A great date night!

Looking for a special night with that certain someone?

Allow us to make a recommendation – The March of the Kitefliers. Don’t want to take out word on it? Than allow us to present into evidence Article A, the review of the first staging of the show two years ago in The Tampa Tribune. A girl wrote that review, a 30-something girl, who wasn’t dating anyone in the show and who didn’t take any sort of bribe from us at any point. (We may have tried if we thought it would have worked)

It’s funny, being as close to this show as long I have, I still notice there are split camps on how folks prefer to label this show. Men, for the most part, don’t like the words “romantic comedy” when stuck side by side. When I hear those words I have images in my head of a particularly freaky date I had with a girl back in grad school. We went to go see Something to Talk About because she thought it looked “sweet” and “cute.” I was ready to put my eyes out with the butter dispenser, I don’t care how hot Kyra Sedgwick is. Not surprisingly, that was also our last date.

Then there’s the “buddy comedy” which is like a romantic comedy, but for two straight dudes to go see in order to have their hetero relationship validated, that also often helps them relive their glory days (if old, married or both) or gives them inspirado for shenanigans that weekend (even sometimes when they are married and old).

There have been relatively few happy marriages between the buddy and romantic comedy genres. Chasing Amy and Wedding Crashers come to mind, though the former is a far better example and a much better parallel to the show we’re doing. Oh, and About Last Night … (which was actually based on a play – Sexual Perversity in Chicago).

Anyway, as much as the men of the cast might not really be stoked about using the term romantic comedy due to the bad rap Hollywood has given the form, I note that most still do call it that – even if they use a qualifier – “a romantic comedy, but, you know, good.”

Women don’t hesitate to use the term. At all. And they’re right not to. The play is a comedy about a romance that develops. That romance forces the main character to re-evaluate his job, his life, his best friend even and it ends on a happy note. Sounds like a romantic comedy to me.

We know we do a lot of “out there” stuff. I still have people telling us they “didn’t get” shows like Delusion of Darkness or The Serpent – or my favorite, that they were “different.” We do some rather dark stuff too like The Pillowman or Machinal. The March of the Kitefliers is perhaps the most accessible show we’ve done for John and Jane Tampa. Everyone who came to the theater to see it – from 17 to 70 – identified with it in a way we never expected. They took it to heart as if it were about their life, and their problems.

I think the proof of that is in the pudding. We had a show written by two local playwrights performed by a company on a shoe-string budget in their least-funded slot of the season and it basically outsold every other event that year. We had more feedback via patrons staying after the show upwards of an hour to talk to us, or who followed us out to a bar afterwards, or who wrote letters to us or to the newspapers to express their support. It’s never happened like that before or sense. It re-invigorated my commitment to Jobsite and to Tampa.

This is why we brought it back. We believe this thing can go far. Shawn Paonessa said something to me the other day to the effect that it’s sometimes hard when you work so much, day and night, juggling jobs to pay the bills and keep doing what you love to have it in the forefront of our minds that the reason we’re doing this is because people loved it like we’ve never seem them love something. That it impacted them on a such a personal level that this little thing we thought would just be fun for us to do as an experiment became something else entirely. We’re not doing this because it’s work, we’re doing it because it’s awesome. It’s Kitefliers.

So grab a date and come on out. You’ll leave the show feeling better than when you got there. I give you my word. “Else the Jack a liar call …”

I’d love to see some comments on this entry. What do you have to say?



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