Anton in Show Business closed yesterday to the tune of a great performance and an excellent audience. Because I played the part of a critic, I had a small notepad with me at all times, and through the course of the run had taken some bizarre and hilarious scribblings that often read like the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. Each performance got a fresh page with “JOBY’S BOOK” written in all-caps across the top, the date, the run time for each act, and a page or two of notes.
Sometimes the day’s notes were an inspired, yet often unintelligible, in-character response to a confrontation; sometimes they were the result of the sheer tedium of sitting through the show for the twelfth time. I promised the Anton cast and crew that I would publish the notes at the end of the run – so, in memoriam, here are the highlights:
November 8, 7:30 pm (preview)
- offensive for the sake of being offensive
- really weird stuff going on with the stagehands
November 9, 7:30 pm
- Self-note: revisit overly self-aware/nervousness
- Jane Martin = John Jory <-- a MAN!
- I can’t believe THIS OUTRAGEOUS Horrible “God” Artist!
- Ralph? Boy?
- come up with an answer for “How do you like it so far?”
November 10, 7:30 pm
- ALARM x2
- 2nd time door issue
- broken bike
- I am so pissed right now
November 11, 2 pm
- Story idea: bad attitude – meeting people with bad attitudes – had hoped for better
November 16, 7:30 pm
- this is out
- iron Kate’s pants
- make notes for reserved seats – close call!
- Casey is threatening me
November 17, 7:30 pm
- chairs clanking backstage
- dressing scene – pen light running up ramp
- airplane scene super loud backstage
- flashlights, curtains
- I just can’t even believe this – this is ridiculous – insufferable. GOD?! NO.
- Story v. Interpretation <-- dull, lacking feeling, hateful
- HAMBONE CHEESEBALL
- [doodle: Joby played tic tac toe with herself today. X won.]
November 18, 2 pm
- Door wrong every time this week – redress the former and satirize the latter!
- Director v. The People: When does ART become religion? FORCING people into faith without giving them the substance – the STORY – to go on.
- [doodle: A bit of long division to figure out that the “Theater Tickets All Year” (6 for $99) work out to $16.50 per ticket. Mental note that it’s a good deal for the Guthrie and others, bad deal for Walking Shadow and others.]
November 19, 7:30 pm (pay-what-you-can performance)
- LH: remember to make proper “reserved” signs + LAUNDRY
- I just can’t even believe this absolute nonsense. Zoe Benston is going down. “Challenging” the audience is unforgivable as a performer. (general note to readers – the Zoe comment was Joby’s doing – Leigha likes Zoe, and has no intention of taking her down).
- Is the word “masturbate” really used in Springtime for Hitler? I think I heard it.
November 23, 7:30 pm
- That is not a good answer to the race question.
- Art vs. God – WTF?!! Inappropriate! Tobacco interests right on the heels of religion – that is something…
- Kid: “Excuse me, did he say, ‘I will fuck you with my art?’
Joby: (breathe deeply) ‘yes.’
Kid: ‘Okay. Thank you.’
- Young fellow – it looks like he was looking for a band name.
- Walkout after makeout scene! Ha – prudes.
November 24, 7:30 pm
- THE DIRECTOR IS NOT GOD!!!
- “interpretation” v. “story” STORY OUGHT TO WIN.
November 25, 2 pm
- LH: remember to take home brown pants
- unbelievable – artist pitting art against audience. This is ____.
November 30, 7:30 pm
- Casey Mulgraw is bossy and just plain wrong. And that director – whooaaa boy – what a joke. He’s just a total nutcase. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
- BMSSG = Bargain Mart Suburban Shoppers’ Guide.
- BMSSG is a good start, BMSSG is a good start, BMSSG is a good start.
December 1, 7:30 pm
- I am so engraged. Rage rage rage. Great artist my ass.
- Casey Mulgraw is on the side of the fascist director.
- Okay, I feel better now. I am better than this. I am better than them. (another Joby note, definitely not Leigha)
December 2, 2 pm
- Great Artist?! I think not. I think NOT. I don’t know how it’s possible that these artists are going to manage with this director – he’s crazy and crazy.
And that was all she wrote. Good night, Joby.