The One Where I Brag and Plug

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January 8, 2009 by Jo


I vow, as the New Year begins, to actually blog. Like I used to. When I first started. In 2002. Good grief that was a long time ago…

…but I digress.

Tonight we open The Book of Liz by the Talent Family, David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris, at Renaissance Theatre. It’s an Alpha Stage production, which means it’s been my baby from the get go.

When the Artistic Director of the theatre asked me to take over the downstairs theatre (Alpha Stage) as producer, I didn’t even have to think twice. Great little space with lots of potential and a reputation already built for progressive theatre. So of course I said yes.

A few months later I met a new friend, Samantha Musto. I had just read this great play by the snarky and punny Sedaris family, and really loved it. I knew it was something I wanted to see onstage at Renaissance, but had no idea just how quickly that would happen. In one of our first conversations after I took over Alpha, Sam called me up and we chatted about this hilarious play she wanted to produce…The Book of Liz! We met for coffee and that was that.

Now, over a year later since we both read it for the first time, Huntsville will finally get to laugh its big butt off at the antics of Sister Elizabeth Donderstock and her venture outside of her home, the Squeamish community.

And through it all we’ve watched Samantha – directing for her first time – blossom. She has been totally organized, original, and honest. Her notes are thorough without being unnecessarily picky or cruel. Everyone in the cast feels like she just trusts us to do our job, and I think we’re doing it exactly (if not better) as she pictured.

She has become, in one show, a director we’ll all work for again; an actor’s dream; a new voice in the large, oft-too-loud choir that is Huntsville theatre…and I am so proud that Renaissance had the foresight to hand her the microphone.

Come see, opening tonight and playing tomorrow-Saturday and next Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, The Book of Liz at Renaissance Theatre. Tickets are $12 and selling like hotcakes.

Or cheeseballs.


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