Updated: Jul 18
…No men and horses, hoops and garters, nor lastly a hogshead of real fire… and sadly enough, no Mr. Kite topping the bill.
…But we have a play that’s been sliced, diced, dissected, picked and pecked at by 12 Angry Men, 1 courtroom guard, 1 director, 1 stage manager and 1 terrific crew.
…And now we are ready.
…Pants are pressed, shirts are ironed, zippers are up. Characters refined, voices cleared, those who have hair are all Brylcreemed up.
…We are looking good.
…This journey began with auditions in April - and though at that time Opening Night seemed eons away, it arrived faster than a speeding bullet (and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound as well).
Yes. Look up in the sky!
No. Not at Superman. At that sign. 12 Angry Men. We have all heard of it - some may have seen the Henry Fonda movie - one or two of you might have even acted in it. But it doesn’t matter - and that’s the beauty of live theatre. Because on stage each night is different in some way. And if you’ve seen a production of it, that’s okay, come underneath our tent and join us anyway because actors and directors are all different and have different ideas on how a scene or a character needs to be played.
For instance, one actor or director may play Juror #8 as a fool on a mission, another might see him as an avenger and yet another might see him as just a man searching for answers.
Tonight our #8 may simply demonstrate ten somersets he’ll undertake on solid ground.
I doubt it.
But you never know.
And that again is the Beauty of Live Theatre.
It is being performed, right there, in front of you. In our case, so close you could almost reach out and touch the actors, wipe the sweat from their brow, adjust their tie.
It could interrupt their flow. Some actors are fussy that way.
…In the audition notice for 12 Angry Men I wrote the following:
IT IS 1957 AND ITS THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR. IT TAKES PLACE IN A LOCKED JURY ROOM IN NEW YORK CITY -
BUT FEELS LIKE ITS UNFOLDING IN THE DIRT AND DUST OF A BULLRING OR ON THE CANVAS FLOOR OF A BOXING RING
…Did we succeed?
… I think we did - but you’ll have the final call on that.
..This is a powerful play and I believe we have done it justice.
It has the smell and the dust of the bullring, the spit and the sweat and the blood of a boxing ring.
..it also has the unique candied taste of justice and the bitter, copper taste of hate.
…it has the good, the bad and the ugly - and the indifference of the individual souls portrayed here.
This production is gritty, compelling, sad, rewarding, it can make you angry and most important it will make you think.
…I won’t go on about how this play, written 70 years ago, pertains to the world of today.
…You can form your own opinions on that.
…I wanted to do this play for the grit of it, for the drama of it, for the fears and anguish of being locked in a room amongst strangers who almost demand that you reveal your true self
- no matter how ugly it may be.
…The actors you are about to see have beaten themselves up during these 8 weeks of rehearsals. They have reached deep down in their guts and pulled out emotions and feelings and thoughts they never knew they had.
They have fought the bull and knocked out their opponent in the ring.
And now they are ready to walk out on stage and pull all that out again to display it to you - Our Audience.
…There’s much to see here and some of it you just might want to take home with you.
…The curtain is about to go up and the actors are all in place.
…Buckle up Folks.
…and in case any of you were wondering…
“and of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz”.