The show just couldn't be going better. Almost a full house tonight, on a Thursday night and with a show most people have never heard of! (It's amazing how many people have never seen the movie or read the novel.) Not bad!
Then I get home from the theatre and I have an email from Paul Friswold, one of the reviewers at The Riverfront Times. I had written him thanking him for his review of High Fidelity and disagreeing with him about one of the things he wrote (I really believe reviews are part of a conversation and that reviewers are part of the theatre community, so I regularly engage in debate/discussion with reviewers over their reviews. I think a few of them hate this, but most seem to be cool with it. I love it.)
Anyway, Paul had written a 2,000-word review of High Fidelity, but the RFT had cut it down to about a quarter of its original size. I had asked Paul if we could read his full review, so he got the RFT website guys to post the full review on their blog webpage.
So now you can read the full review. And Jesus is it fun to read! Not only is it a very positive review of our show, but it's also an incredibly intelligent, funny, thoughtful essay about the show and the issues it raises. Paul's a hell of a good writer! I wish more theatre reviewing in St. Louis were like this. Don't we deserve that? Shouldn't the people judging our work take it as seriously as we take the work itself?
Also... Steve Woolf, artistic director of The Rep, emailed me to say he's coming to see us. He doesn't often get out to other companies' shows because he's always so crazy busy with the Rep's own 11 or 12 shows a season, plus auditioning, etc. in the off-season. But he wants to see High Fidelity and I'm delighted. Steve is a very good guy, and we've got some wonderful performances in this show that I'd love for him to see. Maybe we can get our actors some work that actually pays a living wage!
Also... last night several of us went to see this band from Illinois, Elsinore (listen to some of their songs on their MySpace page). Aaron Lawson ("Dick") is friends with the guys in the band (from college, I think) and he had played me some of their songs -- which are all incredible. But it was so much more fun seeing them live, you know, really feeling that bass and drum beat right in the solar plexus. Not only are they a great band, but the songwriting is fucking outstanding. Truly some of the most interesting, well-wrought music and lyrics I've encountered in a rock band in many moons. Plus, it was very cool to be at a club hearing a lesser known band right in the middle of running High Fidelity. I so felt like "Rob," especially with "Dick" and "Barry" there at my side. On the way home from the club, I called and left a message for Joe Edwards (owner of Blueberry Hill and the Pageant). I got to know him a few years ago working on a new theatre that never opened, but we've remained friendly -- he's such a nice guy. Anyway, I left him a message gushing about Elsinore and telling him he had to book them at Blueberry Hill. I doubt Joe will blindly follow my instructions, but maybe it'll put Elsinore onto his radar. These guys are fucking AWESOME!
That's all for now. This show -- and all the experiences that have come with it -- has been one of those amazing, once-in-a-lifetime things. I will never forget this and I will always feel lucky to have worked on it.
Long Live the Musical!