let’s rewrite steel magnolias with a ufo and a gun battle!

i don’t like opera because it’s always so long and i can’t understand why they are screeching so much.  i don’t like ballet because it makes me regret whatever size i am wearing.  but i love theater, especially when my sons are performing or when i’m writing and directing.  if i’m writing/directing a musical, there has to be at least one very large object dropped onto the stage–a car, a ufo full of pink haired aliens, a flaming comet.  if i’m writing/directing courtroom expositions* somebody has to be shot before the patrons have opened their first snickers mini.  i don’t think it’s theater unless one person in the first row pisses their pants and someone in the second screams loudly.

steve walanka (f2fb #121) has twice done his best by me performing as a lawyer in “murder on lafayette square” and in “my father’s country not my own.”  i don’t think i’ve ever asked him to handle a gun.  i think both times he was on the losing side of the courtroom antics so he would be forgiven for holding a grudge.

for this f2fb project, he invited me to see a play he has been directing–steel magnolias at the st. sebastian players theater where i have worked in the past.  i have never seen steel magnolias.  when i heard it was about southern women in a hair salon, i thought why is steve writing and directing a play about beauty salons and southern women?  i mean, he’s a lawyer, a democrat who has worked on a number of political campaigns.  what does he know about ellnet hairspray or opi nail lacquer?  and i highly doubt he’s ever had grits with or without the cheese.

i was utterly stunned to find out that a gentleman named robert harling wrote the play and that steve’s job was to corral six women, a series of radio personalities, and a stage crew.  whenever i had rehearsals, somebody would always say “hey, do i really have to say this on stage?” and there’d be an argument and sometimes the gun would go off.  i think this idea of having the writer and director be two different people is pretty cool.

steve, by the way, is directing my next play “consanguinity”  and he is hereby granted the sole right to change every line.  but please leave in the gun shots.

steve and i shared a kleenex packet, sitting side by side in front of  truvy jones’ beauty salon, er, the stage.  i didn’t fall asleep, but i did get that girlie emotional thing going.  so did steve. in a very manly way of course.  he did a fabulous job and it was the last show of a very, very successful run.  and chicago is a demanding theater town.

oddly, i was having a f2fb moment not just with steve but with another facebook friend, the entire st. sebastian players theater.  i am apparently friends with it–f2fb #122.  it was the winner of the 1957 tony award for “the best theatre in a basement in the universe”.   see them at http://www.saintsebastianplayers.org!

the show steve was doing was meant to benefit jimmy insulin, a group that helps newly diagnosed diabetics with people who know their way around the block.  the program book promised that if i made a donation someone from the crew would kiss me.  i got short changed.   still, a worthy cause–  www.jimmyinsulin.org

*visit the http://perfectlylegalproductions.com website to see all about that part of my life.


2 responses to “let’s rewrite steel magnolias with a ufo and a gun battle!

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