The road-weary theatre company in Cole Porter’s delightful 1949 musical Kiss Me, Kate raises the Act One curtain by singing “Another op’nin, another show,” After 18 years of writing plays, I was losing faith that I would ever have the occasion to sigh Porter’s famous lyrics.
Until now, that is, when I am enjoying the rare good fortune of two of my plays opening within weeks of each other. Ten days ago my play Das Ende ended its premiere run and tomorrow night my play Escorting Tom opens.
It’d be hard to find two plays more different. This difficulty does not displease me. One of my heroes is British playwright Michael Frayn, whose oeuvre veers widely, from Noises Off, perhaps the most produced farce of the last 40 years (and like Kiss Me, Kate, about backstage shenanigans), to Copenhagen, a drama about quantum mechanics and the race for the atomic bomb. Huh, you say. Take my word for it; Copenhagen is one fine play.
Escorting Tom is a marital drama with shades of ribald farce. It tells the story of the strange marriage of Tom and Carol. Carol will be leaving her socially inept and isolated husband, but her project to improve the life he will live in her absence goes off the rails. Does it ever! Das Ende, written in an entirely different key, explores the impulse behind artistic creation as it spins a tale about a cursed Seattle family and the controversial 19th century composer/poet Richard Wagner.
Burien Actors Theatre (located south of Seattle) is producing Escorting Tom in honor of my play’s selection as the first-place winner in the full-length category of the 2017 Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival. The festival is an annual event hosted by Burien Actors Theatre.
The directors and cast have been working on Escorting Tom for the past two months. The show opens tomorrow evening, April 14, and runs for six performances:
• Friday, April 14, 8:30
• Saturday, April 15, 8:30
• Sunday, April 16, 3:00
• Friday, April 21, 8:30
• Saturday, April 22, 8:30
• Sunday, April 23, 3:00
(Note that the above times are approximate. Escorting Tom is part of a double-bill and follows a one-act play, They Walk Among Us by Kirsten McCory. The one-act runs about 30 minutes and begins at 7:30, except on Sundays when it begins at 2:00. One ticket gains you admission to both plays. The best thing to do is arrive for the one-act and then see both plays.)
Tickets cost only $10 and are available here. There will be an optional talk-back discussion with the directors and authors after each performance.
Our director is Calen P. Winn. Marc “Mok” Moser has served as Consulting Director. The cast includes Darla Smedley, Mark Gladding and Jane Martin.
I intend to enjoy every note of my good theatre fortune. After all, this may be the only opportunity I ever get to sing – in my tone-deaf voice – “Another op’nin, another show!”
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