We had a great show in All the Great Books (abridged), and finished a good run yesterday. I think it’s mutually agreed by both audience and those of us who worked on the show that it’s our second-best effort since the original script, Shakespeare (abridged).
The only regret is that not more people saw it. Seems everyone I spoke to who had seen the show thought the same thing. We didn’t lose money or anything – thankfully. It would really be hard to lose money on an (abridged) show, but there was a flicker of time we even worried about that. We had great walk-up this last weekend, and finished strong with a good final weekend.
To be fully honest, we’d really hoped that Books would have blown up early so it just coasted down the stretch, allowing us to throw our weight more quickly behind This is How it Goes. We’re a little spoiled. We’re used to selling these shows out far in advance. We even thought amongst ourselves that we were in such an enviable position after that first quarter of selling out basically every single performance we had, going into a period where we had “the franchise” coming back. Shows we’ve never had to worry about.
I’m still sorely disappointed that Creative Loafing theater critic Mark Leib never made it out to review the show. I know why he didn’t – he’d already reviewed the American Stage production and didn’t care for it and was in an already very busy month. He seemed to not like the material, but he also faulted AmStage’s production in regards to style and chemistry. We’ve always felt the script a launching point for our very different approach (the authors basically say how you should deliver the material on the front page, and we disagree), and we only wanted the opportunity to change his mind, which we never got. We can’t always get our way, right?
Marty Clear at The Times didn’t like it, but that was no surprise, he’s never liked any of them. At least we managed good reviews in the Tribune, in the Oracle and Tampa Bay Scene.
I still wish we would have had first crack at it, but business is business and American Stage is trying to get by like everyone else. Doesn’t mean it still doesn’t sting a little. I think in the end that their production ended up hurting outs more than we initially expected and perhaps more than I’d ever like to admit. There’s no other explanation for the disparity in how it sold and how every other staging we’ve had has sold. Hey, at least they worked out all that nasty business of all those fake foam books and the legion of nerf and inflatable balls that they then let us borrow. That was a definitely sign of good sportsmanship, and there’s no animosity here despite reports to the contrary.
I’m not going to lie though, it’s been a really, really rough month for us here at Jobsite. I’m crossing my fingers that we can pack out every last remaining performance of This is How it Goes this weekend to minimize the damage from the past two weeks in regards to attendance. It’s going to be critical in how we plan, budget and execute the rest of our season. We’te getting by on so very little, I hate to cut back even more.
One more weekend …
It’s also now it’s time for me to pick that script up for The March of the Kitefliers. Two weeks to recharge and get ready for that. I’m looking forward to revisiting this character of Jack and seeing how I can improve on what I began a few years ago. (abridged) shows are hardly “acting” for me, and to an extent maybe Jack’s not so much removed away from the spirit of who I am though he’s certainly his own entity. I guess I get to save the real scenery-chewing and total protean transformation for Hurlyburly at the end of the season. I’m really looking forward to doing something very, very different there.
Again – if you made it out to see us over the past few weeks, thanks a lot. We hope you enjoyed it.