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The Pillowman – opening night musings

My job is officially done, ladies and gentlemen. Because the show looks to sell out this whole weekend, I doubt I’ll even go back before next weekend. No way I’m taking a seat someone will pay for …

I’m staying humble about the show’s apparent success right now, we’ve still got 11 more at a minimum and anything can happen in this business, so it’s best not to get too cozy.

There was only one major mess up last night, and no one actually knew about it because it wasn’t imperative to the continuation of a scene or anything. It was just an effect. A very, very cool effect. We have 11 more times to get that right as well.

The show sold out last night prior to me arriving at the theater. No surprise though, there were some patrons who just walked up at like 7:45 to buy a ticket and then got mad that there were none left. I do understand all the various little reasons that may drive one to just wait and walk up, but I don’t get the whole getting mad thing. How is that our fault? There’s always my favorite response: “I’ve been coming to this theater for XX years and I’ve NEVER had to buy a ticket in advance.” I guess they don’t normally come see our stuff then because I don’t think there was a single production last season that didn’t have at least one sold out show.

We also had 2 of 3 critics there (and again my only beef was the cool effect they didn’t get to see even though they’re probably ignorant to it) and ended up with another standing ovation. To the critic though, that means nothing. The laughs mean nothing. How you felt the show went means nothing. I sometimes wonder if it has more to do with how much sleep they got the night before, if they had a heavy meal preshow or got a parking ticket that afternoon. So we’ll just have to wait and see. As I always say, the reviews won’t kill our sales if they aren’t good, but they can help push us over the edge if exceptional.

More walkouts, as expected. 3 left at the same point that the 2 from Wed. did, and I think about 7 more left right at the end of that scene. Same feedback – they were offended. Folks, if you’re easily offended or object to a fair amount of violence happening in front of you or take issue with the F-bomb and his gerund cousin – please stay away. We’re really not trying to hide the content of this show from anyone. People don’t read, people don’t listen, or people just don’t believe us. I guess the same goes for buying tickets in advance.

The other 90% of the audience though really seemed to enjoy the show. I’m hearing a lot of superlatives being thrown around, and I think they are well deserved. These guys and gals have busted hump on this play and now it’s paying off.

As a director, I’ve simply never been more proud of anything I’ve put on stage. I’ve been proud in different ways on different shows – but I’m just saying I’ve never been so wholly proud and feel so solid about anything I’ve put up. S O L I D. These guys kick much ass.

If you have anything you’d like to say about the show, leave a comment. We may post your comments to the showpage at jobsitetheater.org.

Now I get to enjoy my first weekend off in a long time. Grimm’s ended up overlapping into the season auditions which ended up overlapping into the beginning of this rehearsal process – so this has been a long time coming.

Oh, wait … I need to go pick up my Shakespeare script. Well, at least I can do that on my deck or at New World with a pint in my hand. It’ll at least feel like I’m not working.

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6 thoughts on “The Pillowman – opening night musings

  1. Why do people get angry when sold out? Entitlement mentality.

    They’ve always been able to get what they wanted on the spur of the moment and feel they are entitled to do so.

    As for those walking out, I don’t get that. I haven’t seen it yet, will tonight, but you guys in all your publicity for every show clearly indicate that most of what you do is adults only!

    So yes,people really don’t read the warnings, or any advance press, or research the shows.

    Heck, if they read this blog they’d know from your very heartfelt and concerned casting call for the children in the show that this was going to have some very bad moments.

    Of course, some people do get tickets dumped on them at the last minute by someone who can’t go, so those folks are excused for their ignorance. They are allowed to think that The Pillowman is maybe a sequel to The Pajama Game. Nobody else is though!

  2. Ok, I don’t see what the people would have walked out on, particularly 30 minutes in which I think was Ariel’s outburst.

    Of course, gerunds do offend many people.

    A most excellent show with some fine actors. Probably going to be the best of the season. My wife and I want Lt. of Inishmore next season!

  3. Toes was my next guess.

    That’s really weird.
    That’s really f-bomb gerunding weird. I don’t understand that.

    Take it as a testament to how much they’ve been sucked into the show that some toes would make them leave instead of being able to step back and have their fore-brain rationalize “It’s just a play, not real, sit back down and see how it goes.”

  4. We talked to Kari after the show about the The Lieutenant of Inishmore , and said that the production would be difficult so if not that one please more by Martin McDonagh. He is a brilliant playwright.

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