Well, as we plunge into our third week performing the play "Manipulation" at the Cherry Lane Theatre, I, too, shall jump in belatedly to share some observations.
First, the houses have been fantastic, genuinely appreciative and extremely attentive.
Second, it has been a marvelous and inspiring process. Everyone involved is incredible and very warm.
Victoria Calderon's generous soul, kind heart and beautiful, mysterious script have given us an opportunity to work together as a community of artists and professionals at their best.
Coming in with Will, Rafi and Marina was amazing. The old guard immediately took us in, and we've been a family ever since.
Will Pomerantz is a magician. Unflappable, highly collaborative and visionary. His incredible eye doesn't miss a detail. Watching him and Victoria collaborate was inspirational. It's all there to be seen in what we do every night.
(Le Roi) Brian Meisner, the man behind the curtain, our own Wizard of Oz -- never a stronger command was given by such a gentle hand. We are all deeply grateful to him as our stage manager.
(Prince) Brian Rardin and Angie Hesterman are jaw-droppingly efficient, precise and effective, watching over us and moving our world around like guardian ninjas. A more highly skilled and talented crew does not exist. And that's to say nothing of their dangerous good looks.
Arabella Fischer is the best dresser in town, a true angel.
Opening night was so, so exciting and fun. I kept thinking of the Cassavetes film. The audience was fantastic. What a rush to open!
Sardi's afterwards was delicious. It was amazing to hang with everybody dressed in their best! We truly chilled, with three (four?) Manhattans.
Marina Squerciati is the soul of the show, the genuine article, like Hepburn. I won't be at all surprised if Hollywood snaps her right up. Everyone must see her work.
Saundra Santiago is La Grande Dame de Théâtre, a true artist at work. She plays her part with very real emotion, conviction and technique. And what an incredible voice! It is a real honor to have the opportunity to work with her.
Big Bob (Robert) Bogue lights our way with his immense heart and powerhouse performance. This guy is a born hero, a consummate actor and a hilarious comedian -- and add to that a sublime storyteller. His one-man show is going to be a smash hit on Broadway.
If I can become half the actor that Jeremy Stiles-Holmes is in his professional dedication, intensity, creativity, commitment to character and incredible improvisation skills, I'll feel fulfilled. Backstage he oscillates between hilarious and terrifying within milliseconds. And onstage, well, his performance speaks for itself. Incredible.
Rafi Silver is our golden boy. Sure to be seen on the silver screen, he is young, super-talented and highly skilled. Going into his third year of the Grad Acting Program at Tisch, he's the kind of actor, like a young Pacino or Brando, whose passion and dedication elevate the art form. This is apparent in his performance, always alive, inciting excitement in the most cynical. He's riveting.
Gabriel Furman is one of our army of two, and besides Marina, he's the only other actor I share dialogue with. Gabriel's positivity and creativity have been a true inspiration. Onstage, his courage, wit and presence make him a true force to be be reckoned with. I'm glad he's on my side.
John Patrick Driscoll is the other in our army of two, but also our fight captain and understudy extraordinaire. One of the sweetest and most dependable men alive, JP is a true professional. What I've been able to admire of his acting is merely a prelude to this weekend: come see him perform as Dr. Lubitz tonight through Sunday! He's going to rock.
Michelle Vasquez and Elizabeth Norment round out our family as the understudies of our leading ladies. Seeing them everyday is a blessing, and I have no doubt that they will unleash stunning performances when the time comes.
More to come (unless they silence me)...
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