Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Archive for the ‘Plays’ Category

Why Watching an Anniversary Concert DVD Does not Make You an Expert

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By Photo: Andreas Praefcke (own photograph) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As all of you know, I am a kind of a YouTube fanatic, but moreover, you all know that the comments / reviews on performance, literary, or artistic items unnerve me when they do certain things (“Commenting on Things: What You Should and Should Not Do“). However, most recently, I have been watching clips from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Les Miserables from varying performances. In the comment sections, I have found people attacking other performers based upon their watching of the 25th Anniversary Cast DVDs of both musicals and think that they are the quintessential casts and performances. While I don’t necessarily have a problem with either cast (besides that Jonas kid as Marius… because he’s wimpy compared to the rest of the cast), I think that it is entirely unfair to demonize another performance based upon the ideology that you liked another performer better, but moreover, I also think that it’s terrible to attack a performer simply because you say they’re terrible… Tell us why they’re terrible for heaven’s sake.

The biggest example of this comes when people are comparing Lea Salonga’s performance of Fantine (25th Anniversary of Les Mis) or Eponine  (10th Anniversary) to the others that have played these roles and simply saying that they suck in comparison to her.  While I have no objections to Lea Salonga per say,  I do think that there are things that she does that are technically wrong. For instance, she spreads every vowel to the point that tight vowels are distorted by the overall stretched position of her mouth. (If you notice, I pointed out a flaw that is easily detectable… not just “Fuck no Lea Salonga is Fucking awfel”… spelling errors added for emphasis). However, I still believe that Lea Salonga is a good performer in her own right. Still, I don’t necessarily think that she’s the best performer for particular roles (Fantine is one thing that I just am not a fan of her in because her voice doesn’t convey the emotion that I think it should… to me it comes off as I’m trying to be sad and emotional but never really arrives at either).  Ms. Salonga is good in many things, but I just don’t think that this is the best performance of her (I like her better as Eponine).

This brings me to the main point of this post. I understand that people love the anniversary concerts of both franchises. Honestly, the 25th Anniversary Phantom might be my favorite filmed musical production. I also like a lot about the Les Mis 25th Anniversary (Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser are awesome… and so is Samantha Banks… others are too). However, I think that you create a flawed perception for yourself if you think that a DVD cast is the end all be all and don’t give anyone else another chance at all. I find nothing wrong with valuing one person’s performance over another. My biggest qualm lies with those that attack other people and other performances simply because they think that one person is better. This is why I say that watching that 25th Anniversary does not make you the expert on the whole of the musical or anything else for that matter. Believe me. There are others out there that know a lot more than you about whatever it is that you’re writing about, and most of them will allow you to have a valid point in an argument as long as it doesn’t turn into the “Nuh-uh she sucks!” type of statement.

Also, (this is connected to the previous paragraph, but I wanted to break here), don’t spread slander about an actor / actress / performer / writer just to do it.  For example, this comment came from a Les Mis video with Ruthie Henshall:

“This DOMESTIC STARLET CAREERLESS HAS-BEEN (thank you, Arch) is terribly miscast for this role. She has the ugliest voice ever of any Fantine, she can’t hit the notes, and she can’t act. The overarated Ruthie Henshall should not be cast in anything!”

Why was this necessary? Additionally, I have seen the “Domestic Starlet Careerless Has-Been” quoted often and wonder who said it first. This does not make you appear knowledgeable… it just makes you look ignorant and hateful (also without citing your source, it makes you look like a plagiarist or that you’re ashamed of your source… all I’m saying). Additionally, please don’t mark everything as SPAM if it doesn’t agree with your opinion. That’s even more childish than the “Nuh-Uh” comments in my opinion. If you can’t have a rationale and civil debate, don’t hide what others say… GAH!!!

Sorry… I’m done with my rant now… I feel a little better about life, and hopefully, others who do these rude things simply because they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet can take something from this… So in closing, I leave you with a few of the videos that started this rant. If you want more examples of the comments that people make, just look in the comment sections on these vids… So yeah…

The first is the Ruthie Henshall version from the 10th Anniversary concert of Les Mis. Personally, this is my favorite and is the one that started the purpose of this post… I feel like she shows a great deal of emotion in the song and performance, which is limited by the concert setting mind you. Enjoy!

The second is the Lea Salonga video that also caused this post. While I’m not a huge fan of Salonga’s Fantine, I think that there are some things that are wonderful about her performance as well. I just watch her and feel that her technique is flawed because of the vowel spreading… I also think that she doesn’t sound like a woman who has been through all that Fantine has… (and she’s had it hard).

