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Monday, July 30, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 32 Back in Albany New York


Annie Get Your Gun opened and the reviewers hated it. They ripped everything apart. Mimi was a little long in the tooth to play Annie. 


It was pointed out that Annie in real life starts the story at age 16; Mimi added 40 years to that number.

Anything that could go wrong during the opening week went wrong. People dropped lines, forgot cues and had dance steps blow out their ears. 

Someone in the lobby was overhead to say “My dog would have howled all the way through that show.” Mimi was repeatedly compared to Lucille Ball in Wildcat.

I was having a blast and so was the rest of the cast. Who cared if the leads would go up on their lines and speak directly to the audience? Or forget their lyrics, look at each other and burst into laughter? The audiences for the most part loved it, loved us and loved when something went wrong. There were so many times Mimi would ad-lib and I would have to bite the insides of my mouth to keep from laughing. She was hysterical and had great comic timing. So she veered from the book a little bit.

After the first night the cast party was held at Mimi and Barry’s house in Albany. The house was a huge mansion with several bedrooms, bathrooms, a baby grand piano and a swimming pool. We all brought or suits and if you didn’t you got thrown in anyways. Everyone was in the pool at least once that night.

Barry and Mimi were lovely and warm and made everyone feel so welcome in their home. Barry would pull me aside periodically at the party and check if everything was alright. I told him that “Everything was fine” I assured him. “Let me know if that changes,” he said with a wink.

The bar was stocked and there was food everywhere. The music was pumping and local celebrities were flooding through the door. I noticed the Walrus leaning on the baby grand surrounded by smiling faces. Everyone was singing and every now and then he would get his arm jostled and his drink would jump I saw him several times trying to catch the liquid with his mouth as it spilled to the floor. He would snarl, grumble and lean down to put his lips to the glass and someone would hit his arm again.

He would also reach out and swat the air with one hand as if he was hitting someone. It was quite comical. I stayed my distance and was at least 20 feet away from him for most of the night. It wasn’t until I let down my guard that he caught me by the elbow and pulled me to sit down next to him on the couch in the living room.
“You miserable little faggot, “he snarled an inch away from my face. “Who the fuck are you to tell Mimi and Barry what I said to you?” “Don’t you know who I am?” “Don’t you know how many shows I have directed?” “I will ruin your career, you mincing little faggot!”

His voice got louder and louder until everyone was listening to him. There was no music, nothing but the sound of his voice and the sound of his drink hitting the floor.

“You know who I am?” he asked again and he took his finger and poked me in the chest. “You are a little shit and I am highly regarded in this town!” He poked me again. Barry rushed across the room, grabbed his arm and helped him to standing. “Hey, why don’t you come with me?” Barry asked him and pulled him towards the doorway in the living room, his drink slopped all the way out and onto the floor.

“All of you, all of you!” he shouted, pointing around the crowd as Barry removed him from the room.
The music started up again as if nothing happened. “Sorry Honey, he’s bombed and got a problem.” Mimi said while hustling me to the bar. The party went late into the night.

That night I got home and the house was eerily quiet. There was no music and no sounds as I climbed the stairs. I couldn’t hear the familiar sounds of Jonathan snoring. I walked into the bedroom and could make out Jonathans bed in the light from the window, he was not home.

I dropped my bag and turned on the overhead light. I sat on the bed and looked at Crawford’s cage. Crawford lay on her side; her fur was matted and soaked with blood. Her little mouth was gasping for air as her paws grasped at the air. She had several puncture marks covering her body. 

Lying on the floor was a pair of blood covered scissors.

To be continued……


Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent. 


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