Over the Moon

What an amazing first night!

As many times as I've seen In Mother Words, last night I felt I was seeing it for the first time.  The play is so funny and touching, and the monologues weave into each other while managing to stand alone as their own contained worlds.  The actors were brilliant, absolutely wonderful.  Everyone stood up at the end, and I felt so grateful to be part of it.  Congratulations to all the incredible playwrights!  I am honored to be in your company.

So many high points.  Here are two: Beth Henley, whom I've loved and adored since her Pulitzer Prize-winning Crimes of the Heart, one of my favorite plays and films, and the best three sisters since Three Sisters, (as you may know, I have a penchant for three-sisters stories,) told me she loved my monologue.  Yikes!  That made my night, if it hadn't been made already.  (Photo of me, Beth, and Joan Stein.)

I love Beth's monologue, Report on Motherhood--such a true, deep, constantly surprising conversation between a girl and her great-grandmother.  I'm proud to have worked with her and so many writers I admire.

Another high point: meeting Jane Kaczmarek right after the play.  She is lovely and brilliant, and it was so funny because we hugged right away--an actor and writer do sort of bond without ever seeing each other, because she's living in my words, bringing them to life, and I'm handing her a piece of my heart, waiting to see what she'll do with it.  Watching Jane perform My Almost Family I felt breathless and cried because she hit the deepest part of what I was going for--made it seem worth cherishing.

The photo above is of the cast, creators and producers, and director--the shot is white-haze from photographers' flashes.  Paparazzi, darling.  From left:  James Lecesne, Susan Rose Lafer (creator and producer,) Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Lisa Peterson (director,) Joan Stein (creator and producer, my dear friend since she produced Crazy in Love,) Jane Kaczmarek, and Amy Pietz.

Opening Night

Opening night for In Mother Words! Tonight I'll go to the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, attend opening night and enjoy the celebration.  My wonderful agent, Andrea Cirillo, sent me the flowers and, yes, red panties, you see in the photo above.

My piece, My Almost Family, is about my experience as a stepmother.  The monologue went through several incarnations, and at one point it included a line spoken by the character's husband's ex-wife, a line-in-the-sand moment in which the mother phones the stepmother to ask if she's missing any panties, it seems one of the children may have stolen them.  The stepmother asks, "What do they look like?  And the mother replies, "Red with black lace, very trampy."

Ah, the pleasures of trying to merge a family.  I wound up cutting that line, even though it got laughs, because the heart of my piece is serious and more than a little sad.  The new family--the stepmother's--didn't stay together.  There were too many old wishes and ties, ways the original family had of doing things, stolen panties being the least of her problems.  Andrea knows me so well, and she knows all my writing, and the different lives this monologue has had.

So I thank Andrea and the agency for the flowers and...the red panties, black lace, very trampy...as well as loving "Break a leg!" wishes.  Tonight will be exciting.  Jane Kaczmarek will read my piece, as she did on Sunday, when I saw the play for the first time.  I loved and was so moved by the way Jane did my monologue.

My Sunday night theater party of close friends included Robert Loggia, who played Jane's father in Malcolm in the Middle, proving once again it's a very small world.  We enjoyed ourselves greatly--the production is gorgeous.  Break a leg to everyone in the show!

(I just realized the photo of the flowers and "accoutrement" is sideways, but somehow that seems just right.)  The show runs till May 1.  Everyone please come!  Bring your mothers, daughters, and sisters.  If you don't live in LA, fly out.  You'll definitely laugh and cry and adore the magical fairy-lit courtyard where you can drink wine, coffee, or a lovely sparkling water under the balmy sky.

(In group photo: Kenji Thielstrom, me, Mary Guterson, Audrey and Robert Loggia, and Julie, a friend from Shutters.)