A Total Unadulterated Surprise

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on November 16, 2012

A total unadulterated surprise, and a beautiful and touching one at that … I wept, sobbed and turned that blotchy red color that only non-lace curtain Irish can turn.

Sherlock Holmes, Mickey Spillane or Philip Marlowe might have been able to tie up all the loose ends and create a sampler from a myriad of tiny clues. But, for me, all went unnoticed.

Our Katie was unwell and absent one day when a number of what I’ve always thought of as my dearest friends called, but chose not to talk with Tom or me — odd, I thought. But what isn’t odd when it comes to theatre?

Of the matinee audience for The Rocky Horror Show, I could only think, “I’ve never seen the Goolsbys at a matinee,” “Anne and Jerry Clark are not usual matinee-goers either,” and “I wonder if Rocky Horror is going to be the proper cup of tea for Judy and Fred Landiss.”

Chris O’Connor, Madeline’s dad, spoke to me outside during the matinee, asking questions about my plans for that afternoon. And when I walked over to Edward’s to get ice, I asked Linda Shephard what she was all set up for. She said, “A reception.” I always make the lame joke, “Oh! A deception, is it? For whom?” I asked. She stared at me but said nothing. I thought, “Oh, I shouldn’t ask — it’s none of my business.”

It wasn’t until the end of the show when Matt Casey, who is usually so kind as to wheel me off after the curtain call, didn’t, that my mind went to, “Dumb blonde” … and then, “But his hair is dyed” … and then at the same time, “I’ll wheel myself off.” I couldn’t make the wheels on the chair move.

Before I could wrap my mind around immobility, the lights came up and Mr. Bowie was speaking. And it was about us and the fact that that particular Saturday marked the anniversary of our having been producing theatre on the corner of Franklin and First for the past 30 years.

Our production stage manager, Adam Kurtz, who is a technical genius when it comes to computers, projections and audio effects, pieced together some bits of “Tennessee Crossroads” with photos of productions long forgotten and actors who are no longer with us but, who by their participation, garnered us clout in our community: Mary Harpel, Lew Tatham, Dottie Conn and others.

There are so many people to thank — our board members and everyone who secretly organized and carried out the great deceit, the cakes with photos of Tom and me in younger days, and the glorious food at Edward’s.

The Giver, featuring Rob Rodems as Jonas and Jay Doolittle as The Giver, along with Kaitlin Doughty, Michelle Foletta, Leslie Greene and Colin Ryan, is a must-see for those who know the book or for those who just like live theatre. It plays three final performances: tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 2pm and 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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