Escanaba In Da Moonlight Opens Friday!

We start Tech for Escanaba tonight, with three more rehearsals until opening.  It's been a fast rehearsal process, as we've had about two and a half weeks, and there is a lot to think about to make the show work, but I think we are nearly ready.  The set is beautiful, we'll see the lighting and fog effects for the first time tonight... a new layer is added each day.

I have been having a lot of the typical "actor's nightmare" type of dreams the past couple of weeks.  They've all been variations on a theme-  I'm opening a show in thirty minutes and completely forget to prepare, or memorize lines, or show up to a single rehearsal.  I know they're just dreams, and yet, they are a manifestation of my deepest worries, so in one aspect they should be taken seriously.  They are a warning to prepare.  To work on my lines, study my dialect, run through the blocking in my head, make a list of personal props and between act changes, etc.  That's the only way to eliminate the nerves, and even then...

The show itself was written by Jeff Daniels, around the time he was filming Dumb and Dumber, and takes place in a cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the day before Deer Season starts.  Albert Soady, his son's Reuben and Remnar , and the "legendary" and kooky Jimmer Megamonee have gathered together to drink whiskey, play cards, and go hunting just as they have every year for the past thirty years.  The oldest son Reuben (that's me) is about to become the oldest Soady in family history to have never landed a buck, and the plot revolves around the lengths he and his family go through to keep him from ending up on the wrong end of the family record books.  It's very broad humor, definitely on the lower side, with a touch of the supernatural thrown in for good measure.  I hope it's well received as I've really enjoyed the rehearsal process so far, and am proud of the work that's gone into it.

As far as off-stage life, we've settled into a bit of a routine here:  I've been to the local diner exactly three times for breakfast, and the waitress knows my order, and brings me a Diet Coke without my asking, which is kind of delightful.  It's a cozy feeling you get here after awhile, a feeling of familiarity.  And while I definitely miss the city, and it's easy accessibility to just about anything you could ever need or want, I understand the appeal of a slower pace of life that one can get out here, and the safe and welcoming feeling of being around people who recognize and know you.

Joe Hartman