The third is form the original West End performer of the role Patti Lupone. While it’s in a concert setting (because the original show was in a time before bootlegging shows in the theater was more difficult… think of the 80s video cameras…), I think that it’s obvious why a lot of individuals believe her to be pretty awesome (I love Patti…).

I’m even including Susan Boyle’s version of the song, which many persons may know… Although I am impressed by her vocal ability as a relative unknown flying into stardom and her raw talent, I also think that it’s unfair to compare her to the Broadway and West End greats that have performed this song. She’s good, but she has a lot of little flaws throughout the performance (timing, vowel sound, counting) that make it weaker to me. Good performance overall.

Matter of factly, even Glee has done it with Idina Menzel and Lea Michelle performing. Auto-tuned performances aside because of the nature of television, it’s pretty good overall… just not my cup of tea.

I could give you more and more of these performance, but I’m going to end here. But my PSA of the day would be that you (and I know that I’m writing toward a niche) should give other performances and artistry a chance before you judge something as terrible simply because it’s not what you’re familiar with or what you fell in love with to begin with… There you go.

The Last Five Years: Goodbye Until Tomorrow / I Could Never Rescue You

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As most of my readers know, my posts are kind of scatter shot at time because I like many, many things. One of them is musicals, and lately, I’ve been listening to one of my favorites that I come back to on regular occasion: The Last Five Years.

Now, I don’t know how many of you have heard of this musical. It’s written by Jason Robert Brown (he’s amazing) and the original cast recording with Norbert Leo Butz (just won a second Tony for “Catch Me if You Can”) and Sherie Rene Scott (love her!). Anyway, the musical is the story of a couple who falls in love, gets married, and then divorced. However, there’s a narrative twist of sorts in this musical. She is living the process from the divorce to first meeting him while he is experiencing it from the beginning to the end. Below is her first song called “Still Hurting” which is tearful and sad…

The next video is one of two duets of the show. This particular one takes place at the end where Kathy is seeing Jaime go for the first time while he is leaving her forever….it’s called “Goodbye Until Tomorrow / I Could Never Rescue You.” Moreover, this song is probably the most heartbreaking of the show, but it’s beautiful.

I recommend this musical to any and everyone who does not know if they are interested in the genre. It’s beautiful and simplistic…however, the simple is beautiful and complex in this instance. It deals with the human condition, which may be the reason that I come back to it so often.

The Acting Itch

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So, the other night, I watched one of my closest friends in The Miss Firecracker Contest (She was wonderful in it by the way). However, watching her, I realized that I miss it. I miss the feeling of being up on the stage and having the rush  caused by the crowd. Yeah…I am a bit of an attention whore at times (most of the time unintentionally while I’m just being me).

Honestly, I’ve been acting since I was in 8th grade, and it’s become a part of me that likes to come out at times…I’m hoping that I can audition for something soon…maybe a musical…hmmm…Random.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Somethings that Make Me Tear Up Everytime

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So, I’ll be honest with you. I’m a person who is pretty dead when it comes to being emotional in front of people. Part of this may be due to my raising because in the south boys aren’t supposed to cry. Part of it may also because I am just a person who understands that there is a time and a place for emotions. For example, I don’t think that everyone should share the dirty laundry of their break up with people that they might at best consider acquaintances. It’s just a thing. Perhaps, I suffer alone without rhyme or reason. I don’t know. However, I will continue to do such because it’s ingrained in my nature now.

There are a couple of things that get me every time though. Both of them are musicals. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, music is the great emotional manipulator in my mind. Why? It mixes the strong emotions of the world with music.

 I am a sucker for music. It is a great love of mine. I love music from classical to contemporary because it hits on so many levels within my psyche. It manipulates me like no person will ever be able to. I am a wimp when it comes to musical manipulation or surprises (don’t get me started on this…the end of Atonement , a movie, and Next to Normal, a musical).

The main things that get me are musicals. It’s because of the music. It’s the one thing that will get me time after time. It breaks down all the barriers and makes me feel at ease before it shatters the barriers that I put up to contain my emotional baggage.

Recently, there have been two musicals that have done this to me. Next to Normal and Les Miserables cause me much grief as I listen to the beautiful heartache that is contained within the melodies and harmonies of each. They each have a great overarching story that makes me sad (what with a bipolar mother and the effects on the family and the French Revolution). However, each of them presents their sad tale in the form of a musical drama. This is the worst/best part for me. I love the music of each musical (matter-of-factly, N2N is brilliant across the board musically).

