The numbers 2 + 0 +1 + 5 add up to 8. Right? Well, this was the year of 8’s for me. To elucidate: I am now in my 80th year. I am in the 8th year of a relationship. It’s been 8 years since the wretched prostate was “Hoovered” out. To stretch the point, even my brand new car: a Pleiades has 8 letters. Hunh? (SUBARU is Japanese for Pleiades.)
But all that aside, it has been a busy and vibrant year, for someone who ought to be looking at gravesites. After 4 months of script writing, rehearsals, and previews, a cast of 8 (there’s your 8 again) finally opened GOPHER, THE MUSICAL. It is a short play on how to get along with other gophers and avoid snakes, owls and weasels,……all the while facing a severe drought beneath the desert sands. It featured something of a plot, a few tunes, and all the choreography a 3rd Grader can handle. Opening Morning at Toluca Lake Elementary was a triumph!
I then flew up to Canada in May to resurrect my role in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. Since the sequel was shooting up in Toronto, my agent snagged another gig in a MOW for Hallmark. It was titled CHARMING CHRISTMAS. (Shoulda been called CHEESY CHRISTMAS.) It had all the required tropes for a holiday movie: single, beautiful 40-year-old woman, 2 handsome suitors, troubled child, an older couple (which is where I came in), and of course, elves and snow. It aired in late November. MBFGW2 is scheduled for a March release. Mark your calendar.
When I got back to LA, I began casting a play that had opened on Broadway way back in 1934. Called DOUBLE DOOR, it was based on a newspaper article about a wealthy, eccentric, and ultimately murderous Manhattan Family. The production was quite successful, but for two of the tiniest reasons: One actress continually missed her second act entrance, and offered the excuse that her Mother had killed her Father or she’d be on Broadway. And the lead got into a backstage hissy-fit with “Wardrobe,” and is now suing the company for Assault and Battery.
I was considering booking a week at The Betty Ford, when I got an urgent call from our Artistic Director. He begged me to take over the direction of the next play on our Season Brochure. The previous director had been involved 35 years earlier in the original production but was now relying solely on his notes. “You cross to the sofa on that line. Sit down. Take a sip of tea, and wink at the other actor.” Needless to say the cast mutinied. In a week I managed to pull it together in spite of a playwright who insisted it was her prerogative to give notes to lighting, costumes, set and cast.
Suddenly it was Christmas. I flew up to Calgary to visit my dear sister. This year was a particularly poignant time as she is in chemo battling a rare form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma. But we decked the halls, donned our gay apparel and had a holly jolly Christmas. All while downing copious amounts of sugar and alcohol.
Which brings me right up to 2016. So………… Happy New Year to YOU. And to ME. And PEACE ON EARTH to everyone else. Please!