Saturday, March 14, 2020

A Dinner Conversation: Best Show

Pepe (Rob Ward) acted at the MC for the evening for Play in a Day. The auditorium was packed but I found a good spot on the sidelines to sketch from. Nine plays were presented all with the common theme of "Men". Playwrights had 12 hours to write their plays and the actors and production team had 12 hours to polish and produce the plays. I followed the play written by Tracey Jane, titled The Dinner Conversation. I knew from sketching the rehearsals all day that this was a warm hearted romantic and very funny production. I was of course rooting for them to pull together and create magic on stage.

Pepe introduced each ply in turn and a bongo player accompanied him at one point. Genevieve Bernard choreographed a beautiful dance piece titled, Our Bodies Our Choice. Four woman dancers and on man performed a dance the told a story of abuse followed by a woman's empowerment. It was bold and left me thinking. They won as the best ensemble for the evening.

Jac LeDoux and Ken Preuss were on a date at the Family Pizza Corral. The set simply consisted of a long red table on which were a series of trays where custom pizzas could be made. I was rooting for their happiness after starting life afresh after divorce. Tracey Jane made the script super easy for the actors because the characters were simply named after the actors playing the part. There were no new names to memorize. When Bennet Preuss and Melanie Leon entered things heated up. Melanie was hilarious with her sexual innuendos and double meanings behind everything she said. She just loved poking fun at her mom and embarrassing her. Melanie's hilarious performance won her an award as Best Actress. 

While Mel was poking fun, her brother Ben was sullen and resentful.  His mom got divorced while he was away at college and now that he was back she was starting a new relationship with another man.  Jac was loving and caring at every turn and wove an analogy between personal pizzas and individual tastes. However when Ken considered putting pineapple on his pizza, the family had to unite against his pure insanity. He was a food critic and should have known better. Food and family drama were perfectly combined. For this performance I just sat as an audience member to soak it in without the struggle of sketching to distract me. I was delighted and laughed out loud.  I knew where the rough spots in the production might be, but everything flowed smoothly. 

This show directed by Kaitlyn Harrington, and with Destiny Sam as the stage manager won the top honor as the Best Show of the night. I felt so proud, because I knew the blood sweat and tears over 24 hours that went into the magic that happened that night. "Don't count the days, make the days count." -Mohamed Ali

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

No comments: