Thursday, April 13, 2006

Opening Night

Today is my birthday. I’m celebrating by telling my sister to break a leg, because she opens tonight in A Fine & Private Place at the York Theatre Company in NYC.

Evalyn Baron is a great actor – started when she was 12. The Broadway portion of her career has encompassed Big River and Les Misérables among many, many others. She was Tony-nominated for her role in Quilters.

So after some years as the assistant creative director for Barter Theatre in Virginia and returning to New York to teach, her opening tonight is a wonderful opportunity to be where she’s supposed to be: legitimate theatre.

Don’t know much about the play. Peter S. Beagle wrote the original novel. Then it was turned into a musical by Erik Haagensen (book and lyrics) and Richard Isen (music). According to the theatre’s newsletter:

The show tells the story of Jonathan Rebeck, a recluse who lives in a Bronx cemetery courtesy of his feathered friend, a wise (and wisecracking) Raven who flies in stolen fast food in exchange for companionship. Rebeck…helps newly arrived ghosts…accept death. Once these ghosts no longer remember what it is to be alive, they vanish.

Ev’s not a ghost – she’s a widow who continually visits the tomb of her husband. I think she represents the pull of life. The director, Gabriel Barre, says he hopes the revived musical will make audiences “not want to waste a moment of this opportunity we call life.”

Evalyn has a history with this musical. She was in the original cast – you can hear her on the album. You can read all about her adventures with rehearsals and her fellow actors on her blog.

Break a leg, Sis. Your opening is finest kind birthday gift.


compostmoi said...

Darling Brother...thank you for you birthday blog...for "spieling and tummeling" my show, which does indeed open for its first public preview is a sweet and moving musical thing and funny from the would enjoy it if you would get here to see it in its limited run until May 21st...Meanwhile, I WISH YOU THE BEST OF you know anew show is like birthing a baby, with all the attendant messiness and pain...but, hopefully, it will thrive, as you have, dear big brother of are kind and good, sweet and funny...all who know you, love you. I certainly do....xxxevalyn

Lynn Slavik said...

Happy Birthday, Richard! Still such a young, wild & crazy guy! (Wasn't that a Steve Martin line?) Gosh, we miss having you guys around. We celebrated Roger's 60th a couple of weeks ago and I thought about you and Barb several times, thinking how great it would have been to have you there.

I enjoyed your blog today talking about Ev's opening tonight. It seems like a hundred years since we saw her over Thanksgiving in Houston shortly after you moved there. I remember her wicked game of Uno, and how she took such pleasure in slapping down that "draw two" card. I think the boys, Greg included, thought she was one of the bawdiest (in a good and fun way!) woman they'd ever met and loved every minute of it! Greg still talks about that... Thinking back, that was almost 22 years ago. Holy cats!!!

I loved your junk mail article, and snickered to myself, thinking that my vendor sends out a bunch of those mailings for my bank's card offers, too. Man, how people must hate them, but when you get nearly a 2% response, it's hard to stop the train.

We are having the Hrabe gathering at our home for Easter - about a dozen of us, and I'm so thankful we finally have room for more than 4 people in our house. We are having "normal" traditional Easter food - turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, corn, cranberries, bread, veggies, cake (Mom's birthday last month) and pie. Good Lord - I think I'll need a bigger table! No goose or duck for Easter, that's saved for Thanksgiving!

Greg and I are taking tomorrow off. We'll maybe go out for breakfast, see a movie and start getting the house ready for entertaining, in addition to the regular week chores. Weekends just are not long enough.

Say hello to Barb and the kids - love you and miss you all! -Lynn