They set me at ease and then take me into the depths of despair. They each leave me with hope and allow me to face emotions that I would never think about pouring myself into. They make me think which is pretty phenomenal for anything that is supposed to be as superficial and candied as a musical. I find myself starting to get into the action and feel with the characters every time with these two musicals. Quite frankly, I suggest that if you haven’t heard/seen them that you do so as soon as possible because they are an experience not to be trifled with.

Lucia di Lammermoor

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So, I am intrigued by an opera which probably comes as no surprise to my friends reading. It’s called Lucia di Lammermoor. Honestly, I do not know anything about it other than what the wikipedia page says. It revolves around the character of Lucia who over the course of the opera falls in love with a man who her family doesn’t approve of (a blood feud sort of thing). However, it ends badly for both of them…it is a tragic opera after all…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucie_de_Lammermoor#Lucie_de_Lammermoor

Why was I turned onto this opera one might ask? It appears in the movie The Fifth Element. Diva Plavalaguna, the blue alien chick, performs an aria called “Il dolce suono” or “The Sweet Sound”from it  in her diva dance scene. Sang by Albanian soprano Inva Mula-Tchako, it has quite an impact on the feel of the movie and excites musical people like myself (I am guilty of watching that section of the movie just to see the song).

It is a beautiful piece of music and is both technically and vocally challenging. If done right, it is a striking piece of music that compliments the lead soprano’s voice and range. I have to say that I like the version by Natalie Dessay (who I know nothing about).

Maybe I can find a good DVD version of the show.

Standing Ovation for Mediocrity: Oh No!

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Recently, due to the  number of theater productions and concerts that I attend, I have noticed a trend that is slightly disturbing to me. People giving standing ovations for mediocrity or for something that is terrible. Why does this bother me one might ask? Well, to be quite honest with you, it’s because of the idea behind the thing. You rise to your feet because you thought the performance was so moving that it was worthy to stand. It gives motion (other than the polite or uproarious clapping) to your appreciation of the work.

I am stingy with my standing ovations. I will be the first to admit it because I do not think that it is my duty as an audience member to molly coddle the performers. If I thought the performance was okay, I will clap. If I thought someone did a particularly good job, I will clap louder for them. Honestly, I have been to professional quality shows and sat in my seat as the remainder of the audience quickly rose to show their appreciation. It’s just one of those things. I have to stand my ground.

Partially, I think this whole not giving standing o’s thing is because I am a performer myself. I do not expect them. If the company gets them, I do have a sense of pride because of it. However, I also know that sometimes people give them just to be polite. So, I’m just going to say it to people who may not know.

It is not polite theater etiquette to stand up at the end of anything that you see…that is unless you throughly enjoyed it. Clap if you feel so inclined but don’t necessarily feel led to stand. Also, you don’t have to follow the herd mentality. If the guy beside you does it, you don’t have to do it.

So, there…I’ve spilled my ideas onto the page….one might say that it is a pet peeve of mine…along with talking loudly during performances…or sleeping (you paid for the tickets. Did you really need a $70 nap?)….Anyway, I digress. Maybe I’m a terrible person…who knows? Are there any other faux pas that should be addressed? Hmmmm….

Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Play Productions and the Great Blue Yonder

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So, I am a self-proclaimed act-whore…you may be wondering what this term means, so let me break it down for you. I act in every theatrical production that is going on around me if at all possible. Just this year, I have appeared in three different shows at the college I work at and am about to do my fourth. Now, these works have ranged from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to The Laramie Project to a collection of scenes from various shows. Each one of them has brought new experiences into my life. I am constantly having my acting abilities tested by each new venture I undertake. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Each production and each new director I work under brings new nuances to my performances. I am by no means saying that I am an amazing actor…I just feel like I get a little better everytime…and seeing that I’ve worked under 7 directors, I believe that each of them has impacted me in some way.

One of them gave us little tidbits of his experience before we would go onto stage each night, and the one that stuck with me was the fact that theater is ephemeral which struck me as odd. Why do we work so hard to put together something that will be gone before we know it? And I came to the conclusion that it’s because each of actor brings a love of the craft to the table. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t continue to do it without getting paid…and most of us if we could get paid for it would have our dream job built for us.

I may be an act-whore, but even when I have a disconnect from a show or a hard time with someone I’m acting/working with, I know that it helps me come alive. It’s one of the things that really helps me express myself in a world where people are medicated every which way because they’re dealing with their issues. I deal with my issues on the stage. It keeps me sane.

