A Delaware City man was hurt after sneaking into a recent Reedy Point Players rehearsal of Full Frontal Nudity when he rushed by ambulance after falling victim to stitches while watching the show.
Charles Mergenthaler Hopkins Taylor Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, age unknown, snuck into the rehearsal of the play directed by Aniela Meinhaldt and succumbed to his injuries.
“He just doubled over from laughing so much,” Ms. Meinhaldt said. “He was laughing uncontrollably. He kept saying, ‘They have me in stiches.’”
It’s not the first time the rehearsal has caused funny bone fractures, said Bill Potter an understudy for the show.
“Last week we had to rush a guy to the hospital for a busted gut,” Potter said. “I mean there’s funny and dangerously funny. I guess people will have to check their insurance to ensure being in stiches or busting a gut from laughing too hard is covered.”
For anyone brave enough to attend the show and possibly of have too much fun, the show runs October 26 and 27 at 8 pm with a matinee the 28th at 2 pm. To get tickets go to https://reedypointplayers.ticketleap.com/fullfrontalnudity/.
I got three things to say about last night production of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” at Newark’s Chapel Street Player, on well … Chapel street.
Directing. You can’t see it, but I am standing in front of my computer, clapping. Bravo Brian Touchette and Susan Boudreaux. Just beautiful. You said you’ve been wanting to direct this play for more than four years; I can only guess it’s been etching at the back of your mind just as long. Your retelling of the archetypal Christ story was superb (I won’t get into a whole archetypal criticism discussion, but just know Mr. Touchette and Ms. Boudreaux get it). The pacing was excellent and the production consistently interesting.
Set Design. According to the program, Mr. Touchette also designed the set. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. I’m flat out of superlatives. I am clapping so loud; my poor Dachshund is howling from all the noise; it is 0612 Sunday morning. The set is superb. It is a standalone work of art. Mr. Touchette and Ms. Boudreaux’s use of vertical space by putting the nurse’s station physically aloft from the patient area helped create a sense of isolation for both the nursing staff and patients. The set itself was actually a member of the cast.
Tech. tech, tech. The tech was simply great. Shout out to everyone. From Set decoration and effects to the painting of the floor and everything in between It was boffo. The tech design and execution had the effect of deepening the overall story and creating an ambience that complemented the story, set design, and subtext. These are the artists responsible for the great tech.
I guess that’s it. Oh, the acting was the usual Chapel Street high standard. It was excellent. I won’t go into any great detail about who did what, because well, that’s not what I want to write about this time and I’m running out of gas.
With that being said, I have to confess admiration for Andre Wilkins – I love watching him act. He does so many things well. His physical schtick is always a blast.
Here is the cast. Each was great.
Remember the old joke, I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out?
Well this is kind of like that … not really, but kinda.
I have photographic proof.
On a recent Friday, Robin, Wanda and I went to a veterans stand-down at Schutte Park, Dover Delaware. In case you don’t know, a veterans stand down is an event where veterans of all types come together to hear about service ranging from suicide prevention, to transportation, to medical care, to job services.
It’s kind of a big deal.
It looks like this:
Anyway, it’s a delightful day; comradery, music, food, and helping each other. It has been one of my favorite events for years.
Not only are there service inside, but on this day, many service providers brought their mobile vans and stationed them in the parking lot.
I said there was music, right? What veterans stand-down would be complete without one duo doing country standards and another doing acoustic songs from the 60’s? You know “Okie from Muskogee” in one ear and “Proud Mary” in another.
So at some point, the bands took a break and they put a song mix loop on the loud speaker that had some dance music.
And then it broke loose.
A line dancing hullabaloo erupted.
There were black people, white people, skinny people, and chubby people in the middle of the parking lot. It was — as the kids used to say — cray-cray. There were amputees rocking out in their wheel chairs and some in walkers joining in. It was unbelievable
There was at least one fat Irishman, who couldn’t dance in the midst of it (I’m sure you can figure out who that was).
Then this happened.
