Last night's show was our biggest house yet--my deep thanks to all who attended. Doing MONOPOLY! has been deeply instructive for me on the generous spirit of theater-goers--you see, Gentle Readers, MONOPOLY! is many things, but it's not a late-night show. Late night theater is brash, brassy and loud, whereas MONOPOLY! (despite the exclamation mark) is my quietest monologue yet--a reasoned discourse and dissection of corporate rule, wrapped around a blizzard of interconnected stoprylines, half personal and half historical. I think it's one of my best shows, but it's not the lightest viewing, and it's not late-night material.
I know from light viewing--I used to be a sketch comedy impresario, once upon a time, in a rough and tumble world where I wasn't afraid to bribe the press, if that's what it took to get ahead. Doing almost-free theater at 11 o'clock at night inculcates a direct sense of what works, and what doesn't work--and I learned early that it is not enough to be funny, because any fool can be funny, but to be consistently surprising and subversive--well, that's a whole other kettle of fish. I think my work now takes the best parts of that world, but I'm old and wise enough to know that this monologue should be performed at 8 o'clock.
But--that said, if we had waited for an 8pm start time to surface, there'd be no monologue for a long time--and the beauty of theater is that it's an arena of the actual, where theory meets the real world and the results are often skewed from what you may have envisioned. Thanks to the wonderful audiences and great support from the staff MONOPOLY! is working at 10:30pm--it's just a very different ride. We settle in, the music fades, the lights come up...and it's just us, alone in the night, with the quiet tapping of the radiators in the silence to keep us company. There's an intimacy here that I actually might miss when the hour is not so insane.
After the show last night we retired to Schnack, where Harry Hawk, the proprietor and long-time friend, had prepared an awesome dinner arcing from the delicious and expected (beer-braised short ribs) to the cognitively dissonant, bizarre and delicious (turkey-stuffed squid). Wonderful company, and the perfect way to cap off the evening.
Tonight is the next to last performance of MONOPOLY!--if I were you, I'd get my tickets soon if you don't want to be left out.