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January 21, 2008

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Kerry Reid

Eh, that's nuthin! Bob Falls gave me a black eye tonight at the opening of "Shining City."

"Here's a shiner for ya! Get it? Get it?" he sneered as he pummeled me mercilessly.

(Um, I am kidding, you realize.)

Kris Vire

Kerry, the image of Bob Falls beating you up is cracking me up in ways it probably shouldn't.

I ran into Larry Bommer on the bus tonight, coming from "Shining City" himself. The vague things he had to say about it (trying not to give away the ending for me), as well as what Christopher and the Broadway reviews have told me, have me very intrigued. I'm seeing it Thursday.

Rob Kozlowski

Well, I *did* narrowly escape being vomited on in the back row of a show on Broadway, but blood? Nope.

Merrie

I was watching a matinee of my college's "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" production when I thought, "That smoke machine is a little much, isn't it?" Moments later, we were evacuated. A fire had broken out in loading dock just backstage.

Speaking of blood, I was onstage in "Merchant of Venice" when Shylock accidentally took about a pound of flesh out of Antonio. Same school. Our Portia ad-libbed the rest of the scene...in iambic pentameter. The college paper's review criticized that performance for unrealistic blood effects. (The actor turned out fine...thanks to a somewhat meaty frame, Shylock missed all vital chest organs.)

Live theater, folks!

Did everyone stay in character after the blood pack incident? I'll never forget my colleagues in their kick line, smiling away as the stage completely filled with smoke.

Kris Vire

Merrie: I don't think any of the actors realized it had splattered into the audience, but if I'm wrong, their composure was magnificent.

My friend Jeremy just sent me a YouTube link to a Charlie Rose episode just after Wendy Wasserstein died that had several clips of her appearances on the show. Her explanation of what made theater great was: "You know how they say in film, 'It's in the can?' With theater, it's never 'in the can.'"

Kerry Reid

Wasserstein had it right.

David Hyde Pierce once told a great story on Letterman or somewhere about being in "The Heidi Chronicles" on Broadway. I think this was with Christine Lahti. At any rate, they had a revolving stage, and he and (I think) Lahti had just taken their places before the big Jewish wedding scene.

The turntable starts turning, but then, as Pierce described it, there were some very bad sounds like gears grinding, things falling over, etc. So the lights come up, they're standing there surrounded "by death and destruction" in the form of overturned catering tables, broken crockery, etc.

At which point, the woman I fervently believe must have been Christine Lahti turned to Pierce, champagne flute in hand, and said "Well! That does it! We are never inviting the Goldsteins again!"

Merrie

Well played, woman-who-may-or-may-not-have-been-Christine-Lahti, well played.

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  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

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