Catching Up – The Momentous Week That Was

Could there have been a better four day sweep than January 17-20, 2009? Not in our recent professional lifetime. What went right for America? Everything. And the same for Theater J and the playwriting career of one artistic director. Which just goes to prove: When it’s “all good,” yes, it’s really all good. Sold out final shows of SHOLOM ALEICHEM: LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS at Theater J while we packed ’em in all weekend-long over at Studio Theatre with DAI. How wonderful to be sold out in both places! To be well-staffed, well-attended, well-appreciated. Washington was abuzz with concerts, torrents of tourists, and theater-going was alive and well at Theater J and in our kindred companies around town.

Today’s mention in Marc Fisher’s column in the Washington Post really says it all. President Obama and family have moved from the South Side of Chicago to a really great second home in a bustling town and coming to the theater would be a very cool thing for him to do. Everyone wants him. Every theater company’s going after him. But only one theater in town has a history of doing plays set on the South Side of Chicago and is running to keep up with the headlines–and get underneath them as well. We expect Rham and the gang for opening of THE ACCIDENT, no problem.

Speaking of celebrity sightings, here’s what my facebook profile status line read on late Tuesday night: “Ari is back from the Peace Ball at the Old Post Office, hosted by Harry Belafonte and Andy Shallal, with Joan Baez, Alice Walker, Holly Near, Michael Franti & more.” It was fab! Tons of dancing! And we were almost rolled over by the presidential motorcade. Enough said.

Finally, BORN GUILTY and THE WOLF IN PETER at Epic Theatre Ensemble in the studio space at Manhattan Theatre Club. In short: the most professionally rewarding day of readings in my life. Wonderful cast. Great talk-back. A thrill to have so many great people in both crowds (over 90 at each reading). Naturally, I’ve run out of time to talk in detail about all that matters most personally — kinda crazy the way this happens (!) — late for a meeting — but there will be time to catch up all the more. Have a following up phone meeting with the folks at Epic later today. More to recount, to report, to reflect on and look forward to next steps. Until then, the next great work continues, for all of us…