THE BOYS NEXT DOOR opened well this weekend with enthusiastic houses. We are getting positive feedback from audience members who are familiar, professionally or personally, with the kinds of mental disabilities dramatized in this play, including mental retardation and schizophrenia (very different things, obviously). Our production is being taken as sympathetic and truthful--as well as funny--by people who would know. This is a comfort, and speaks well of the cast. We're particularly glad people familiar with mental disabilities are finding the show truthful because a vitriolic preview appeared in The Vancouver Voice last week, making the point that any dramatic representation of mentally disabled persons is "obnoxious" and "vile," if I remember rightly. It would have been nice for this writer to have either seen the show or interviewed the director before standing on his wobbly little soap box. He would have learned that the cast researched their roles with care to avoid misappropriating their characters' disabilities by turning them into cliche, and with great success, I believe.
We play Friday and Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. for the next three weekends.
UPDATE: I've decided to be happy with the working I'm doing in this show. There is one trouble spot for me--a beat in which I don't quite believe--that I'd like to fix, but things I'm happy about are: Mr. Klemper's physicality (esp. the hand), his levels of intensity, and my over-all belief in the scene. In this show, I'm more IN my scene than I have been, in recent shows. Confession: for this play, I like being on a proscenium stage and not being able to see the audience. I'm finding a welcome degree of 'privacy' that's helping me believe in place and put my attention more on my scene partner (even though/because most of my scene is monologue.) Recent black box or outdoor performances have been more of a challenge for me.
Fred--I'm hoping you see me in this one.