Friday, October 22, 2004

Sometimes Things Just Line Up That Way...

I had a nice reminder this evening that the universe does indeed have a sense of comic timing all its own.

I am pitching in as part of the stage crew for my local community theater group (The Possum Point Players) and their production of Noises Off. This is a very funny show by playwright Michael Frayn that requires two complicatedly complete set changes. Several of us join in with the entire cast in rotating three large, two-tiered platform/wall units, two pair of stairs, two rooms of furniture and assorted theater flats -- twice -- to enable the players to present first a cast rehearsing a play, from the front, then performing the play, from backstage, then performing the play again from the front. A comedy in three acts.

The show itself is hilarious and the players do a fine job. Our set changes, however, are chaotic enough to provide drama and humor themselves. Tonight, as I dragged a staircase from stage right to stage left, I heard two theater patrons chatting in the front row.

"I had heard that this was the best part of the show," said Theater Patron One to Theater Patron Two.

"Why yes," Two replied, "We can always rush out to the snack bar right before the Act Two curtain."

But all that to one side.

This evening, as I left the house for my new exercise routine of flat-dragging, I happened to snatch up the latest edition of the New Yorker magazine, which came in today's mail. During Act Two, I was standing backstage paging through the magazine and planning which articles to read and in what order. I came upon a full page photo of a dapper looking man sprawled on a garden seat. It was a profile of the man who wrote the words wafting through the teaser curtains to me.

As I scanned the profile -- "A Dry Soul Is Best; Michael Frayn and the drama of betrayal" by Larissa MacFarquhar -- I was struck by how balanced life can seem.

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