Shhhh… speakeasy and I’ll tell you a secret

speakeasy

In the mood to time travel? I know a place, hidden away in a basement near China Town, where it’s always 1923. The stories are hot and the gin won’t make you go blind. But you have to know the password to go there.

the-speakeasy-sf

 

 

The Speakeasy is an immersive play where you can wander different environments (a saloon, a casino, a cabaret and three secret places) to watch several interweaving stories taking place amongst the staff of a 1920’s speakeasy. Pick a story and follow the characters from room to room, or stay in one environment and see all the characters wander through.

singer

I chose to mix it up, following a character for a while then exploring another room to pick up threads of different stories. I began with a mother and father hunting for the girl their son had loved; he had been killed during the Great War. Then I followed a man with a gambling problem into the casino and tried my own luck at craps. Turns out I’m pretty good. When a loud, obviously intoxicated woman dressed in  flapper attire yelled at the gambling man for abandoning his children, I followed her out the door and into the cabaret. Finding a seat near the stage, I watched the performances. They reminded me of something I’d seen in a 1930’s movie, complete with live music and dancers in red sequins tap dancing.

The-Speakeasy.-Freddie-Larson-as-Vinnie-3.-Photo-by-Peter-Liu

A big man who was obviously the boss and dressed like a wealthy gangster asked me if I was having a good time. Deciding to follow him for a bit, I listened in on a “private” conversation about “supplies.” I ended my evening back in the cabaret where I watched a love story unfold between one of the Speakeasy’s guards and a dancer. I can’t tell you the ending of the show, but lets just say it was surprising yet appropriate for Prohibition.

The-Speakeasy-2-photo-by-Peter-Liu-copy

I have a passion for the 1920’s and 30’s. The Speakeasy surpassed my expectations with the costuming, acting, decorations, and stories. I really felt that I was in a different time surrounded by real people, not actors. Even if you’re not a Deco/Flapper/Gatsby fan, you need to experience this theatrical event; there’s nothing like it.

little girl in bar

 

However, there are rules you need to follow if you decide to go. Wear appropriate clothing. You don’t have to go in costume, but you do need to dress up as if you’re going to a fancy cocktail party. No technology! They didn’t have cell phones in 1923. And be quiet, or if you must speak, speak softly. There’s a reason it’s called a speakeasy.

Click the link to buy your ticket and learn the secret password. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

(images from The Speakeasy)

 

 

Happy 100th Birthday Arthur Miller

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Arthur Miller, playwright and activist. He fought against the Anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950’s by refusing to testify against his fellow artists and continued to fight injustice throughout his life. His play, “The Crucible” was inspired by his battle with Congress and his conviction of obstructing justice in 1957, a conviction overturned the following year.

Arthur Miller is one of the greatest American artists of all time. His plays revealed the inner life of ordinary people hunting the American dream. “Death of a Salesman” does this beautifully. If you haven’t read this play, do so.

Or listen to a live recording. What better way to celebrate the birthday of a genius writer than by celebrating his greatest work? 

Wear your Gatsby best and see the world premier of my comedy play, “Prince Charming”.

flier for play, Prince Charming

a depression era comedy that will leave you laughing, and guessing, till the very end.

The first read through of my play was last night and the best part was that my actors had no idea how it would end! I’m so excited about this event. Hope you can come.

It’s 1933 and Ellen Hunt is broke. The vast fortune she married her deceased husband for has vanished and the lovely widow is now alone and about to lose her gorgeous mansion. What’s a daring and beautiful socialite to do? Marry off her only son, George, to a wealthy girl, of course.

Luckily a wealthy girl is available, the beautiful Lydia Ellsworth, who just so happens to be madly in love with George. With George returning from college that evening, Ellen thinks that all she needs to do is get Lydia and George alone together. But when George arrives home with a fiancee of his own, Ellen’s plans are dashed. Susan is lovely but poor, not what Ellen has in mind for her son. How will Ellen get rid of Susan and make sure George falls in love with Lydia, all while ensuring no one, not even George, discovers the Hunt family fortune is gone? It will take all of her manipulative powers to save the family from scandal and ruin. With fast paced dialogue and an ending no one would expect, “Prince Charming” will leave you laughing and believing in the power of love.

June 26, 7:00 pm at the Ukiah Player’s Theatre

1041 Low Gap Rd, Ukiah, California. $5 at the door.

May 19 is a big day for me, and Medusa’s Muse.

Two big events in my life are happening on the same weekend, and I’m both excited and a tad stressed out.

First, the 10th Annual Festival of New Plays at Mendocino College opens on May 18th, with a second performance on the 19th. The festival showcases nine Ten Minute plays and my comedy, The Wedding Party, was chosen to be one. The director who chose my play is young, which I think helps her “get” the characters so well. She’s really good, and the cast is excellent! I’m really excited to see it performed (while also dreading sitting in the audience watching their reactions, which could be good or bad).

Here’s a link to Ukiah Daily Journal about the festival, with a description of all the plays. You can also see my description of The Wedding Party by clicking Writing on this blog.

The other exciting thing happening that weekend is also at Mendocino College: LitFest. Click the link to see all the excellent teachers, authors, and classes at this FREE event. I’ll be teaching my class, Framing the Dream, at 2:00. Be sure and sign-up now as the class fills up fast (click the Classes link on this blog for more info on the class).

I saw the countdown to LitFest on my blog and had a mini-freak out. How did the time sneak up on me like that? I have materials to update and the power-point to finish. Between my teaching job and the end of the school year madness that involves, and my sick kid, I’ll probably be working on LitFest at midnight after I’ve seen the debut of my play.

And I stil don’t know what to wear.