'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Friday, September 13, 2002 ]

Six Things To Know About
Orange Murder Suit.


1. This is my first drama.
This is also my sixth show for Broom Street Theatre.

I had an idea in my head to do a smaller show, and I wanted to do something really actor intensive. I've come to categorize all-female cast shows in two ways: "Steel Magnolias shows" and "'Night, Mother shows."

But I'd never seen any all female show that hit me like "Down The Road," or "Bash," or "Trainspotting."

Plus, it's a crime drama.


2. What it's about.
I've been kind of coy with describing the story, but that's really only because it's hard for me to describe it without ruining it.

I want people to get more out of it the more they pay attention.

Plus, I also think I sound stupid describing it.

The big thing is that it's told in reverse, there are only two women in every scene, there are three scenes, and it's violent and scary.


3. Who's in it.
Molly Vanderlin, who plays Lynn, the lawyer, worked with me on my first show, Yoshi's Heroes. This is my second time working with Molly--although I've tried to get her in almost every show I've done. I actually wrote Lynn with her in mind.

Marcy Weiland plays Nina, the mother, and this is her return to the Broom Street stage after a long break...it's actually a very big deal that she's doing this show. Marcy amazed me by doing this show, and, I think, amazed herself as well; she keeps saying that she took it to cure herself of being a chicken liver about violence onstage. I guess she picked the right director.

Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris plays Joy, the stripper, and this is my first time working with her. If she looks familiar to those who come to this site a lot, it's because she was in Blitzkreig 3-D. I really dig Sameerah, and she's really amazed all of us, not only with her performance, but her ability to reach the levels she's reached while being really sick for most of the rehearsal. (I'm starting to get it now, too.)

Jill Kachur plays Julie, the daughter, and this is also my second time working with her. She was in ILV2k, which means she's one of the few who has a right to be bitter about that show besides me. Jill, known for her winning smile and distinctive laugh wins points from me for playing, quite possibly, the only nice person in the show. She also gets points for also working in a bank. Seriously, though, her last scene's a heartbreaker.


4. Scott Feiner designed the lights and sound.
I mention this mainly because I seriously think this is the best work I've seen him do.

Scott's always tweaking everything, always ready to go that extra mile, always ready to sleep in the theater overnight just to get that last cue right. His sound design is amazing for this show, and the lights were a hit with the cast.


5. Random facts.
The title is taken from a line from the movie "Freeway."

A lot of the other characters referred to in this show are from other shows or stories I've written: "Pierce, Hyde, and Gammon" is the law firm that Lynn works for, and one of the senior partners, Edward Hyde, is the father of the main character of a screenplay I wrote called "The Big Later." Lynn also mentions that she slept with Harry from "Tech," and went to college with Lester, from "Meeting Jerry Springer."

The stage blood in the show was made by my wife, Betsy, who used laundry detergent as a base, so if you get hit (I'd avoid sitting in the right-hand section), it's not a disaster.

The bar in the first scene is inspired by my favorite Madison dive bar, "Le Tigre."

A lot of my mom is in this show. Lynn is named after one of her friends, whose late husband was a police officer I looked up to as a kid. Nina is named after Al Hirshfeld's daughter, because my mom pointed out to me that if you look at his drawings, you can spot "Nina" hidden in most of them. My mom did compare "Reservoir Dogs" to Shakespeare, like Nina does. She does like Treat Williams (but, admittedly, not as much as she likes Brian Dennehy). A lot of the conversations about divorce are based on her and my discussions.

The t-shirts worn in act three alternate--they're all my t-shits from home, by the way.

Julie is named after my friend, who used to be a stripper (even though the character is not a stripper).

When I was in my early twenties, my mom and I were talking about her friends children, and I pointed out that, by comparison, I didn't turn out so bad. Her response: "'Didn't turn out so bad? Robert, you were a dream! A breeze. I got lucky--you were a joy to have as a son." Hence, why I named a character Joy.


6. It opens tonight.
And it runs until October 20th.

Be there, or be square.




posted by Rob on 3:30 PM | link

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