Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shadowbox

On Saturday night in New Orleans, we went to see the play Hugging the Shoulder, which asks the question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" as it follows a man's desperate effort to rescue his brother from the sinkhole of heroin addiction. The never published play, written by Jerrod Bogard, was masterfully directed by our own Glenn Meche, aka fellow blogger Bigezbear.

Glenn recognized my husband and me as soon he saw us. He was standing outside the theater as our cab pulled up, and as soon as we got out, he said, "I know you! You're from New York!" I so loved meeting him. You can just kind of tell he wears his heart on his sleeve and I can't resist that. I had this immediate urge to hug him but I didn't want to spook him. He was worried about what we'd think of the show. I hadn't meant to put him on the spot. I had thought to slip into the theater and tell him after, because I knew from his blog that he was nervous about the opening. On his blog, he wrote "I'm ransacked," and I certainly know that feeling. But how could I not go to his show, after reading his posts about directing it, and understanding that for him, this work was a labor of love.

Then when I saw the show was opening the very weekend we would be in New Orleans, I knew we would be in the audience. I just hadn't worked out how public we would be. But it was a small black box theater, an intimate place, there was nowhere to hide, and then I was glad of that, because afterward I got to hug Glenn and tell him how much I loved his play, how he need never have worried. I got to tell him how blown away we both were and he could see for himself that we were. His actors gave such heartrendingly nuanced performances my husband and I haven't stopped talking about them since. Glenn, my friend, this play is a brilliant piece of theater. It sticks to you, stays with you, climbs inside you and works all its angles raw inside you long after the theater goes dark.

The photographs here are by Glenn M. They show scenes from the play. The actors are Joe Siebert, Eli Grove and Liz Mills. Their talent is huge. The world should know their names.



11 comments:

  1. How exciting for him -- and for you. I am glad that you've let us know about the play and these artists. I'll be on the look-out!

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  2. There's always something very magical when bloggers meet each other. We're part of a common tribe, a secret society sometimes. Some of my dearest friendships originated from my old blog that I kept for several years.
    How great that you got to enjoy the play, and your presence must have made the night even more special to him.
    Cheers.

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  3. Oh, you are so kind. My only regret was that you two weren't here longer. How I would have loved bringing you to the sites of some of those pictures you loved so much. You'll just have to come see me again!

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  4. What magic we create with our words. What strange, new roads we have found to travel on to each other.

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  5. I can only imagine how fabulous it must have been to be on your wonderful holiday with your husband AND get to meet an online kindred spirit AND share his personal triumph. Blessings all around!

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  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed the show! Thank you for taking for coming to see it and for your beautiful words.

    Liz Mills

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  7. Oh, how wonderful. I agree with Kathleen: blessings all around!

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  8. I truly believe that those of us who find and friend one another via our blogs are blessed with a very unique connection that it is difficult to duplicate in any other way. This tender post about someone who you came to know online, but now support in real life, proves it.

    Congratulations to both Glenn(I highly support black box theatre as my daughter is an actor and has performed in several) and to Angella.(who is such an encouraging force in the lives of so many) Your connection is surely divine.

    Hugs and so much love,
    Debra

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  9. Elizabeth, i kept thinking they all should be "discovered," that such talent ought to be widely known, and yet they might be doing exactly what they want to do, on the scale they prefer. it's like i prefer to write this blog than write books. maybe it's the similar.

    Miss A, a common tribe, yes, it feels like that to me.

    Glenn, we just might take you up on that offer one of these days! again, I enjoyed so much meeting you.

    Ms. Moon, magical and strange, indeed. better to just go with it. hugs.

    Kathleen, it really made our whole trip all the more special, less touristy, more real.

    Liz! how wonderful of you to leave a comment here. Seeing the show was a real treat for us, and you were truly amazing in it. You all were. I am so glad we had the chance to be there. Thanks again.

    ellen, we'll take the blessings for sure. thank you, friend.

    Debra, i did have a strange feeling that i was meant to go and see Glenn's show. you touched on that in your comment. it did feel like something that was mine to do, and i am so very happy i did. both my husband and i loved meeting him, and felt truly enriched by the art put before us by him and his actors and the playwright, and everyone involved with the show. thank you for your loving comment, and your loving spirit, always.

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  10. I'm glad you're home and I'm glad you went. I can smell the rive just from looking at these fantastic photos.
    xo

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  11. Rebecca! We followed much of your itinerary! Thank you!

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