Sunday, January 15, 2023

Jan Munroe and Tony Abatemarco dredge and have some fun. I DON'T KNOW I KNOW

 This is not a review..

This is a reflection on times gone by and  thanks to Jan and Tony..  "I DON'T KNOW I KNOW"

Jan Munroe Tony Abatemarco Kyle Secor

Driving in the looming threat of the rains to come again brought me to the Odyssey where old pals gathered for the second round of a work in progress: a trip dedicated to Theatre..  

What is Theatre, anyway..?   It's community and process and meaning and fun and, surprises and  tears.

Today, I got it with both barrels.  

I have been part of the Los Angeles Theatre Scene for a long, long time, what these old pals have in process is not exactly new.. but reflects what happens when  we all gather at the river of a show and agree to abandon disbelief and engage with the project. A mutual agreement.

So this isn't a review.. It's a reflecton on the idea that when the production becomes the production and the audience becomes the audience, this symbiotic relationship becomes whatever the show might be.  Unique every time.

I was moved to tears by a moment in this piece. It is  my sincere hope is that Jan and Tony might hone the show and find a venue. Let's see what the reflection of days gone by might be. 

My time with The Company Theatre of Los Angeles began on Robertson Boulevard between Olympic and Pico: 1024 South Robertson across from Mrs. Grace's Lemon Cakes.  Mrs.  Grace was in Beverly Hills, The Company was in L.A.  Magic happened in this odd little shop with redwood walls and on days like today, a very muddy side yard.

So.. instead of becoming a gladiator on the Santa Monica Freeway, I drove to Robertson and paid a brief homage to the space where people's lives were changed. Literally.  One of our founding members, Dennis Rhoton  or Redfield in his stage credits.. died a week ago.  Trish and Gar and Jack and Steve and Michael Stefani and Bill Hunt and Michael Dawdy.. and Polita.. gone.. but as I drove by 1024 South Robertson across from Mrs. Grace's Lemon Cakes.. (I wonder.. if it's still there?).. I could see the lines of people waiting in anticipation of Liquid Theatre or The Emergence.. The stuff that no one had seen on stage before. I still feel a deep connection to these shows.. the people who created them and .. for a moment.. changed the face of Theatre in the World. 

I chatted with a college professor who said that their students might not 'get' what Jan and Tony are creating.   Can the past ignite the future? Will AI and E communication and texting partner with the fears of the dampanic to change the way that Theatre is created and attended? Hopefully, not.

My heart is full thanks to this idea these guys are working on.  It's a gift. 

I DON'T KNOW I KNOW is part of a series of presentations at The Odyssey Theatre..  Up next Darrell Larson's 

"Bring The Old Pageants: Uncle Walt Explains It All For You"

 January 28. 2023

Thank you, guys. 

Michael Sheehan


January 15, 2023




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