You know how when Indiana Jones has been Dr. Jones for too long but the world really needs him and even though he’s tried to stay out of the game for as long as he can the call is too great so at long last he picks up his trusty fedora and John Williams starts playing the theme song as Indy puts on his hat with his back to us and when he finally does turn around we see his face is full of steely resolve and we know:
The giant meatball is back.
For a few hours anyway. It’s been sitting on the desk in my study for much of the past year (except for a little trip to NYC) waiting to rise again. Nagging me with that poor puppy eye like giant meatballs do.
But this week, I picked that poor puppy up for the first time in a long while and said, “It’s time.” (I think I even heard the Indiana Jones theme, although it was played with Italian restaurant mandolins and accordions.)
At this moment, it is sitting backstage at The Echo Theatre, awaiting its big entrance.
For four nights this past week, eight actors and I (and, starting last night, the giant meatball) have been gathering to breathe some life into these characters who have been taking shape over the past year as we’ve been expanded The Fork to a full-length piece from a 10-minute, 3-character show. Jeffrey Blake (The Fork), Matt Boulter (Matteo), Patrick Newman (Carlo), Mary Garlitz (Mama), Hailey Nebeker (Eva), Julianna Blake (Janey), Robbie Pierce (Jacques), and Patrick Brannelly (Officer) have braved the sultry conditions (of course, we picked the week of a heat-wave across the western U.S. to do this, because that’s what you do) to bring this thing together.
In a few hours (at 3 pm to be exact), they’ll gamely put this show on its feet with a staged reading. Ken and I first thought it would be nice to hear the script out loud in a table read with a small audience to see what we have to work with. But then we realized that half the time would be spent having a narrator explain what was going on, since a lot of what happens during the show is physical, which would make it harder to get a sense of what was working and what wasn’t.
So then we thought it might be more useful to bring an element of staging into the equation. The actors would move about and seek to convey as much of the mayhem as they can with only four evenings of rehearsal under their belts and a script in their hand.
Let’s see what we’ve got, shall we?
Break a leg, giant little meatball!
If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Provo and want to give it a peek, the staged reading will be today, June 29, at 3 pm at The Echo Theatre, 145 N. University Ave., Provo.