The song Strok’in by Clarence Carter – you know the guy who sang Patches – came on. It’s a ribald song; the title tells you all you need to know. I was frankly mortified; I Had never heard it before. Here is a link for you nasty people https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGVnH39UzI8.
I was ineptly line dancing. I look over my should and this elderly, frail, white-haired lady was waddling by on her stroller and as I looked closer. She was singing – I SWEAR TO GOD:
I stroke it to the east
And I stroke it to the west
And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best
I be strokin’
Go figure. Right?
Have a nice day and maybe get some strok’in done.
In my defense, I’m a sexist jerk.
We should probably start there.
I recently heard a story on NPR about Romance Novels. They are apparently hugely popular. Readers of the genre are loyal to their authors, characters, and stories. And I want to know why, so I can steal the formula and use it for personal gain.
I decided to read a romance novel or two just to see what hubbub was.
I googled romance novel and as you would expect, I got a gillion ideas. It was all too overwhelming. So I decided to the local Barnes and Noble and see if they could recommend anything.
Hoping to find a “staff picks” or something, I went to the cavernous romance section of the of the liberia and was confronted with spy romances, vampire romances, detective romances, western romances, city romances, and historical gay romances. There were thick books, thin books, tall books and stubby books. There were book series, and award-winning books.
I also learned that apparently pirates and cowboys do lots of sit-ups, have no buttons on their shirts, and all eat carb free diets.
Completely lost and confused I go to store help desk and find a young man, whose appearance suggests: 1. he will never make it to book cover (neither will I); 2. He is likely more at home with Wired magazine.
I ask him, “Do you have any spinsters around who can help me pick out a romance novel? (I was trying to be clever).
And he says (I am not kidding), “She’s off today.”
He walks me back to the romance section and waves his hand over no specific book and says, “These are pretty popular.” And waddles away.
I pick up some vampire romance. I figure vampires … what can possibly go wrong. I look at the price and it was like 12 bucks. I figured I’m not shelling out 12 bucks for something I know nothing about.
So, I move to plan B. I start following women around the store to see what they had in their hands. Maybe I’ll get a tip. It didn’t go well – let’s just leave it at that.
I finally gave, up bought a monster book, and drove to the North Branch of The Wilmington Public Library.
The library is on the fringe of a hardscrabble part of town. Even so, every time I have gone there I have found exactly what I’m looking for. EVERY TIME!
I walked up and this little lady was tending the counter and she said, “Can I help you?”
I said, “I don’t know anything about romance novels and I want to read one; I hear they are popular.”
Her eyes brighten, and she says, “Oh honey, they surely are.”
She closes and locks her cash register and walks away, looks back and says, “Come on.”
She explains to me that in this library the romances are clearly marked.
“Look at the bindings. Mysteries have little Sherlock Holmes hats and romances have little hearts.”
She walked through the section and pointed out Debbie Macomber; I grabbed one called Love Letters.
“That’s a good one,” she said.
Then I Picked one called the Last Good Mand by Kathleen Eagle.
“I never read that one, but it has a really nice cover.”
She was right; it did.
I am reading two romance novels now picked by the little lady at the library. And that brings me to this point – I love the North Branch of the Wilmington Public Library; It’s friendliest place in town.
Wednesday night I had dinner at Iron Hill Brewery with Lyn Anderson who is either my co-director or assistant director, or something like that, and with Kate Potter my property mistress. Anyway, we began some preliminary
drinking er, ah, thinking, that’s right thinking about things we want to accomplish before the word premier on Aril 12th.
The first thing we need to do is run the script through another edit (or two). There are a couple of changes I want to make to heighten suspense and get it a little tighter.
I have been wrestling with realism or austere. When I saw Erin Miller’s use of space in her version of Romeo and Juliet, I became more convinced that less may be better. I still have to figure that out. I’ll be relying on Lyn a lot for this as she has an intuitive excellence in that regard.
I am envisioning a bright white stage.
WE talked about getting sponsors. I’m thinking about asking Christiana Care, Helen F. Graham, LLS, and the American Cancer Society for help.
That’s it for now.
Okay, those of you who’ve read my reviews before, know I usually have to go back and fix something that a reader pointed out, The good news is I have a reader.
