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The Wilds

Spring has sprung and summer's on it's heels. That can only mean one thing - our first outdoor performance of Merry Wives of Windsor. It's set in Connecticut in the 1950's, so lots of classic original rock 'n roll to go with Shakespeare's paper thin plot. I guess theater hasn't changed a whole lot since the the Bard was scribbling his masterpieces.

It's always good to get in front of a live audience. In a comedy like this one we've grown accustomed to barreling through the laugh lines, onto the next gag. What a pleasure to hold for the giggles.

The massive stage at Theatricum Botanicum is in the heart of the woods in a canyon close to the city. I'm always surprised and amazed at the ecological diversity of the southland. My first experience with LA back in the day was freeway, freeway, freeway. I thought choking smog was the sum of all angelino nature, so every time I submerge myself in its verdant beauty I'm struck. Right down to the bone.

It makes for an interesting collage of cool nights, hot days, bird calls, scurrying animals and uncontrollable stimuli from just over the gate. It's an experience to be savored, I think. The sounds are different, surely, than back in 1615, but I feel connected somehow to those ancient actors treading the board, or moss, or mud of Merry Wives long ago. Of course, they didn't have rock 'n roll.

In repertory, it'll be a bit before I get my next chance to play. It's a double edged sword. A traditional run means nights in a row, coalescing as a cast, finding the nuances and the gags in short order. But, repertory gives me the chance to do another play in tandem. Boy am I looking forward to Trouble the Water. We start rehearsal while Merry Wives is up and running and perform on alternating days. Now, that's some fun.

If you're in the neighborhood and want to sit in the woods and watch a show, come on out. Give me a holler after the show. It's that kind of place.


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