When we open a play at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts, we present between five and seven shows for the public. But before we open our doors to the public, the cast has spent the better part of two months preparing for opening night. Following are scenes from some of our rehearsals along with tidbits about the play itself. In the photos that follow, you'll see:
Harry Baldwin: (John Goroski) An artist who cooks in a diner at night, drinks and plays cards all day, and drives an unwashed Blazer. With Panache.
Jumbo Dombroski: (Eric Myers) Harry's best friend, a fellow of imposing character who works as sort of a loan officer.
Kathleen Trafalgar: (Michele Shapero) Cultured and sheltered, from Scarsdale. Married to Charles, an important man who travels and addresses the UN.
Irwin Alcott: (Bryan Zipp) Harry's nerdy friend from college. Well, more a memory at this point. Hasn't aged a bit.
Laura Baldwin: (Stephanie Brost) A vision of innocence and sensuality, she was Irwin's date for the Spring Formal. And Harry's late wife.
We'll add to this display as we go. We hope you enjoy this display, and that you come and see the play itself.
Making final plans for the set. "We're not building a house." We're not?
Painting the flats. It's a lot like refurbishing a house, covering up the icky color choices of the last tenant.
Antiquing the bricks. While the colors are pretty, flat colors can get boring.
Running low on fuel. It takes a lot of energy to build sets, which has to come from somewhere.
"I really appreciate you teaching me about gambling."
"Oh, there's teaching going on all right. I'm getting taught never to sit down with you again."
Harry Baldwin is deprived. Deprived of a career, deprived of love, and deprived of prospects. It's possible that Kathleen may be able to help him with this, but right now it seems she's contributing to the problem by depriving him of sleep.
Jumbo Dombroski. Even the name sounds tough. But Harry took him camping and learned he has a real fear of snakes. And he wasn’t too keen about having a lizard crawl in his pants, either. Fortunately, Kathleen is less squeamish.
"I called you a bitter, unkempt guzzler who's given up! And shouldn't! Because you have a lot of life ahead of you! And you have talent and intelligence! And you need a good shaking!" And quit sticking your tongue out while I try to deliver this line!"
A vision now, a dream perchance: A lovely girl, a sweet romance. But if for me this be a chance,
then pigs could fly and nerds could dance. (Bryan Zipp, as Irwin Alcott, shows his moves.)
Technological genius Irwin Alcott is at home with numbers, algorithms, and complex devices of all kinds. But constantly pervading the matrices of his mind is a rather perplexing interest in girls. Fortunately, Harry Baldwin has taken pity on him. But now Irwin has to rise to the occasion and become the suave, debonair gentleman that Harry has promised. Played by Bryan Zipp, Irwin's first challenge is going to be negotiating formal wear.
That picture of Laura. It’s been three years since Laura died. And she was the love of Harry’s life. But that photo is more than just a picture. To Harry it is the spirit of Laura. And it has its own special place. On that round table on the far side of Harry’s apartment. If you visit Harry, don’t mess with that picture. It may look like a casual snapshot of Stephanie Brost, who plays Laura, but there’s a ghost that lives in that frame.
Kathleen Trafalgar would never call Cynthia Remington a liar. But she is. The very idea of accusing Kathleen of cheating at golf! And then spreading those lies all around the club. Well some things are just not done. Golf is new to Michele Shapero and when she took this role, she didn't know what a bad lie was. But now she's determined to teach Cynthia that meaning, even if she has to stuff it down her throat.
Panache is defined as flamboyant confidence of style or manner. But does panache come from a look, an act, from the heart, or from a vanity license plate? Harry and Kathleen can’t seem to agree on what panache is, much less who deserves the honor of possessing it. Can panache be purchased or does it have to be earned? And once earned, can it be sold? Harry clings to the panache he once had while Kathleen grasps for the panache she craves. And since neither of them owns a chain of IHOPs …
Jumbo Dombroski seems a nice enough guy. Provided, of course, you’re not behind in your payments. Is he the kind of guy you need to fear? Big, yeah. Tough, yeah. Would he break your leg to make a point? It seems he’d like you to think that. But he’s Harry’s best friend. And Harry doesn’t befriend bullies. Eric Myers isn't acting here, just talking on his cell phone.
And then there was that naughty video. Just for the record, it wasn’t Kathleen’s. She did watch it, though. With Charles. About a waitress and a traveling salesman. Such acrobatics! But really, is there any way to make that position … more dignified? Michele Shapero peruses a photo of Toby Stephens who played a pirate in Black Sails, a series she's never watched.
In Kathleen Trafalgar’s experience, “roughing it” was the time she had to stay in a Holiday Inn. A tent next to a campfire is more foreign to her than a foreign country. But to Harry Baldwin, an evening in the mountains is just the kind of escape he needs. From work, from the city, from life. And Kathleen is determined to escape with him, even if it means having a lizard in her pants. Michele Shapero roughs it in front of an electric heater.
Is Harry Baldwin a gambler? Not really. He plays cards a lot and bets on the ponies. But in games of chance, he’s better characterized as a loser. Not that he couldn’t win. He just prefers to lose. Harry understands loss. In his mind, he’s good at it. And you gravitate to the things you’re good at. Fortunately, he has Jumbo to look out for him. John Goroski relishes the rare opportunity that Jumbo lets him shuffle.
"She's wearing a stunning evening gown. Irwin can't move. He looks like the happiest guy in the universe. She walks over to him. There's a look between them you could start a forest fire with. Gently she takes his hands in hers. I'm across the street with a death grip on a tree limb. Irwin and Laura get back in the car and off they go. There's not a sound from the guys."