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I'm an NYC-based director, and this is an outlet for my various musings about theater and about the city of New York. Sometimes the subjects run together, sometimes they are entirely separate, but between the two they comprise the most fitful, most intense, most trying love affair of my few years. They fill my head, my heart, my mouth every hour of every day; they could fill a book.

Monday, June 20, 2011

We're Going Up

Today at 3 we'll tech for Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin, and tomorrow we open.

I'm really excited. Like, REALLY excited. I can't wait for all of the exciting things we've been exploring in rehearsal to come together, for the actors to finally have an audience, and for people to see what we've been working on.

And I don't want to get all gross and gushy here, but I don't think I've been this excited to open a show since maybe high school. Something... feels very high school about this. In a good way! Not in terms of the quality - James has written a fantastic show, and the cast and crew (and by crew I mean our multi-talented producer/stage manager/designer/generally all-around awesome guy, Ben) have been doing amazing things. I mean that there's been something communal, passionate and energetic in the room with these people that feels almost young. The kind of zeal that usually accompanies the novelty of being a part of something so legitimately awesome as a play for the first time. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe it's just the fact that I haven't had so much fun working on something AND been so proud of the result in a long time. I've had a lot of fun working on shows. And I've been very proud of shows I've been a part of. But not BOTH, at the SAME TIME. Not like this.

In any case, I'm all a-twitter about tomorrow's show. I feel like parents should be bringing flowers! SOMEONE BRING ME FLOWERS! Just kidding. Not really. Okay, just kidding.

And there's more good news! The theater company Vampire Cowboys has asked James if we'd like to perform an excerpt of Captain Moonbeam for their upcoming show on Saturday. The show is a farewell to their rehearsal/performance space The Battle Ranch, which they've had for the past four years. (Although that's not good news. That's pretty sad news.) I know I've sung the praises of Vampire Cowboys here before, but I'll say it again: they're amazing.

I first became aware of the Vampire Cowboys three, maybe four years ago when I went to see their play, Men of Steel (also about comic books, coincidentally enough). My friend and frequent playgoing companion Teresa and I sort of stumbled upon it, completely accidentally and incredibly serendipitously. At the time we had resolved to see more theater, and had been meeting up once a week to see a play together. Or, we had in theory. In practice, it hadn't been working out. This was, I believe, our third week of trying, and every time so far for one reason or another (sold out tickets, we got the wrong time, etc.) our theater plans had been thwarted. When we met that day, we had an entirely different play picked out and, for the THIRD time in a row, for some reason, it didn't work out. At that point, our attitude was more or less, HELL NO! We are SEEING a show TONIGHT. It doesn't even matter what, our only criteria is that a theater is involved. No, not even that. As long as somebody, at some point, called it a play, it sounds like a winner. Our asses WILL be in seats this evening.

So we flipped open the Village Voice and pointed to the first show we could find in a price range we could afford with a curtain time we thought we could make. It was Vampire Cowboy's Men of Steel. We walked in with almost no idea what to expect. I remember at some point we were at the Times Square tourist information center (don't ask, weird things just sort of happened to Teresa and I during this theatergoing period) and I think the guy there thought we were poor, helpless Midwestern tourists about to stumble into some raunchy adult entertainment thinking we were going to a "Broadway show." He kept asking us if we were SURE Men of Steel was what we wanted to see.

Anyway, Men of Steel turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and inspiring evenings of theater I've had in New York City. It gave me a whole new perspective of how inventive, original, and exciting New York theater can be. I've been an avid Vampire Cowboys fan ever since, and I've always held them up as a standard of excellence for downtown theater and theater in general. Their work has been something I aspire to for almost as long as I've been working in New York.

And while a part of me knows that Nosedive is quite friendly with Vampire Cowboys, and that James, and the rest of us by proxy, are doing this as a favor between friends, another part of me is going: OH MY GOD. A VAMPIRE COWBOYS SHOW. Work that I directed is going to be in a Vampire Cowboys show. It's kind of amazing, and incredibly gratifying, and a little part of me is squeeeing on the inside right now.

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