Having seen Arlene Hutton's Last Train to Nibroc at Actors Guild of Lexington back in 2000, two of the really fun things about seeing the sequel, Gulf View Drive, on Saturday night were the theater and the actor playing May.
The 78th Street Theatre Lab is highly reminiscent of AGL's old Short Street digs. It was up a rollercoaster-steep set of stairs and the theater itself was essentially a little shoebox. It was also an extremely engaged crowd of, from what I gathered, mostly New York Theatre goers. And the house was packed, with patrons tucked in the corners around the stage, buoyed apparently by The New York Times rave review. Gulf View was the third of a trilogy -- Nibroc, See Rock City and Gulf View -- and last night's show capped a performance of the trilogy that had stared that afternoon. (Wonder if local audiences would go for that.) When Hutton asked how many in the audience had been there for the whole day, a good third to half of the hands shot up. They got a door prize: a recipe for Mrs. Brummett's sweet summer squash. Did you ever think New York City theater would be so down home? It was also fun to hear things like references to Berea College and think, "I know what that's about."
I mentioned May. Alexandra Geis was the original May in the 1999 debut production of Nibroc, and she was strikingly similar to Rachel Rogers, AGL's May. Granted, they were playing the same role, but there were also similarities in appearance and mannerisms that were fun to note.
We're getting together with Hutton tomorrow, and will have more on her in the Gutenberg edition of the Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com, soon.
As for today, it is the big day for Laura Bell and Blonde. So, before things start hopping, I'm heading out for a New York morning of coffee, bagels and The Times.