And once again, a show has gone up into that Great Production in the Sky. We just closed Captain Moonbeam & Lynchpin (along with Brian Silliman's brilliant and beautiful Savior) mere hours ago, and I miss it already. It was a very short run indeed, but quite a sweet one, in my humble, jaw-droppingly-biased opinion.
The last few days before we opened the show, I had the same problem that I always have with a show of mine just before opening: I started worrying about if the show made sense to anyone who wasn't me. Like I said, I get this way with every Nosedive show, but in this case I found the feeling much more pronounced.
This is not meant as a slight on the cast, director, or Ben VandenBoom (who more or less served as our One Man Crew, Stage Manager, Designer and Set Builder). If anything, I felt they were helping make my very odd script make more sense. But in a way, Captain Moonbeam is a piece that seems to go out of its way to offer mixed signals to the audience.
The show pretty much tells a story about grief & childhood trauma giving way to alienation then mental instability through the lens of a comic book superhero origin story. In other words, in a sense we're telling a tragedy taking place in the mundane real world by using the storytelling cues and methods of thrilling fantasy adventure tale.
So, no. As you can see, I wasn't just being abstractly paranoid. We were telling a story with deliberately conflicting cues.
The one downside to acting in this piece is that it meant I'd be backstage for 99% of the show, which meant I would have to take audiences at their word as to how they responded to it (when I'm sitting in the audience for my shows I can kinda tell if people are feeling it or not). So not only could I not see the crucial/pivotal scenes in the show, I couldn't see how the audiences were responding.
Silly me for volunteering to be in the cast.
Fortunately, based on talking to audience members afterward, the story appears to have been properly conveyed. That is to say, people got what we were trying to do with it. (Whether they liked it or not is a different story.)
Having said that, more than one person suggested it was (is) incomplete, something I had contemplated myself. It's a short piece - only about 25 minutes - and there are several places I've thought of where it can be expanded easily. Hell, after the first table read with the cast, I added about five minutes to the script.
So, yeah. This is definitely a piece I'll return to and expand upon.
I want to again thank Leigh Hile for being a particularly excellent director on this, doing so much research on this show to give it an emotional depth and weight not found in the text alone (word on the street is she's a shitty waitress, but I can attest she's a freakin dream to work with in the theatre world), Ben VandenBoom, who did about 99.9% of the behind-the-scenes work on this (I was really a producer-in-name-only on this show), Pete Boisvert for taking production photos and mocking up all those comic book panels (while he was already bogged down with doing everything for The Blood Brothers) and the rest of the cast, Jordan Ungerer, Rick Cekovsky and Christopher M. Czyz, who made insanely fast costume- tone- and age-changes seem effortless.
And of course, I want to thank the Brick Theater for allowing us to participate in the Comic Book Theater Festival and to everyone who came out to see it. You bitches are all awesome.
Well, awright. Enough Reminiscing. We've still got Blood Brothers to tend to, and there's still a lot of preproduction work to for Infectious Opportunity.
Resting only for a moment,
James "Navel-Gazer on the Run" Comtois
Labels: Captain Moonbeam, Comic Book Festival, theatre