Monday, April 23, 2007

Here I am signing programs as Maid Marian on Saturday. Robin Hood opened well this week/weekend to scores of happy kids. Tuesday and Wednesday were the shows for schools. Local private and pre-schools brought their classes those days and this weekend we opened to the public. Things went much better than I expected after our single dress rehearsal - in which any and all costume/props mishaps that could happen, did. Wigs fell off, keys fell off their key rings at inopportune times and we were just generally distracted by the costumes as most casts are the first time they wear them. I had to adjust my way of moving to accommodate the train of the dress. But I have worn gowns in shows before, so I'd had a little practice with it. Of course, this show involves much more running around than past period pieces I have been in.

But the shows were well attended and well received and I am glad it has turned out so well. But that doesn't mean there aren't parts I sure would like another shot at as the writer. There are a few bits that are simply not funny enough. For instance when Robin Hood comes out and rummages in his bag for a proper disguise, I knew he should pull out a few items that wouldn't work at all. And I didn't spend much time thinking about it as I was on a deadline. So the first things I thought of were (1) a clown wig and (2) groucho nose/glasses and (3) a giant pair of granny panties. I remember at the time that I wrote it that it wasn't really silly enough and that I wanted to go back to it. But during the editing read-thru at my house, no one raised objections to it and I was focusing my re-writes on the things that came up then. So it stayed in as written and now that we have an audience, I realize my initial thoughts were right. It just isn't funny - except the panties, those are funny. Panties are always funny. The rest isn't painful or anything, but I can clearly see how the moment could be improved. I chatted with Elaine a bit about it and she immediately suggested a snorkel and a tutu. Man, I wish I'd workshopped that bit because a snorkel would be much funnier than the groucho glasses. Instead of saying the groucho glasses were too cliche, he could say "I could use this snorkel to swim to the jail where they have Little John..." and the kids could object that there isn't any water. That would be much better. And the tutu could be tiny and wouldn't fit him. Or any number of things. I just wish I could go back and solicit better ideas of unusable disguises for him to pull out of the bag. I am just not happy with the bit as written.

I guess every playwright finds things he or she wished they had written differently. But overall the script is funny and I am ok with it. I will definitely go in for another editing round before I shop it to publishers though. I know what needs tweaked -and I'm not afraid to do it...

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