These are pictures from the first night of Combat 11.  John Maclay and Sophia Petropolis in a play by Drew Brhel that would have made Noel Coward proud.  This was in The Off-Broadway Theatre and I love how close the crowd is.  Which brings us to night 2…

This is the play Maclay was supposed to be in.   The variables were Goldilocks on an Acid Trip.  Maclay was to play Papa Bear and had been rehearsing all day.  In fact the show had already opened at 8:00 when John got a phone call.  But I’ll let him recollect it himself:

So Here is my story. It may not have happened this way at all. I remember about five minutes from the moment it started to now. But this is how I like remembering it. To paraphrase Eudora Welty, It may not have happened this way, but its true.

It was a long day. June 11th, 2005. It was Saturday, the second day of Combat and everyone was a little loopy-AND my wife was due to give birth to our first child in a mere three weeks. My wife(Sweet Jen) was out playing with her mother and Grandmother doing last minute baby preparations. One last party for me. I was exhausted- though the day had been relatively smooth. Laila, our playwright, confessed that she wasnt sure she had written a great piece- but I disagreed. I thought it was very funny.I think it was Goldilocks on an acid trip- though that entire day is a blur in my memory. I was to play two parts: an over the top hair dresser in a Harvey Firestein mode and a strange, loud
version of Papa Bear. Or mytbe it was one part; Hervey Firestein and Harvey
Firestein on acid thinking he is a bear. It was very esoteric in that way. So all was well.

Then, at about 5 minutes after the show began my wife called. The conversation went something like this (though this may just be a figment of my flawed memory)

Jen: Honey?
Me: Hi Bunny- the show’s about to start, what’s up?
Jen: I think that my water might have broken.
Me: Ok…What does that mean? Like maybe your water broke but maybe you just
peed in your pants? Or do you mean MY WATER JUST BROKE!.
Jen: I dont know.
Me: Cause if its the first one, lets wait a moment before I cancel my play. But if its the second one then I will drive really fast and Fletch will make something work.
Jen: I dont know. I’ve never had my water break before.
Me: What does your gut say?
Jen: I’d really like you to come here now.
Me:OK. I am on my way.
Jen: Wait…I will call you back in 5 minutes

So then I ran upstairs to the second floor of the Off Broadway and eventually found Fletch and said something to him. Something like:

ME: Fletch, Jen called and she thinks that her water broke but she isnt sure so I may have to go but she is calling me back so I might not go if her water didn’t break but I think I might go.

Then Fletch was very calm. And said:

Fletch: John, GO. We’ll be fine. Just go.
Me: I’m waiting for her to call me back because she thinks that her water broke but she isnt sure so I may have to go but she is calling me back so I might not go if her water didn’t break but I think I might go.

Fletch: We’ll be fine. Get out of here.

The rest of the Combat part of this story I only know from others and the miracle of Brian Roloff video. Fletch enlisted my friend Laurie Demoon- longtime part of Bunny Gumbo- to take over my role. So she learned it in an hour and was pretty wonderful.

And 11 hours later Jen gave birth to Jackson Hawkins Maclay. Not Bunny Maclay,
as Fletch informed the audience that night.

By the way, that’s the second time Laurie has had to replace an actor last minute.  That would be Laurie as Papa Bear in the moustache, Logan Adams as Goldilocks and Tami Rentmeester as Mama Bear.

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