Back from the Bowl (Hollywood, that is)

So…that was fun.

As predicted, since 99% of our time was spent rehearsing for Spamalot, my sons were less enthused about Los Angeles than my partner or I. “Yay! Beaches, palm trees, a pool in our apartment complex…wait, wait, wait…where did our daddies go?”

Our two sitters were marvelous. I spared their sanity and insisted they split days in half.

But that mean they both took the boys on daily adventures in babysitting. That meant our boys had two-days-in-one…every day. No toddler needs to see both the La Brea Tar Pits and the Pasadena Children’s museum in one day. But it was enriching.

I think.

So there were tears most mornings.

My partner felt guilty. I did not. They are loved and doted upon and attended to all the time. Enrichment in SoCal outweighed morning tears.

As for the show, I had a great time. It was “summer stock for celebrities.” (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Christian Slater, Warwick Davies, Craig Robinson, Merle Dandridge.) All the leads were total team members and approached the intensive with whimsical enthusiasm we actors so quickly embrace (and forget) in our early summer stock years.

For those not in show business, “Summer stock” is camp for actors. Remember camp experiences where you sing silly songs and embrace simple pleasures and everyone’s dorky together? For summer stock, add jazz hands and actor-y energy. Hilarity ensues.

And when Christian Slater is one of the geeky musical theatre freaks, it’s all the more fun.

Variety declared Spamalotthe best thing the Bowl has produced in ten years.” And the 17,000+ attendees went ape-shit for every song.

A good friend of mine who saw the show texted me, “We kinda can’t believe this is your life. Filling people with joy.”

I’m well aware of that privilege. And I treasure it. (Admittedly, I’m greatly under-employed, right now.) But when show business is good, it’s really good.

My friend was right: it’s a thrilling privilege to entertain people.

Ironically, the theatre is full of a staggering amount of bitter, ungrateful people. Actors complain like no others. There’s an industry saying: “How do you make an actor complain? Give them a job.”

I suppose it’s a related to the insecurities that drew us to the theatre, in the first place. “Does the audience like me?” “My understudy is better than me.” “I feel fat.” “That chorus boy is lusting after that guy and not me.” “If I complain, I’ll feel control.” (Present company excluded. Duh.)

Meanwhile we’re being paid to play.

Anyway, I digress.

The Spam team at the Bowl lacked complainers. (There was no time to complain…or gossip…or have show-mances or rivalries or cliques or lazy performances…all things endemic to a long run.)

So, yeah. It was a great getaway. And a performing gig, at that.

I’m so very lucky.

One comment

  1. Everything I’ve heard and seen about this productions suggests that it was “absolootly mahvahlous” (in my best affected Billy Crystal voice)! Now, help Todd put together another one of those Taste of Broadway shows and get your butt to Ohio with it – the Kuss Auditorium in Springfield awaits (although nearby venues also abound in and around Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati)!!


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