I leave you with a simple quote from a t-shirt (thought it was going to be some big actor or something didn’t you)…Thespians do it onstage and in public…

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 10, 2010 at 4:33 pm

The Power of Good Writing

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With the overflow of new creative works coming into being each day, it’s a wonder that so much of it gets acclaim for being “good” writing. In fact, most of it that is considered “good” writing is quite mediocre in comparison to some of the greats. However, that being said, there are some literary based works that have come out within the past little while that have caught my attention and intrigue me even more each day.

There are many television shows that have come out in the last several years that rely heavily upon the writing. In the midst of the Reality TV storm, shows like Heroes, Pushing Daisies (although it was canceled), Supernatural (the writing is good for what it is…a realationship between two brothers), Dexter, and many others astound me because they play with words and dialogue. Their sheer quality astounds me because up until recently the plot driven, story-based program has been crippled by the frugality and quick production time of the reality shows. I’m glad that good tv is starting to be back on the air because honestly there are few reality tv programs that I can stand.

My main example of amazing writing  is the musical Next to Normal which follows the mental breakdown of Diana, a suburban housewife, and the effects of this on her family. I will openly admit that I have become a little obsessive about the musical. For the past few weeks (ever since I saw it in New York), I have listened to at least selected songs from it…some multiple times. However, it’s because the writing and the music itself have so many layers that each time I listen I gain something more. The word choice is immaculate, and the themes, both musical and verbal, are quite awe-inspiring because they do something that a lot of writing/music nowadays doesn’t do. They make you think. They make you have to mentally interact with them to create their meaning instead of putting everything out there from the beginning. Each time I have listened to N2N, I have started to understand more of the subtext and am allowed another peek into the ethereal realm that it delves into…the unseen…Amazing writing does this…it makes us think.

Good writing whether in TV, novel, play, music, etc. should take us to places that make us think. It shouldn’t leave us feeling like we’ve reveled in the squalor (like many reality tv shows do). I hope that over the next few years we see an emergence of more clever, creative, and wonderful writing and that the crappy stuff saunters towards extinction…

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Into the Darkness

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Into the Darkness

Cast

Mr. Abel Adams (the reincarnation of Cain): A lawyer of forty something who is married with two children and owns his own law firm. He has something to hide from very long past.

 Miss Lillian Helsgrave (the reincarnation of Lilith): A woman in her mid-twenties. She is joining Mr. Adams’s firm

Mrs. Havens: Mr. Adams’s secretary.

Evelyn Adams: His wife

Seth and John Adams: His sons

Abel: Cain’s brother

Adam: Lilith’s husband

 (The show opens black. A blue spotlight comes up on stage Left. A man and a dark haired woman are talking to each other. They seem to be nude.)

 Lilith: Adam, I wish we could just run away. Forget about God and just…just be…with each other…be free from this imprisonment. (Adam steps away from Lilith and turns his back on her. She follows and turns him to face her.) Do not look away from me! You are either going to be with me or you will never see me again.

 Adam: (A moment of silence.) I think we better speak with our Father first, before we do anything.

 Lilith: You foolish, foolish man…Why can we not just live without Him?

Adam: Without Him, we would be nothing Lilith. God created us. We should try to return this gift. (Lilith starts to speak, but she is silenced by Adam who is looking into the heavens.) Silence, woman! God speaks!! (There is a pause.) God commands that you should leave because you have spited him…

Lilith: But, Adam…

 Adam: Go Lilith!

 Lilith: Fine! Goodbye, Adam…may God comfort you in the days to come because you will never see me again. Maybe, He will create you some other evil (Eve syllable is accented heavily.) woman for you. (She exits as the light fades to black.)

 (A tinted red spotlight comes up stage Right on a scene of two boys in loincloths. They seem to be having an argument.)

Cain: He told me my offering was not good enough…and I tried so hard…

 Abel: It will be alright brother. He will be please with you next…

 Cain: No, He has always loves you more. He is always more pleased with you. You are his favorite. God!!

 Abel: Don’t say that…We are supposed to honor and respect Him.

 Cain: There you go again. Taking up for Him!

 Abel: Brother, you are walking down a dangerous road. You cannot blaspheme against God. He will punish you for it.

 Cain: I wish you would just stop. (He is now facing downstage and is downstage of Abel. He kneels and picks up a rock. He turns quickly in a fit of anger and slams the rock into Abel’s head. Abel falls to the ground. Cain then realizes what he has done and falls to his knees to and holds his brother. The light blacks.)

