Saturday April 2nd, the day of the show! Nan wasn’t home so I had a figure out a way to get to the train station. She gave me a couple of numbers of local taxi companies but they were out of business. After trying a few more that didn’t come out to Sayreville I decided to try Lyft. I contacted them and a driver came to the house rather quick. He drove me to the South Amboy train station, I bought my tickets, and I awaited the next train.
The show was scheduled at 3PM and I timed my ride so I would arrive at around 1PM. The venue was near Penn Station so I would have enough time to walk around for a bit. I decided to try the New York pizza I heard so much about so I went to a pizza joint at the corner of 8th Ave and 38th St. It was a plain, unadorned place and I ordered a slice of pepperoni, but it turned out to be a slice of pepperoni and bacon. The bacon made the pizza too rich and didn’t belong, but I ate it anyway. I thought about ordering a slice of something better but I also wanted to be able to still fit into my pants so I left and promised to try another pizza joint before I went back to California.
I walked around midtown some more, got a coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts (very few on the west coast so I thought I should take advantage while here, one opened in Santa Cruz across the street from Ferrell’s, a local donut shop, but Ferrell’s is still there and Dunkin’ isn’t), then made my way to 312 W. 36th St. I arrived at a nondescript, narrow office building, entered, and took the elevator up to the 4th floor. I got out and walked around a corner to a small lobby area. I met the director Ken Wolf and hung out as people began to arrive, buy their tickets, and enter the theater. Before long it was almost 3PM and time to enter.
I was happy to see that most of the seats were full and I sat in one of the few empty ones at the front right corner. Once it was 3:00 I turned off my phone and waited in the buzz that permeates a theater just before actors take the stage. Then the house lights went out and the first two actors came out for the first play Under the Lake, a story about a man trying to spear something under a lake and his daughter trying to calm him down, very poignant. Next play was The Twila Zone, a comedy about a first date that quickly goes off the rails, witty as well as physically funny. Third play was Josie In the Bardo, a story of a lounge singer who after a near death experience finds herself in a purgatory with her older self, deep and otherworldly. Below is a link to digital program that lists all the actors and playwrights.
Last but not least came my play. Since I wasn’t present at the rehearsals and only knew the actors by name I had no idea what to expect. The lights lit back up and the first two actors came out on stage and spoke dialogue that hereto fore I only had only heard in my head. I hadn’t read the script in some time so I didn’t remember all of it but it sounded like they stayed true to my script. Then came the other three actors and now I was seeing my words brought to life. I was pleased with all five actors and they brought new elements to the characters I didn’t know were there. This is always the case but since I didn’t see it until the premier it was an extra surprise. They even added an extra bit with a beach ball that brought an extra laugh. I was very happy with the final result!
Here’s the link to the video of play:
After the show I talked some more with Ken and a couple of the actors while basking in the post show after glow. I now officially had one of my scripts performed live in New York, and as I finally left for Penn Station and took the train back to South Amboy, I felt I had accomplished something I had dreamed about for years!
Tomorrow Sunday the 3rd would be the second and final performance of the show at 6:30PM. I stayed in NJ on Sunday, had breakfast with Nan at the Colonial Diner in East Brunswick, then shopping at WalMart. It was drizzly that day and I didn’t want to be riding around in unfamiliar territory at a late hour so I missed second show, but my flight back to California was scheduled to depart on Monday the 4th at just past 8PM so I would have one more day to visit Manhattan. An actor friend who was in my two online productions out of New York was going to show me a part of Manhattan I didn’t even know existed, the High Line.
Next: Trip To New York, Part IV
©2022 Robert Kirkendall