Ordinary Days

I think it's close enough to opening to write about how  excited I am for the upcoming Texas premiere of Ordinary Days from Penfold Theatre, which runs from March 20th-April 6th at The Off-Center.  Michael McKelvey is directing the four person cast including Matthew Redden, Haley Smith, Sarah Marie Curry, and me, with Dustin Struhall in charge of Music Direction.  It's an honor to be get the chance to worth with these actors, and I couldn't be more pleased by the character I get to play.  He's a quirky, idealistic, slightly naïve, aspiring artist by the name of Warren.  When I first heard the soundtrack I just fell in love with him, and felt like I could do him some justice without having to stray too far from the essence of who I am.  

Bret Easton Ellis would probably see the show and deem Warren part of the archetype which is the "gay magical elf" that he rages against in his infamous essay.  Personally I disagree.  And personally I think that Bret is a bit of a douche (who but a douche would spell Brett "Bret") and I say that as much as I hate using that word as a pejorative.  To my mind his article is full of self-loathing, and anger toward any gay who is less than a man loving lumberjack.  Sorry, but I like sparkles, I like old Hollywood, I use words like "puddin'" as terms of endearment, and I have been heard to sing in the office.  I have a lot of zeal.  That doesn't make me less than a person, it's just who I am.  Should I be someone else because Brett, sorry, Bret, thinks this conforms to a safe non-threatening version of gay?  I'm not going to limit myself in anyway.  

For years I hid that side of me, waited to speak until I learned what I thought the people around me wanted and expected from me, and then I played that role.  Once I felt safe in thinking that they might want who I was, I slowly let it out.  Dropped the mask.  But now?  I'm not going to wear it.  Does that mean I've picked up a different mask which skews to other extreme?  Maybe a bit, but that's more who I am.  And to be fair, the butch me was never   that butch, nor that convincing.  Neither is the flamboyant part of me all pink and princesses, although there is definitely an enjoyment of pink and princesses.  Always has been, and I ain't gonna deny it...

But all of that has gone a little off the topic of Ordinary Days.  Here's a bit from the press release:

Taxi cabs and the secret of happiness. From one of musical theatre's most exciting new composers comes Ordinary Days in its Texas premiere. A refreshingly honest and funny chamber musical about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and taxis. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. Ordinary Days is a story for anyone who's ever struggled to appreciate the simple things in a complex world.

If you've never seen me perform, I hope you'll come and see this as I think the material's pretty great, and the cast truly talented.  And I'm really pleased to get to sing as much as I do in the show, and to sing with my own voice rather than the character voices I ocassionally have to employ.  If you HAVE seen me perform, I hope you'll still come and see this.  And if you have seen me perform and HATE my performances, well then...come to see everyone else, and to support Penfold Theatre.
Joe Hartman