 (A purple tented light comes up DRC. Lilith stands on the edge of the stage looking off the stage as if she is looking off a balcony. Cain enters from UR.)

Cain: (Noticing her.) Hello, I am looking for a place called Nod. Do you know how to get there?

Lilith: (She is noticeably startled.) Not really…Who are you?

Cain: A man of the worst kind, one against God. Someone a lady like you should not associate with.

Lilith: I should be the one to decide that. Maybe, I want to know you.

 Cain: It would be good for you if you never got to know me…I will not waste your time anymore than I have. Goodbye. (As he begins to leave, she grabs him and kisses him. He pulls away from her and turns to leave.) I cannot take another person down my damned path. If you knew the curse I bear, you would never have done this.

Lilith: (Walks over to him, grabs his arm, and looks at it. There is a number/symbol inscribed there.) So, it is you, Cain. The killer of his own flesh…I have heard stories about you from all over this land. Come with me and live forever. I share your punishment…we are both cursed to be reincarnated eternally until we learn the errors of our ways…We were created for each other, Cain. Do you not see? We were destined to be together, forever.

 Cain: Forever? (She caresses him fondly, and the light blacks.)

 (The lights come up to a dim glow. Center, there is a long table stretching from center to DC. At the head, Mr. Adams sits talking on the phone which sits on the tabletop. There are several nice chairs around the table. He is dressed in a nice business suit. As he sits talking, Mrs. Havens and Lillian enter. Mrs. Havens is a middle-aged woman dressed in nice business attire. Lillian is a young woman with dark hair. She is dressed in a nice pants suit. They wait on him to get off the phone.)

 Mrs. Havens: Mr. Adams, your new intern is here to begin work with you, today.

 Mr. Adams: Charlie, I’ll have to call you back. (A pause.) Alright, I’ll call you then. (Hangs up the phone.) Yes, thank you, Mrs. Havens. Would you get us some coffee?

 Mrs. Havens: Yes, Sir. (She exits.)

 Mr. Adams: Well, Miss…forgive me; I seem to have forgotten your name.

 Lillian: Lillian Helsgrave, and I might say this is an honor to work with you, Mr. Adams. (She says this with feigned enthusiasm.)

 Mr. Adams: Well, it’s good to have you Lillian. You graduated from…Cambridge earlier this year, correct?

 Lillian: Yes, I did, the top of my class, actually. (She says this with a grin as she takes a seat at the table.)

 Mr. Adams: Good, and what internships did you have while you were there? I remember several top notch firms on your list of references, and you have gotten great compliments from them.

 Lillian: You flatter me Mr. Adams.

 Mr. Adams: What made you decide to come here to join my firm?

 Lillian: I heard you had one of the best law firms in the Midwest, and I just had to get out of those really big cities.

 Mr. Adams: It looks like a young woman such as you would want to be part of the nightlife of some big town.

 Lillian: Looks can be deceiving, Cain…(Quickly returns.) Mr. Adams.

Mr. Adams: (He tenses noticeably at the name Cain.) Ummm, yes. Well, welcome to my law firm Lillian…I am sure you’ll be a great asset to the firm.

 Lillian: Good to be here. So where do I begin?

Mr. Adams: Well, I really want you to work with Raymond Blaspher on an insurance fraud case. I think this would be an appropriate place to start you in.

 Lillian: Really, I was kind of hoping you would but me on the Allan Gonzaga case. You know the one where the teenage boy killed his brother to get more attention from his father? (She does this trying to bait him. Thus beginning to show who she is. She does this trying to get him to react.)

Mr. Adams: (Obviously shocked by her forwardness and at the subject matter. He responds quickly.) Lillian, we don’t take cases like that here. I find myself very disturbed by them because I have two sons of my own.

 Lillian: Why do you think a child would kill his brother?

Mr. Adams: Enough! I told you that I am disturbed by the fact.

Lillian: Really? Cain, is it you? Have I found you at last?

 Mr. Adams: Why are you calling me that? My name is Abel.

 Lillian: You have his name!! Are you trying to be like him? Is that what this is? You’re trying to be a goody two shoes. Ha, ha, ha.

 Mr. Adams: I was given this name by my mother and father…but enough of that. Mr. Blaspher has been working on this insurance fraud case for several months now. So, do your best to assist him.

