Sunday, May 3, 2009

Time travel and the arts

So last night Cute Brian and I met up in Geneva to see my friend Eric's show, "The Best Man." It's a great script, a classic, really ... political intrigue in the 60's, but as timeless as can be. The production was pretty damn good - the first one at the new Geneva Underground Playhouse, of which Eric is Executive Director. In all the time I've known Eric (we go back ages, connected via community theater) I had never seen him perform. I'm not surprised that he was great, but I am awestruck by how stunning his portrayal of a dying ex-President was. I would gush, but it might embarrass him. Suffice to say that if you have time on your hands over the next few weekends and you find yourself in Geneva, you should go.

But believe it or not, that was not by any stretch the best part of the evening. No indeed, the best part of the evening was sitting in my cushy theater seat next to one of the most talented people I know and watching one of the other most talented people I know walk in the door, and then proceeding to sit with these two incredibly talented men while watching yet another talented friend wow us from the stage. Mike Vertenten, musician extraordinaire, happened to be in town from Austin, which he now calls home, and made it to the show. I hadn't seen him since March of 1991, and let's face it ... a lot has changed since then. But walking through downtown Geneva with these two men, the easy familiarity cut right through any awkwardness that might have been. I won't say it was as if time stood still, because it didn't. Mike V has a lot less hair now than he did back then (and so does Eric, but then he has a lot less hair than he did two weeks ago; that's a little thing we like to call "dedication to character") and we've all grown up quite a bit. But the beauty of it is, time didn't seem to matter. It wasn't such a big deal that we have to get re-acquainted with one another. It was enough to just show up, and want to be re-acquainted.

So Cute Brian left early - duty calls - and left three old friends plus Eric's wife and friend Nora from the show to talk into the wee hours of morning. It's entirely possible that if there weren't a matinee at the theater today, we'd all still be there, talking. So much to say, so much to listen to, so much love stored up over the years.

"The thing about Eric," Mike said to me as we walked to our cars, "is that over the years, he never wavered." We should all be so fortunate to have friends like that.

Two of my insanely talented friends: Mike Vertenten and Eric Schwartz.

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