is “Wanting Memories” by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell formerly of Sweet Honey in the Rock and today is her birthday!  Dr. Barnwell has generously given me permission to use Wanting Memories in Eenie Meanie and I am so very grateful. The show would not be the same without it.

“I know a please, a thank-you and a smile will take me far.
I know that I am you and you are me and we are one.
I know that who I am is numbered in each grain of sand,
I know that I’ve been blessed again and over again.”

Thanks again, Dr. Barnwell. Your song is blessing the audiences in Louisville again and over again. Happy Birthday!

ONLY 2 more performances! TONIGHT at 7:30 pm & TOMORROW at 2:30 pm!  Come on out!

Eenie Meanie is BACK!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Eenie Meanie 017

AS PROMISED a new Louisville run is in the offing.  Eenie Meanie will enjoy a 12 performance, 3 week run at the beautiful Henry Clay Theatre opening February 13 and running through March 1!  This is made possible through a co-production with Bunbury Theatre.  I’m thrilled to be welcomed by one of most established and successful independent theatre companies in Louisville.  Check them out (and buy your tickets!) at BunburyTheatre.org.

Thanks to Juergen Tossman for inviting me to come play at Bunbury.  I’m bringing the busily brilliant Jennifer Pennington back to direct and the stalwart and witty Maria Allgeier back to Stage Manage. I’m so thrilled to have the gang back together again!

This run will bring the performance count for this show to 81.  I started in 2003 and have just followed wherever it leads me.  Yes, I wrote it, it’s based on my life and I produce and perform it, but oddly, Eenie Meanie feels like a different entity.  It’s just my job to be available to channel it when the audience shows up.

And, unfortunately, it’s always topical…

This Bunbury run came together through such a strange confluence of events…explaining it would take a very indulgent blog post.  I’ll just say thanks to Patrick Tovatt and leave it at that.

So stay tuned for more Eenie Meanie adventures.  So grateful!

 

 

 

Eenie Encore gets a Snow Day

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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The last performance at Eenie Meanie at Slant was sold out and resulted in a 30 person list interested in seeing the show at a subsequent time. I really wanted to video this production because it has changed so much since the last version so I gathered all these wonderful people, plus a few others and had another nearly sold out show scheduled for last Friday night.

We all know what happened last Friday, right? I am SO Ms. Show Must Go On. I am SO Ms. Eyeroll with the Sensationalized Weather Reports. I became SO Ms. Well, OK, But Not Without a Few Tears when I was told we were, in fact cancelling the show.

It’s tough to be all ready to go on and then not get to go on. But it was the right thing to do – a fact I was convinced of during the treacherous and harrowing 5 mile, 2 hour drive home from lunch that afternoon. I’m so glad that my stubbornness was eclipsed by Walden Theatre’s common sense. So grateful everyone stayed safe and warm.

Reschedule? I sat with that for about 30 seconds and realized I have to get back to my life. Plus, there’s just a feel about it. Holidays are here, the snow continues, Slant and Eenie need their rest.

But! Hope is not lost. There is the possibility of a booking in the spring. Whenever the show hits the road, I do a warm-up performance in my home theatre – which is now the Walden AltSpace. So stayed tuned, those of you that hated to miss it. I’ll let those that were reserved on Friday night know first and then open it up when the time comes.

As always, thanks so much for the support. Eenie Meanie lives on…

Gratified and Satisfied.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Eenie Meanie has been so graciously received at Slant. I’ve so enjoyed getting into this show again. I had some fear that perhaps after 10 years the show may have lost it’s relevance or that it just wouldn’t resonate. It turns out the opposite is true. It seems to hit deeper with today’s audiences. Sometimes I think of Eenie Meanie like a kid and this week I feel like she’s come of age. I’m so proud to see how she’s grown-up. One more Slanty show tomorrow at 4 pm. So grateful.

Bleary-eyed and grateful…

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Walden house cat relaxes in rehearsal.

Walden house cat relaxes in rehearsal.

Slanty Will Hunting

If the Bard were here today, he would Slant. Oh yes. He would be the Slantiest.

 

So I didn’t really think it would be easy to do a show while directing a festival.  It’s easier than it would be had I not done this show many times before, and if I didn’t have a stellar and amazing staff to depend upon for Slant stuff.  But still, the midnight oil is being burned and we are fast approaching my first audience on Wednesday night for my invited preview.  As I turn in tonight after working from the time my eyes opened till just now as I ready for bed, I’m just grateful for this experience and all the people that make it so resonant and rewarding.

Reenie & Ralph

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reenie & Ralph Dance - 1999Rehearsing this show again has brought me back to my parents.  They both inspired this show, especially Daddy.  I swear I think he was there with me when I was writing it, pushing my pen.  I had toyed with this idea for a while, but after Dad died in January 2002, I was moved to create something significant and create it soon.  His mortality made mine visceral.  And besides, nothing honored him more than to stop procrastinating and do something.

