Service of Live Performance Bonuses
March 4th, 2013
Categories: Actors, Live Performances, Music
We were at an American Symphony Orchestra concert at Bard College near Rhinebeck, NY on a recent weekend when a woman approached us from the row behind to tell us she was glad we were back in our original seats.
For a moment I felt I was in school where I knew kids in the grades ahead of me and almost nobody behind: I’d never before seen the woman, though I recognize many subscribers who sit in the seats in front of ours.
I was flattered that she noticed us and appreciated that she spoke. I forget sometimes that I’m not the only one who looks around.
The other week I went to see Monique Sanchez [below, right] in “Kennedy’s Children,” by Robert Patrick, on West 44th Street, inches from Times Square, in a space designed like a bar decorated for Valentine’s Day. Patrick’s play opened in 1973 to an audience fresh from the 1960s which he captured in his characters—one worshiper of JFK and one of Marilyn Monroe, a protest-follower, a Viet Nam soldier on drugs and an actor who accepted every role regardless of how outrageous [i.e. an underwater play].
The audience sat at tables around the room—we munched on popcorn refilled at intermission and sipped [free] soft drinks from the bar–and actors mingled as they spoke their lines, sitting in the chairs reserved for them, speaking with members of the audience.
There was open seating and the hostess sat me next to a woman who turned out to be an actor and acting instructor. We sipped ginger ale, learned a bit about each other, over intermission chatted about the actors and characters and again, as we gathered our things to leave, about the play. As a result I enjoyed the evening even more.
Sanchez, a 21st century actor to watch, was the Marilyn Monroe devotee stung by the star’s untimely death in 1962 who, like hundreds of others, hoped to take her place on the world stage. She transformed herself into a vamp increasingly sinking into an alcoholic stupor fed by disappointment and disillusionment–a character nothing like the solid, responsible person I know. [You can see Sanchez in a Belle Époque farce by Georges Feydeau, “Flea in Her Ear,” March 15-March 23 at the Producer’s Club.]
Have you made propitious acquaintances at live performances—one of the bonuses?