Lillian: (Changing the subject.) Why don’t you start me on divorce cases? You know a man’s wife is insubordinate so she’s kicked out by his Father, and he finds his son a new wife. But then, this woman also finds another man with a dark past…and they fall in love and live for all eternity, together…

Mr. Adams: Why are you asking me such silly question? I put you where I put you Lil…lian.

Lillian: (She jumps on his hesitation.) Oh, Cain! It is you. I couldn’t be sure before, but now, I’m positive. We’re together again. (She clings to him much as she did in the past.)

Mr. Adams: (He tries to dismiss what she said.) Miss Helsgrave, I do not know what you are talking about. I know nothing of this Cain person of whom you speak.

Lillian: You can’t just get rid of…

Mr. Adams: (Anger rising.) Why did you come here?

Lillian: To find you…and I know it’s you. (She rushes over to him and pulls up his shirt sleeve. She reveals the same mark he bore in the past.) See, I know it’s you! You can’t just forget about us…

Mr. Adams: I am an honest working man…I am not Cain!!! Who the hell do you think you are coming here and starting something like this?

 Lillian: Like what. Bringing you back to me.

 Mr. Adams: There never was any us….I don’t know…(At this point, Mrs. Havens enters with coffee.)

 Mrs. Havens: Here’s your coffee, sir.

 Mr. Adams: Thank you, Margaret. Will you show Miss Helsgrave where Mr. Blaspher’s office is? Thank you, again Margaret.

 Mrs. Havens: Yes, Mr. Adams.

 Mr. Adams: Goodbye, Miss Helsgrave. It’s good (A slight pang in his voice.) To have you here.

 Lillian: It’s good to be here, Mr. Adams. I’m glad to be here, and I hope to get to know you and the rest of the people here. Thank you for you time. (She exits UR behind Mrs. Havens.)

 Mr. Adams: What am I going to do now? (Sits down in the chair with his head in his hands as the lights fade to dim and his silhouette is all that is seen.) What am I going to do?

 (Lights Black.)

 (Lights up. The table is covered with a nice table clothe and candlesticks. At the head sits Mr. Adams. At his right hand sits his wife, Evelyn, and a little further down on either side, are his two boys [Seth and John]. They are having dinner.)

 Evelyn: Did you have a good day at work, honey?

Mr. Adams: Yes, it was alright. We finally closed on an insurance fraud case that Blaspher’s been working on for the past few months. The new girl, I put on the case, is really proving herself (he smirks).

 Evelyn: A new girl?

Mr. Adams: Yes, her name is Lillian and…Boys finish you vegetable or no dessert for you…she’s new and seems like she is going to be a great asset to the firm.

 Evelyn: I remember the last woman that you hired. She tried to (Noticing the kids. She stops.). Well, you know….and I really didn’t like that…but maybe I’m just being paranoid.

Mr. Adams: Honey, nothing is going to happen…Quite frankly the woman annoys me…(Shakes head.) She reminds me of one of those psycho chicks in the movies.

Evelyn: (Chuckling.) Why would you say something like that? Do you feel threatened by her.

Mr. Adams: No, not at all. (Time freezes. The lights dim and a spotlight comes up on him.) Oh, God…I’m terrified. She is going to try to keep me with her. In this damnable cycle, I need to escape. I really thought that this life would win me my freedom. I have tried so hard to atone for my sins and become a good person. And until now, I have been successful,  but now, I see there is still one tether that needs to be severed before I can truly be free…before, I can truly be the man my brother was. (Lights come back up.)

Evelyn: Honey, are you okay? You just stopped talking all of a sudden…Are you scared by her?

 Mr. Adams: Why would I be?

John: Dad, may we be excused? Seth and I want to go outside and play…please?

Mr. Adams: Yes, you may, but take your plates to the kitchen to help your mother.

John and Seth: Yes, sir. Thank you, Dad. (They exit hurriedly carrying their plates, UL.)

Mr. Adams: (Sadly.) Always, full of life…and so happy with each other. Do you remember when we married we always said we wanted to have children?

Evelyn: Yes…

Mr. Adams: And finally, we had our first after so much time trying, and we were so proud.

Evelyn: Where are you going with this?                                                 

Mr. Adams: Nowhere except that you’re more beautiful now than ever before.

 Evelyn: Now, I remember why I married you. (She embraces him and they kiss. John enters and crosses to them.)

 John: (To his Dad.) Dad, there’s a weird woman here, and she wants to see you…she looks scary.

 (Lillian enters UL without an invitation. She dressed in dark clothing that has an ancient flair to it to remind Mr. Adams of the centuries passed when they were together.)

