Staged readings are like focus groups for the show, except the audience tends to be more savvy in the ways of all things theatrical. Regardless of the caliber of the folks, you are bound to get a few comments along the lines of "I think you should add chimps."
But I do find them valuable. Particularly for comedy. Laughter is undeniable feedback and there were plenty of laughs last night. It's also interesting to hear feedback from fresh ears and eyes. Having been in the Robot vs Dinosaur bubble for the last six months, it's hard for me to see the project as a whole.
After months of writing different kinds of material, we decided to focus on adventure. There's a lot of history and tall tales in our show. Such as Nat Topping's rollicking and twisted take on Johnny Appleseed called "The Great Apple Massacre" and Chris Othic's "Journey to the Bottom of the World" about the third man to reach the south pole.
We really didn't think much beyond "it's about adventure." The staged reading audience pointed out a few things we didn't see. None of the pieces show heroes in a flattering light. In my piece, "Mr. Mysterium," the hero doesn't even win. He gets turned into a zombie. One audience member, a very astute woman, summed it up with "It's about masculinity and myth." That sounded like a "Bingo!" to me and will be very helpful in how we shape the show from this point forward.
COME SEE DANSE MACABRE! AT THE ACORN THEATER
The Acorn Theater just an hour from the city in the lovely Three Oaks, Michigan, near New Buffalo. Directions from Chicago can be found by clicking HERE.
WHERE'S JEAN-LUC PICARD?
Condoleeza Rice says the U.S. is more than open and willing to sit down with Iran "anytime, anywhere" and find a diplomatic solution to their nuclear power program IF Iran would suspend their nuclear program.
"We'll talk to you, if..."?
Maybe I don't understand diplomacy. Don't we need to sit down with them to try to find a solution for them to stop their program? Why would they give us what we want first? Where's the incentive? The Bush Administration only knows how to dole out carrots to their rich, obese rabbit friends. I'm not saying we should reward Iran for anything, but all we're doing is threatening them. And if all you did was threaten me to stop doing something I didn't think was any of your business, I'd be thumbing my nose at you, too.
THE BS NEWS QUIZ OF THE DAY
Yesterday, I asked...
31% answered "Gretchod"
"Actress Gretchen Mol and her director husband Tod Williams recently had a baby and named him what?"
- Which only barely beat out "Todchen."
16% picked "Steamwhistle"
- Which is my personal favorite and the primary reason my girlfriend won't discuss marriage or kids with me.
- Close. It is Greek.
37% deemed the correct answer to be "Ptolemy"
According to Dlisted, Gretchen Mol, gave birth to a baby boy last month and I guess nobody cared. She announced it to People Magazine earlier this week. Gretchen and her director husband, Tod Williams, had the baby in NYC on September 10th. They named the poor child Ptolemy John Williams.
Okay, yes, I do have a problem with a kid being named after a Greek astronomer who believed the earth was the center of the universe. And, yes, he will and should be picked upon without mercy by his peers in grade school ("Hey, Ptolemy, I understand your "p" is silent!"). And, yes, it is better than Ptolemy's first name, which is Claudius. Even if he went with Claude, no child should have the name Claude. Only people born at the age 80 have the name Claude. But I think the most offensive part of his name is "John Williams." The film composer whose music all sounds the same! I don't even know why Spielberg hired him to do the new Indy film. Just sample bits from the previous movies, which is what John Williams is going to do anyway.