Thursday, August 07, 2003

Bowling for Gilgamesh

At the risk of needing to retitle this blog "Single White Gilgamesh Iowa Geek," I share the following...

The terrible thing about theater is the fact it's so damn ephemeral. When it's over, it's gone, leaving nary a trace except on my, admittedly, unreliable memory synapses.

The great thing about theater is that it's live. And while a show is running, you have a chance to return and make that connection with it again.

I don't do this for many shows, but I did it for Gilgamesh, Iowa. A couple of friends also came to be part of the sold-out house (I flatter myself in thinking my enthusiasm for the show might have swayed them a bit).

Having given a couple of the Gilgamesh tribe a lift in my car the other day, I hung around afterward to chat. Met the rest of the clan. I happily paid for a round of drinks in order to extend the time I got to spend with them.

The other great thing about theater is the connections it forges, even as ensembles are formed and split apart every few weeks for the purposes of a new production. Seems the Gilgamesh boys, Tim and Jonah, got along so well, and Scot Augustson, the playwright, enjoyed their work so much on another production they did together, he wrote Gilgamesh especially for them. These are the kind of collaborators you want on your team. The actors give the playwright credit, the playwright keeps throwing the credit back to the actors. Obviously a mutual admiration society.

Sadly, the society's going to have to split up shortly. Tim has a gig waiting in Seattle after they finish with our Fringe run. So Jonah gets a new onstage partner and heads across the border to the Vancouver Fringe. So Minneapolis is getting an extra special visit to Gilgamesh - all the more reason to see it, as if I needed to come up with another angle to send you in their direction at this point.

A couple of them saw Sock Puppet Serenade, and agree with my raving about it. When I told them it was a tie for them with best show in my opinion, they began to plot comical missions to take out their non-human competition. Scissors to strings, anyone? "Have a little FIRE, sock puppet!" cackled the Wicked Witch of the West.

Well, we were in Bryant Lake Bowl, what else is there to do but get in a little bowling before splitting for the night. Certainly not ready for tournament play, but we all at least cleared 100 and, more importantly, had fun. (Thankfully, Jonah knew how to keep score. The rest of us were clueless on that count).

Too soon, we were on the sidewalk, saying our farewells. Off went Doob-I, Chou Chou, and Carolyn Sue (their bowling names) with Your Mama, the young lady who helps run the hostel where the Gilgamesh boys are staying during their sojourn here on the Fringe circuit.

They kept telling me I should follow them to the Vancouver Fringe. To tell you the truth, I still haven't had enough of Gilgamesh, Iowa. I'm tempted.

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