Lillian: I’m sorry to burst in here like this, but I needed to discuss a case with you, Mr. Adams.

 Mr. Adams: Of course Miss Helsgrave…I don’t think you’ve met my wife…Evelyn, dear, this is Lillian Helsgrave, the new intern at my law firm.

Evelyn: Pleased to make you acquaintance.

Lillian: Charmed, I’m sure…(Vehemently) Eve.

 Evelyn: It’s been sometime since someone called me that (She’s quite bewildered.) I’ll leave you two alone to discuss your business. (She exits.)

 Lillian: So, here we are yet again. We’re destined to be together.

 Mr. Adams: (Temper rising) I don’t know who you think you are coming to my home!…You’re already treading on thin ice at work after the scene you made…

 Lillian: But don’t people have to be present to make it a scene, my dear Cain…

 Mr. Adams: You have always been insufferable, you know that…

 Lillian: Ah! So the fallen one does remember who he was or is rather…So, why don’t you drop this act, Cain, and come back to me. We’ve been together since the beginning. Why can’t we be together now?

 Mr. Adams: Because I’m a trying to bury that man I use to be. I don’t want to continue the cycle anymore. I’ve found a family I want to be with for eternity…in heaven.

Lillian: Oh, please…like heavens anything compared to what we’ve had.

 Mr. Adams: Yes, Lilith. What we had! Don’t you understand? There is no us anymore.Can’t you understand that. There could be redemption for you too. We could finally break free of this curse. We could finally go home.

 Lillian: Oh, please, these lives we’ve lived have not been as a punishment…

 Mr. Adams: Oh, but they have! Living forever…never finding peace. Always having to wallow in our sins. I’m tired Lilith.

 Lillian: Do you realize I searched for you ten years of my last life? Do you know it was just luck that I found you in this life? I am not going to give you up!

 Mr. Adams: You have no choice because I don’t want to be bound anymore…

 Lillian: There’s no way you can quit me, Cain. I won’t allow it…Do you remember on the banks of the Mediterranean centuries ago when you promised you would always want me? Well, your feelings may have changed for me, but I still desire you. I’ll have you too. Even if I have to take away all you cherish in this world. (She fingers a picture of his family on the wall.) I’ll do it, Cain…If you spurn me, what a bountiful harvest of flesh there will be!

Mr. Adams: (With fear in his voice.) Leave my house and my property now before I call the police.

Lillian: They can’t bold me Cain…I will be yours or no one will…(Evelyn enters quite awestruck by what she heard.)

Evelyn: Leave our house now you…you…hussy. (She brandishes the bowl of fruit she carries, ready to throw it at her.)

 Lillian: I will leave with no further argument, but remember what I said Mr. Adams. I am not to be trifled with. (She storms off. Suddenly, a roar of an engine is heard, the squeal of tires, and finally, the yelp of an animal is heard.)

(The children run in crying and through their broke sobs speak.)

Seth: Mommy…she…ran over Daisy.

(Lights black.)

(A blue spotlight comes up downstage on Lilith/Lillian. She stands there weeping as the light comes up. She is holding a dagger.)

Lilith: Oh Cain…Where are you? I’m completely lost without you, Cain. So, I’ll meet you in the next life. Please, forgive me. (She stabs herself in the stomach.)

 (The lights black.)

 (Lights come up on the office again. Mr. Adams is pacing. He seems to be worried about something. Evelyn enters.)

 Evelyn: There’s nothing they can do?

Mr. Adams: No, they said they have to have proof she was there to even try to enact the restraining order, and believe me, I’ve searched every possible way to overcome it and found nothing.

Evelyn: But she was at the kids’ school!!! I heard her threaten us if you didn’t come with her. I’m scared Abel.

 Mr. Adams: We’ll be okay, Evelyn. In all our years together, have I even let anything bad happen to you or the kids?

Evelyn: No, but this is different. She’s derang…

Mr. Adams: And I won’t let anything happen now. You go get the kids and take them to your mother’s. I’m going to stay here and finish up, but I’ll meet you there later.

 Evelyn: Okay…I love you (She kisses him tenderly.) Please be careful (she exits.)

