Thursday, May 2, 2019

I Should've Just Married David Neilson Rehearsal

Downstairs Lady Theater Productions will be presenting, I Should've Just Married David Neilson, written by Carol Jacqueline Palumbo and directed by Mikaela A. Duffy. The show will be at the third annual Tampa International Fringe Festival. Carol also played the leading role of a blogger tapping away at her computer. Her roommate and BFF (Lizzie Reynolds) helped Carol from feeling like she might be getting into a writer's rut. The two had clearly gone through much together, with their friendship weathering the storms of a crazy dating scene. As Carol got emotional about all the jerks she had dated, her BFF advised her to write those thoughts down. The only thing Carol had a harder time with, besides her writer’s block, was her love life. So why not combine the two, and make it SUPER painful!  

Carol's first love, was David Neilson in Kindergarten. He told Carol's mom that he had a thing for blue eyed brunettes, and to Carol's Stepford, Connecticut family, a statement like that was an obvious declaration of everlasting love and marital intent. Things didn't work out that way.

A disastrous first kiss was hilarious in its slobbery details, followed by online dating, really bad dates, and even worse sex. Carol uses her humor to navigate through treacherous perils. There were plenty of trolls along the way, but this was not your typical fairy tale. This modern day Cinderella takes you on a journey through the good, the bad, and the “What the Actual F***?!” to finding love and perhaps a happily ever after.  Stage Manager, Morgan Polodna, played audio snippets of guys insipid and disgusting pick up lines, which made Carol, and both Pam and I, smile. It was the first time Carol had heard this element of the show.

Things got really dark as Carol related the details of being drugged and date raped. Her emotions were visceral and raw, and very real because perhaps this wasn't just acting, but reliving a horrible truth. This scene really hit hard. I don't think I have ever experienced theater that was that heartfelt. I particularly identified with her as a blogger, and she shared her thoughts online in all their intense rage. The overwhelming response from friends and people she didn't even know, was a reminder that none of us are going through this life experience alone. As Carol said to herself, "You could give girls hope that a sense of humor could be your glass slipper of of this hell hole."

A warm hug to this amazing show and cast. As I worked, I suddenly realized I had left my paint brushes at home. I had to resort to finger painting to finish up the sketch. It kind of made sense to slip back into finger painting mode since Carol's first kindergarten love was so central to the show. Carol reminded me that I have sketched her in seven different shows over the years. Sadly, she is leaving Central Florida, so this will likely be the last time I will sketch one of her performances. Her bright flame will light up the next arts scene she becomes a part of.

The show opens tonight May 2, 2019 at HCC Rehearsal Hall on the Corner of Palm Ave and East 14th Street Tampa Florida.
Tickets are $10 with a $4.50 fee.

Thursday, May 2: 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 4: NOON
Sunday, May 5: 3:00 p.m.
Friday, May 10: 10:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 11: 8:00 p.m.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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