Anyway, this reader reminded me – and his name was not Kevin Meinhaldt – that tech played a great part in the success of the Reedy Point Players production of Romeo and Juliet. He (or maybe she) was right.
The tech and lights were executive flawlessly by Mr. Meinhaldt, Jacob Hunter, and Fran Lazartic. The sounds and lights to replicate gunshots were perfect while the dubbing of a radio broadcast to update the audience was a stroke of genius. The lighting choices were really enhanced the story telling
I got something to say … about Romeo and Juliet put on by the Reedy Point Players – I saw it last night and it was pretty darn good – well worth your entertainment dollar. I’m going to see it again next Friday – really, I am.
If you’ve read my notes before, you know that I tend to not mention a whole lot of names, but rather focus on pone or two aspects of a production. With that said – Erin Miller.
I hadn’t seen Erin in a year or two, so I was glad to see her back at Reedy Player. This time though it was as a director. Her courageous direction of the Shakespeare classic captivated me.
She is very clever.
She used an incredibly austere set that really worked. The center of it was empty with the majority of the action taking place in that space. She built two, three feet high platforms with railings and placed them up stage left and right with a smaller platform (about 6 inches in the center to connect the two). While it work great for all the classic Romeo and Juliet lines; it wowed as the mausoleum. Just wowed – Artistic Austere and Creepy.
The set had the effect of a West Side Story kind of vibe.
The West Side Story vibe, hmm; funny I should mention that because Erin’s version takes place in New York.
Another courageous choice she made was tinkering with the script and the setting. She and Kevin Austra (who also played the ill-fated Mercutio) updated sections. They added hand guns instead of swords, introduced cell phones, and threw in some radio broadcasts for good measure. I won’t tell you much more because it’ll ruin the surprise. But it really worked well – I mean really.
All this had the effect (or is affect, I always get those two confused) of pulling the audience in and at the same time, clarifying points.
A couple of shout outs.
Gina Velardi – A great Juliet. She was determined, naïve, and appropriately tragic. She made you really care about her.
Kevin Austra – An enormous presence on the stage. His timing is wonderful, and his motions forced you t focus.
Ruth Brittain – I had never seen her before last night. But, man, she can act.
The last time I saw Patrick Ruesgegger was in the film “The Reprogramming Of Jeremy,” he did his usual great job, and his diction was superb.
Gunnar Funk – I had never seen Gunnar Funk before, but really enjoyed his Romeo. His death scene was first rate.
Gail Wagner – Was her usual superb self. I love watching her.
I’ve gone this far so I should probably mention everyone.
Matthew Lovlie – Okay Mr. Lovely is another one I love to watch; he gets it. Great job.
Jeff Fentrees – I had never seen Jeff before either, but his explanation of the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt was great.
Max O’Neil – I had never seen him before either, but man, if his goal was to come off as hot head, it worked. You know those people who are just and they are going to go off, you don’t when, but it’s going to happen? He did that great with Tybalt. Loved it!
Sam Vernooy – Sam had a hard job as Paris. That’s a more difficult role than you think. Paris wants to love Juliet, but he has no chance. She barely knows he is alive after Romeo shows up. He did it very well. And he died great!
Sam Dressler – He was great. As the omnipresent whipping boy, his timing was excellent, Thing about Sam is he always remembers his lines.
Lisa Coruzzi – I love listening to Ms. Coruzzi. She has a tenor in her voice that captivates when on stage. I wish the mayor had more line. Anyway, she was a gem.
Ken Guerino – In his first show at Reedy Point, Mr. Guerino held his own with all the vets. He knew his lines, hit his marks, and most importantly, enunciated wonderfully.
Lisa Velardi – I wish I could have heard more from her. She’s a good actor, but I didn’t see enough of her. What I saw, I liked.
MVP Award – Mother and daughter team of Jeanne and Kate Jerzak walloped it as the stage crew. Everything showed up and left the stage on time. BRAVO!
I guess that’s it. If I forgot anything or anyone, it’s because I’m an idiot!. It’s not you, it’s me.