 Mr. Adams: (Walks over to the table and talks into the intercom.) Mrs. Havens, please hold all my calls and cancel all my meeting today. Thank you, Mrs. Havens. (He starts pacing.) What to do? What to do? If I don’t…go with her or take some action against her…my family will remain in danger. But if I kill her protecting them, will I once again be condemned? I grow so tired of this weary world…(Picks up a picture of his family.) I love you all so much…And yet, something inside of me says it would be better to leave you, but I’m not going to. Haven’t I been denied happiness all my lives, and now that I’ve found it, I’m not going to give it away so that my soul can be rekindled into a new evil birth. I won’t do it…I will not do it. (Phone rings.) Hello….oh God! No, I’ll be there be there right away. (He hangs up the phone and begins to exit. However, he stops and drops to his knees.) God, I’ve never asked anything of you before and I’m not worthy to beg for anything…But please keep her safe…Please God…(The lights black on this scene.)

 (Lights up on the Adam’s home again Evelyn is tied to a chair as Lilith/Lillain wanders about the stage, she carries a revolver with her. They wait for Mr. Adams.)

 Evelyn: What is the matter with you…you, deranged woman?!?

Lillian: I come seeking the one thing I have lost for the past forty-eight years my dear lady.

 Evelyn: But why do you torment my family…me…my husband…

 Lillian: Oh, but Mrs. Adams, your husband is not who you married…he’s much, much more. For millennia our souls have been together entwined by destiny and fate throughout the ages. Now he’s trying to break the cycle and free himself of this mortality; this eternal mortality, but I cannot allow this. I cannot be alone…

Evelyn: You wicked, wicked, deranged woman. You need help…I can help you find a good psychiatrist for you…

 Lillian: No my dear, I am not crazy…or am I (She points the revolver at Evelyn’s head.) How sure are you of where you’ll go after death Mrs. Adams? Will you arrive in Heaven or kick at It and fall directly to hell?…Huh? Answer me!!!

 Evelyn: (Sobs) Please don’t kill me, I have two little boys. Who will take care of them?

 Lillian: Well, I guess we’ll find out both answers soon enough, won’t we.  (She cocks the revolver. Mr. Adams enters.)

Mr. Adams: No!!!!

 Lillian: So, you finally decided to join us, Cain.

 Mr. Adams: Yes, just put the gun down, Lillian, and we can talk.

 Lillian: I have done enough talking, and if I can’t have you then no one will (She presses the gun harder against Evelyn’s head. Evelyn cries out and whimpers.)

 Mr. Adams: No, I’ve come to take you with me and leave this place. Leave this futile individuals behind me.

Lillian: So, you have come back to me finally, my lover. (She pulls the gun slowly from Evelyn’s head. It still points there. Evelyn sobs quietly. Lillian moves toward Cain.)

 Mr. Adams” Come to me my darling. Be one with me…(She slowly drops her arm and walks to his outstretched arms.)

Lillian: Cain…(As she nears, suddenly Mr. Adams lunges for the arm with the revolver. They struggle for it.) No, you lied to me! You stupid, stupid man. (They struggle longer for the revolver. Then, there is a gunshot, and it is unclear for a few seconds what has happened. Slowly, Mr. Adams sinks to the ground. And Lillian screams in anguish. Suddenly, everything freezes, and Azrael, the angel of death, appears before Mr. Adams. A bright blue spotlight lights him.)

 Azrael: Wandering child of spirit and flesh. So damned by your own actions. You are released from the prison of this world. You may break free of the circle of sin. Your punishment on earth is lifted. Hers is now to begin. (He kneels near Mr. Adams. Yet when the scene unfreezes, the others do not see him.)

 Evelyn: What have you done?!? (She sobs loudly again.)

 Lillian: (Starting to cry.) I am sorry…Why? Did I? No…(She cocks the revolver again and sticks it to her temple.) I’ll meet you again, Cain…I’ll find you. (The stage blacks and a gunshot rings out and another scream from Evelyn can be heard.)

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Actwhore

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So, I have to say that I really do enjoy acting. As the opening of a new show arrives, something stirs in me that I find exciting and invigorating because all the hard word that my compatriots and I have put forth is about to be rewarded. All the blood, sweat, and broken glass will be forgotten as the crowd begins to cheer and the adrenaline begins to pump.

Some people talk about the runners high (and I have no doubt that it exists), but I believe in an acting high. There is just nothing quite like being in front of a live crowd pulling off their energy and putting it back out  ten-fold. I love doing it. Like I said, there is nothing quite like it because every show is different and every night is a new experience.

I joke around when I’m in productions by saying that I’m an Act-whore…however, it’s fairly true. I will be in practically any show (there are some I won’t touch but let’s face it everyone has standards…), will expose my raw self to the audience, and will hope to have left everyone feeling satisfied in the end.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 21, 2010 at 1:10 am