March Update: The Cool closes

The Cool production
THE COOL at Amado’s. February 2017. Photo credit: Dennis Hearne

What a busy two months — THE COOL sold out before it even opened on 2/10 and then ran for three weekends. It’s been a terrific/challenging experience blending live jazz with dialogue, not to mention there was a cast of 14. I got to be on the radio — twice — and tried to be charming.

For a Presidents Day protest of the current protest on 2/20, I was charged with writing a song that would be in the parody musical “A Little Night Tweeting.” I came up with “We Elected A Clown,” a little humorous riff on “Send in the Clowns” that was quite droll. It was part of a #NameAPenceMusical (a sentient hashtag, essentially) at PianoFight here in San Francisco.

Tonight, I’m seeing THAT IT ALL MAKES PERFECT by Erin Bregman and directed by Susannah Martin. It is the third production by 6NewPlays — I’m #5, so expect to see a lot more about my piece within the next year.

At the TBA Conference at Berkeley Rep, the great Noelle Gibbs directed a selection from my play WEEK during a panel. It was crazy trying to sound smart aboard the Roda Stage, i.e. the big boy stage at Berkeley Rep. The snippet went really well, and I’m hoping soon the piece will finally get a full production somewhere.

Backstage at the Roda with director Noelle Gibbs (left) and the cast of the “Week” excerpt — Jessica Sarah Bennett, Tony Ortega, (me) and James Pinkman.

Today, it is the 2 year anniversary since 6NewPlays held its Rough Draft Festival, our inaugural public event. So there’s a lot to celebrate.

Next up? Oh yea, I’m writing an opera.

I’m part of the 48 Hour Opera Festival by local opera company Opera Theater Unlimited. That’s coming up on April 30. If it wasn’t clear, essentially a team works together to come up with a 10-minute opera in two days.

Between then and now, I’m spending some R&R time in Iceland. I’ll see some Northern Lights, step on some glaciers, eat a few puffins (just kidding). I’ll report back!

Also, two weeks ago me and my girlfriend headed to Southern California to check out the “Superbloom” at Anza-Borrega State Park in the Mojave Desert as well as Joshua Tree. Yes, it was transformative. Also, warm.

Here are some photos:

A Joshua Tree — a type of yucca named by Mormons who believed the wacky branches represented the Biblical Joshua welcoming them to the Promised Land.
Desert Dandelion at Anza-Borrega. The Superbloom was lit
A ocotillo, which is a pretty alien looking shrub

1 Comment


    Hey, Barry.  Thanks for adding me to your update list.  I’m sure we “met” when you were a baby, during one of your family visits to NJ (we are second cousins).  Anyway, I follow you on FB, and thought it might be fun to reach out.  I am on the Board of a South Florida non-profit theatre company, specializing in “new” plays.  I thought you might know of a playwright whose work might fit our mission.  I’m happy to forward any new plays, by you or anyone else, to our artistic director.  You can check us out at  Best of luck to you and wishing you continued success.  BTW, you have a couple cousins living in the Bay area — Josiah Leake works for GAP in SF, and Jesse Leake was been working as a visiting nurse in the Bay area.  Some day we’ll get out there for a visit, and we can “meet” as grownups! Thanks again, Scott

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