2007-11-16 / Community

Notes from the High C's

by Sharon Gabriel

Well, I made my debut stage appearance and my farewell appearance, all in the same night.

Last Friday evening, I was the surprise addition to the current Rockaway Theatre Company production of "Inspecting Carol." This same role has also been played by Susan Locke, Susan Hartenstein and several other ladies.

What happened was that Peggy Page of the RTC had asked me some time ago if I would do a surprise walk-on in the production and that they were asking other women to take on the role as well. According to Peggy, it was strictly a walk-on and so, I said OK. Little did I know that when it came time to actually rehearse, I would receive a call from Peggy and in discussing my part, she mentioned that it would be "about twelve lines." "Twelve Lines???" I told her she was crazy and that I had a problem remembering what I did a half-hour ago, so how could I remember twelve lines! Well when we got right down to it, it was only five lines and I figured I couldn't say no, so I said "OK, I'll try."

Now, as you may know, I worked in the entertainment business for over 40 years and in all that time, was always behind the camera, so to speak. Having to be on stage in front of people was another story.

Well, Peggy gave me my copy of the script with a tab next to my lines and the more I read through the play, the crazier I thought they were to have asked me. But, good sport that I am, onward and upward I went.

In the event you haven't gotten to the Post Theatre yet to see "Inspecting Carol," try to do so this weekend and you will have a laugh a minute at this farce.

The play is about a regional theatre company which is just about out of money and if their grant doesn't come through from the National Endowment for The Arts, they will be out of business. The NEA has told them they are sending an inspector to look at their work and to see whether they want to fund them any longer. In all of their upset over the Inspector coming, they are trying to do their annual production of Dickens "A Christmas Carol" with a multi-cultural cast and a too big Tiny Tim. That's all I'm going to tell you about the show, because you have to go and see it for yourself.

For myself, I enter in the second act and thank goodness, I didn't trip over my feet or the stage props and made my way to the center of the stage to deliver my lines. Well, I remembered them as they were written and that came off OK. The rest of my appearance in that act I did sitting down and couldn't get into too much trouble there. My third act finale was the best, because I didn't trip over my feet, my costume or fall down the stairs. So I made a very auspicious debut.

The whole experience was fun and the cast were just great to a newcomer. Everyone told me how good I was, but they may be sorry, because I might want to do it again, though I seriously doubt it. Thank you to Susan, David, Chaz, Frank, Jai, Rob the rest of the cast and "my directors," Susan and Walter. Thank you for making me feel welcome. Re-reading this paragraph, it almost seems like one of those Academy Award speeches you hear at the Oscars where everyone but their grandmothers is thanked for making them a success. In this case though, I really mean it....Thank you, guys.

In the event you were driving down the boulevard in the last few weeks and saw me talking to myself, I wasn't really talking to myself, I was practicing my lines. Is this how Meryl Streep started?

Please save Saturday or Sunday, December 8 or 9, to see the RTC production of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town." These two special performances are in memory of Barbara Eisenstadt. Barbara had asked the company to do the show and they didn't get permission from the Wilder estate until after Barbara passed away.

Call the RTC and ask them to reserve seats for you.

See you there.

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