Saturday, April 19, 2008

Last night we went to a benefit for No Nude Men Theatre Company, organized by Stuart Bousel and friends. Three new plays were read; one of them was my Paris Hilton/Marie Antoinette play which I'm currently calling "A Night in Jail." (Lame title, I know.)

The reading went well. Big big laughs from the very cheerful and receptive audience, despite a squeaky fan and not enough chairs. Excellent readings by the cast. Stuart is a man of many gifts--he's a great playwright himself, a wonderful director, an actor, and a producer, and he surrounds himself with mega-talented people of all ages. I am so impressed by the community of folks around No Nude Men Theatre--they all have to have day jobs, as NNM doesn't bring in much revenue, but they are completely professional, dedicated and passionate when it comes to their craft.

I was more than pleased with how the play went over, although as usual, being me, I heard some places I wanted to tweak. I don't want the play just to be making fun of Paris Hilton and her ilk, all the spoiled, self-destructive celebrity brats who are melting down before our eyes...that's like shooting fish in a barrel, it's too easy.

I do want to look a little deeper at the culture of celebrity vs. the culture of ordinary people, issues of class, money, sense of importance, entitlement, self-worth. And history. I wonder how people of the future (if there are any) will look back at us in our historical moment now, and the crap we are obsessed with--is it any better or worse, more or less foolish than the things people have historically been obsessed with--witchcraft, royalty, the earth is flat, the end is near--through the ages. Have people always been dumb and wise, are we getting dumber or wiser these days, or perhaps both. Maybe we are getting dumber and wiser at the same time.

Okay, now I have to go back to cleaning out my closet so we can flea-bomb our room. Dede seems to be licking herself less, which is a hopeful sign, maybe the flea meds are working.

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