My show at Davenport’s, Wilde and Woolley, came off quite well on June 11 with only a few understandable memory lapses/confusions, the kind of things that happen when you rehearse a big show for a one-shot performance, things that would be easily ironed out in a longer run. We had a fairly good turn-out of new and old friends and supporters as well as a few walk-ins.
Regrettably, I haven’t been able to savor the success as much as I’d like however, because we woke the next day to the news of the massacre at Pulse in Orlando. Since a number of my audience members had come out to a gay club to see me celebrate Pride month the coincidence struck me particularly hard.
I was reminded palpably of the days in San Francisco when I was playing in a long-running revival of The Fantasticks when Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone were assassinated. I was playing Mortimer, the “man who dies” the side kick to the Old Actor, whose job was ironic comic relief: to make people giggle and/or guffaw at the wan humor of a thespian whose whole act was reduced to death scenes. It was a burden, let me tell you. I’ve had bad luck that way.
We restored some cuts and put in a new ending to the show. The new additions played well which make me happy as a writer. The show came in at one-hour exactly meeting Davenport’s time restriction. I have a few textual tweeks I’d like to work on for the next addition. Our future plans now are to do the show again as a full evening with intermission (adding more songs in the second act). We would like to produce it as theatre piece (one-man show rather than cabaret set) and do it for several weekends running, to try to get reviews and perhaps build an audience through word of mouth.
I am so thankful for my collaborators and supporters in this endeavor. Working with Philip Seward as music director and on-stage partner has been a singular joy. I’d be a much happier man at this juncture if the world hadn’t reminded us once again about the risks of celebrating who you are when you are non-conforming. But we will persevere because perseverance in the face of opposition is one of the main things that Wilde and Woolley explores and celebrates.