But it’s Mamma I’m thinking of today. October is her month; the month she left us.  Yesterday, October 25, made it seven years.  These anniversaries hit in unpredictable ways for me, sometimes a passing bittersweet thought, sometimes a full on storm of grief.  Yesterday I was merely wistful, till I got in the car to go to rehearsal.

Driving up Lexington Road,  I thought of how I prepped her before she saw Eenie Meanie when I performed it here in June 2006.  I told her that she and Dad were characters in the play, and that sometimes it wasn’t that flattering.   She smiled and said, “I can take it.”  And she could.  She loved the show and was so proud of me. I’m so grateful she got to see it.

During the time I was home for the show, she was having headaches that just wouldn’t go away.  We bugged her to go to the doctor and she said she had an appointment after I left.  About a week after I got back to LA, my sister called and told me that we didn’t have much time left with mom. That was July.  We had her till October.

By the time I got to rehearsal I had to sit and cry a bit in the car.  When I went in, Maria and Jenn were there with hugs.  Then we settled in to work.  I can’t describe how good it felt.  I’m just coming off an injury and it’s the first time in the process I really felt like I had my body on board.  The show moved through me like blood through my veins.  It felt like the work and I were one for the first time since 2010.  And it was exhilarating.

I know Mom was with me.  Dad, too.  They always show up ready for their entrance; ready to step on stage with me again and again.

 

I just met a girl named Maria…

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Well, not JUST…

I knew Maria Allgeier rocked the free world and parts of Guam when we worked together during Slant 2012 – she was the Festival Stage Manager.  I was abfab crazy about her when she said she’d come to meetings all year and record the minutes.  Then, she helped me out with some AirBNB stuff and herd-sat for Laura and me (it’s not just PET sitting with us) so I was nigh on in love with her very person.

This is a person who just naturally, as a matter of course, as easily as breathing in and out, saves my ass.  So I’m smart.  I asked her to Stage Manage Eenie Meanie.  Lucky me.  She said yes.

So, she’s being a stage manager, watching the time, holding the space, recording my on-the-fly rewrites of material that hasn’t changed in 10 years, then erasing them when I change my mind the next run through,  CORRECTING MY GRAMMAR. (ahem.)  And I realize, perhaps this is more than a Stage Manager.  Perhaps Maria Allgeier, somewhere along the way, has also become a friend.

These suspicions were confirmed one day last week when I happened upon a dead possum in my yard.  Murdered, no doubt, by part of the herd earlier that morning.  I was musing about the fine print of home-ownership, the part that says if there’s something dead in the yard, no one is going to come take care of it for you, when Maria pulled up.  I was gathering up the nerve to go out and deal with the poor dead thing, telling Maria and Jen that they can stay inside, but I had to go take care of this.  Jen stayed put (as I would’ve) but Maria came out with me.

Ugh!  It was so gross.  We both squealed when the carcass thumped off the shovel into the bag.  I still shudder to think of it.  But I don’t shudder alone.

So for above and beyond in the category of Stage Manager and friend, today we salute Maria Allgeier.  Thanks, Maria!

 

A New Direction

Monday, October 7, 2013

I’ve always had great directors.  Some people who do one-person shows hazard these waters without a director, but I would never attempt it.  From the first – the meticulous and irrepressible Elizabeth Swenson (without whom there would be no Eenie) to brief contributions by Paul Millet and Jessica Zweiman, to the incomparable Martha Demson – each director has contributed to the shaping of the piece and keeps me honest, finding every true moment, stretching the bounds of my talent, honoring Eenie by bringing out the best that I can possibly deliver.  I can’t do it on my own.

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This production is no exception.  I’ve chosen my LA sister in Louisville, Jennifer Pennington.  We’ve been friends since the moment we met and it was a no-brainer when I was choosing who would guide me through this leg of the journey.  Tonight my decision was proved well-founded.  Jenn picked out some stuff that has bugged me since my first reading of the show and we rewrote it on the spot.  Here instincts are dead-on.

So we killed us some little darlings tonight.  Tennessee Williams would be proud.  Stayed Tuned for further developments!

Opening the Eenie Box

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Here we go!  Tonight I had the first on-my-feet rehearsal with Eenie Meanie in 3.5 years.  It’s scary are exhilarating.  You’d think after so many years it would be no big deal, but as I set up to rehearse in my basement (I can rehearse in my basement!!!) I pulled out the roadcase with all my props.  I haven’t looked at this stuff since my 2010 Hollywood Fringe production at the Open Fist closed.

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I gotta admit I got kind of misty popping open the big black case that Cricket and I lugged through Edinburgh, that Jan and I lugged through NYC, that Jess and I lugged through Cincinnati, Louisville & Lexington. I thought of prop building in the back yard at Brighton Street, with everybody that was part of my circle back then helping.  I thought of dear, brilliant, serene Jose Payo and was so grateful I got to work with him both in Backyard Benefits and the Cal-Poly gig.

There’s no such thing as a one-person show.  I’d wear out my welcome if I mentioned everyone that has brought Eenie along the last decade.  Most of them – all of them, actually, aren’t really in my life anymore and some of them I miss so very deeply.  But they were all there in that box when I opened it tonight.  And I’m grateful.