Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So, we've been on the ground in Berkeley for five days, and it's been hellaciously busy. It's funny--the weather here is so consistent and bucolic, totally at odds with my experience of pulling the show back up to speed in the midst of illness.

Yes, it's true--I think my lifestyle caught up with me. Just after recording THE UGLY AMERICAN for the BBC I have come down with a truly awful case of hives--some kind of aggravated histamine reaction from what I can tell, brought on by stress and lack of sleep. I flew in to Berkeley in rough shape and it got rougher over the weekend before finally kicking the hives Monday...whereupon I suddenly, and inexplicably, cricked my neck.

It sounds so simple--a crick. How could that be so bad? But man oh man, it's been killer--there are few things sadder than a monologuist who can't turn his head. We've been getting a lot of dramaturgical work done while I do gentle exercises and we hope for improvement. We're cautiously optimistic, though we had to cancel photo call today lest all the pics look like I am Tobor the Monologuing Robot.

Berkeley rocks--the apartment we have is rustic but familiar, and its fun to be working with a team that we know and who knows us, letting us shorthand lots of things that took so much longer last year--it feels like within 24 hours we were as settled as we were a week in last time, which is helping with a condensed tech schedule this season.

Well, I'm off for some alternating cold and hot compresses and running Act Two. What better life could there be? I dare not ask.

(You don't think I'd leave you without a link? No, I would never do that--please check out this review of Suzanne Sommers one-woman show:

If you see Suzanne Somers' one-woman autobiographical musical extravaganza, "The Blonde In the Thunderbird" - and I am not suggesting you should - you'll no doubt find a favorite moment.

It might be when she struts around the stage with a miniature car around her waist. Or the time she gleefully rolls out a cart containing all the merchandise she sells on the Home Shopping Network.

My special moment comes early on, when Somers, backed by atmospheric musical underscoring, relives a traumatic girlhood moment, when her drunken father ripped up her prom dress and she retaliated by whacking him over the head with a tennis racket, mistakenly thinking she had killed him.

Oh. My. God.)