Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kirkland: It's not just a Costco brand

I'm writing this from my parents' home in Seattle, looking out over beautiful Puget Sound while the sun, having momentarily freed itself from the morning's clouds, attempts to render my laptop screen unreadable. The dog is asleep on the couch behind me, saving up his strength for the long, leash-less walk in the park he knows we'll take later. Ah, Seattle.

We're not just here for a visit, though. This weekend we'll be performing two different shows at the Kirkland Performance Center. On Friday night will be our old favorite, "Monopoly!"--a tale of the sparring geniuses Tesla and Edison, rabbits with lasers, Bill Gates' ninjas, the history of the eponymous board game, and the growing creep of the Wal-Mart in Mike's hometown in Maine. We've performed this one at Bumbershoot and CHAC and Portland's TBA Festival, and will do it again in Vancouver B.C. on February 4. It's one of my favorites.

But I'm especially excited about Saturday night, when we'll do "Invincible Summer" for the first (and probably only) time on the west coast. I have always wanted to do this show in Seattle as it's about our move from here to New York, which happened to be the same summer those towers fell. It's also about the subway system, families falling apart and coming back together, Polish weddings and potato salad, and the vodka and cream puffs it takes to make both marriage and democracies work.

This is the same monologue that was so infamously interrupted by the student group in Boston whose adult chaperone couldn't handle Paris Hilton being insulted. (Watch that video here.)

If you're in the area, come join us. We'll have a good time together.

Oh! A bald eagle just flew by!

* * *

Coming Home is bronze sculpture by Stanley Bleifeld, located at Marina Park in Kirkland, Washington.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pollos & Banditos

Hey! I got the slideshow from our trip to Mexico working. Click on the picture below for six minutes and twenty-two seconds of unadulterated nostalgia.

And remember to choose the "watch in high quality" option (you'll find that option to the bottom right of the image window).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 2009 in Washington DC

The first time I came to DC was last July, when we had a run of "If You See Something..." at Woolly Mammoth. Though I fell in love with the theater (the audiences, the staff, the building) and was impressed by the city's scope and vitality, I had a hard time that trip.

For one thing, it was hot. Which severely limited my ability to walk around and see the sights, let alone do basic things like pick up groceries and do laundry without a considerable amount of whining.

For the second thing, the monologue was at a critical point in its development, and it was taking a lot of work to whip it into shape, which meant Mike would build it every night and then I would tear it apart every morning, and then we'd do it all again. At least, that's how the process started to feel to us, until we could hardly stand it anymore.

Finally, my grandmother was dying in the other Washington, which meant that whenever we weren't fighting over the monologue, I was a weepy mess. She ended up passing away while I was there, which meant I had to leave DC early to attend her funeral while Mike stayed behind to finish the run.

This trip went considerably better.

Nobody close to us died, the weather was tolerable, the performances and roundtables went swimmingly, and a fantastic new president was sworn in--one we actually believe in and whose campaign I've given money to, one who makes me proud to call myself an American. Talk about a happy start to a new year.

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration you could feel the collective good mood of the city rising and rising. Restaurants and bars extended their hours in recognition that the entire city would be playing host to this celebration.

My cousin Victoria (family nickname "Pepsi"--it's a long story) and her husband James came to town for the big event and got to see our show, too.

Unlike them, we didn't have inauguration tickets, but we did get invited to an arts leadership cocktail party on the eve of the inauguration, where we met up with fellow artists and neighbors from Brooklyn, Isaac and Ann. I'm not much of a schmoozer, but I do appreciate open bars and appetizers of enormous scallops with a light butternut squash and brown beurre sauce.

After the party we walked down to the mall and got much closer to the stage than we knew we'd be able to the next day.

The grounds were full of folks like us, everyone eager to help take pictures for one another, everyone jubilant and oh so hopeful.

Indeed, the following day we fought our way to (and through) the train station, checked our bags, then walked along the perimeter of the Capitol, hoping we might be able to hear our new president's speech even if we couldn't get close enough to see him on a jumbotron.

There were thousands of other people just like us, happy just to be close to the big event (and knowing we'd be able to watch it all on Hulu later).

After surveying our options, we sat down at the sunny base of a tree, had a little picnic, and people-watched until it was time to catch our train. One cop made a beeline toward us and I was afraid he was going to tell me that dogs weren't allowed in the area, but it turned out he just missed his dog back at home and wanted to scratch his head and say hello.

I still didn't see as much of the city as I would have liked this trip, but the great news is that we're going to be back in a year's time with a brand new piece. A piece that I'm very excited about and will be able to spill the beans on soon.

Until then, Happy New President Day to all of you.