Friday, August 19, 2005

notes from Interplayers' benefit revue, 12 August 2005

One of the most touching moments of the past week (really): Troy Nickerson appearing on the Interplayers’ stage just before the start of last Friday’s benefit. Just hours after the end of Firth J. Chew’s memorial service, here was Nickerson, still choked up, dedicating the night’s performance to the memory of a man who worked harder than any of us to make sure that theater kept going in Spokane. You could feel -- ** WARNING, Sentimentality Alert ** -- something like the passing of a torch between the Spokane theater generations.

On the other hand -- there was a stretch during Friday night's benefit when I thought, “Is David Gigler going to get to sing ALL these numbers?” I mean, he sang about four numbers in a row, while other talented singers sat by and watched.
Knowing the director has its perks ...

I overheard people wanting to know the source of Abbey Crawford’s two self-mocking songs at the benefit. Unlike all the other numbers, they were not attributed to particular musicals. They were marvelous, Abbey -- where were they from?

When Jack Phillips was fired at the Civic, I dug deep to get a Civic board member to name names on the record: Who had worked to force him out?
And the name that got named was Melody Deatherage.
She no-commented me when I called for her side of the story.
So Deatherage came off as the bad guy in the story I wrote in The Inlander in May 2004 about turmoil in local theater, especially in the way the Civic's board handled Jack's firing.
But to give her her due, Deatherage has been nothing but nice to me in the months since -- and, as a) the nitwit cleaning lady in the opening sequence of Noises Off at the Civic a year ago, and b) doing her Forbidden Broadway spoof of "I Could Have Danced All Night" in the second half of the Interplayers benefit last week -- hilarious.

Phillips' own appearance, all the way from Chicago, to deliver the fifth and final Firth Chew eulogy at the Civic's memorial service -- many thanks to all who made that tribute possible -- seemed almost to provide some comic and healing closure: With hundreds looking on, he made a joke about Chew's always saying, "Let's make this a fund-raiser" by dropping a dollar bill into a fishbowl and then making a comic exit, sprinting out the door ... to, as I gather, a plane back to Chicago -- because I didn't even have a chance to say hello. A classy return, a class act -- Phillips and Chew are two to be remembered around here with gratitude.
Bobo out ...


  1. Ya know-this show was put together with spit and rubber bands on little notice. David stepped up to the plate to sing back-up as needed (plus a song of his own choosing). That's what you do for the people you love-you help out where you can.

    I expect that a lot of the participants are people who volunteered to come in and sing X, cuz they already knew it.

  2. Gigler was originally scheduled to sing just one song. He was filling in for two (possibly three or more) people who had dropped out of the show.

  3. From Abbey Crawford, via Bobo: Those two pieces of music were acquired from the composers themselves, David Freidman and also the writing team of Heisler and Goldrich. They are top cabaret composers based in N.Y. I heard the songs and had to own them and I"m very protective of them. :)

  4. way to be nasty to people trying to do a good thing Mr. Bowen owes some apologies