Shimmering. How’s that for “a word?” Fabulous. Melodious? A riot? Bill Irwin for President? Brian Mertes and Mellisa Kievman as an unbeatable one-two punch on the ticket? I’d vote for them for anything. Yes, on this intensive travel day, from New York, to Washington, to Chicago, to Michigan (can you say, “Oy?”), I stop in an airport kiosk to share this ecstacy – PLATONOV was inspirationally restorative; or restoratively inspirational; or brilliant; or a mircale — to pull off that kind of major scale production in 6 days of rehearsal. Read somebody else’s blog for a fuller description — I’m running here (don’t ask, but it involves picking up a young daughter in the Midwest who’s at her grandparents and she doesn’t really want to fly home alone; it’s fine, but I’m bushed), so I stop to rave and savor the images from a play staged next to a lake, on a lake, and in a lake (the cast swims, with clothes on, and there’s boating, and fireworks) with the best live music by a band named Yarmulkabra (get the play on “skull cap?”) comprised of Jonathan Pratt, Simone Perrin, Lucas Papaelias, Phil Roebuck, joined by some local Lake Lucille superstars (Ron Wasserman on bass; many others). Amazing cast including the aforementioned, brilliant Bill Irwin as Radish, Marin Ireland as Zakhar, Jim Calder as Yasha, Deirdre O’Connell as Anna, Reg Rogers as Platonov, Guy Boyd as Porfiry, Betsy Aidem as Sashenka… Oh, man, they and and the rest took on a mountain of a task and pulled it off with Aplomb (capital A). Rumpled Bohemian cosutmes by Olivera Gajic (can one overuse the word “brilliant?”) – everyone’s work, so lovely. Outdoor Chekhov – what could be better?
And we’re almost done with our deep work draft of THE SEAGULL. Totally inspiring time in New York. Now back on the highway. Rehearsals with Theo Bikel just ’round the corner.