Writer, comedian, bass player, human.
Totally agree with this. Simple gestures. No one trashing on me when I misclick and look stupid. Or when I intentionally click and look stupid.
I haven’t played Hearthstone but I agree with this.
I have played (a lot of) Hearthstone, and this is at least in part the reason why.
Last year in January, Eric Gersen emailed me about a musical he had written. He’d mentioned the idea before: a musical about the Founding Fathers, as written by hyper conservatives. I told him that was a great idea, and that I couldn’t wait to see it. He’d worked on it for the past year, and he finally felt ready to Spank it at UCB. He’d been nailing down the final draft, and he wanted me to be in it, if I was interested. I said yes without hesitation.
After our first read through of the script, not only was it clear that the show itself and the songs were already excellent, Eric had cast a murderer’s row of musically adept performers. Amongst monster talents like Ashley Ward, Kirk Damato and Carrie McCrossen, I was happy to label myself as the least accomplished singer in the cast. On top of this, he brought in John Flynn to direct. I think Eric put it best when he said John took the show and made it A Show. His direction added so many perfect touches to an already very tight script.
We spanked in April, and it went well. But like many shows, Nate thought it could be even better, and gave Eric some notes. One of these resulted in Eric losing a role and a song, which he gave graciously to me. He wrote an entirely new (and hilariously, bitingly funny) song with me in mind, and I can honestly say singing it is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done on stage. Eric also completely rewrote the music and some of lyrics for another song in the show to give it a more rousing feel, and when we spanked again in June, it crushed. I’ve been in my fair share of Spanks over the years, but I can honestly say none has gone better than that one.
We started running in August, and we’ve gotten to perform the show for so many people. Joel Esher, our musical director and piano player, gave us those beautiful Gersen tunes right on cue. We were also assisted by the wonderful comedic chops of Dan Chamberlain and Ken Beck as Torp Torp the dinosaur, and graced by the occasional presence of Melissa Gordon to fill in for the too-successful Ashley Ward. And when Kirk moved to LA, Avery Monsen stepped in the hugely patriotic shoes of Colorado Joe with great aplomb. John Flynn texts us after every show to see how it went, and it’s in part due to his fine work that the answer is typically “Great!” It’s also in part due to Alex Adan, who has nailed the show every time he’s teched - yet another feather in the revolutionary tricorn of the show.
So thanks to Nate & John for giving us the run, and thanks to Alex & Joel for always being on point. Thanks to Ashley, Carrie, Kirk, Avery, Dan and Ken, who are all a pleasure to watch and to share a stage with. Thanks to John Flynn for being a consummate professional who made the whole process a joy to be a part of. Thanks to all of you who came to see the show, and an extra thanks to those of you who told people to go see it or came to see us more than once. But most of all, thanks to Eric for writing a brilliant show I would be obsessed with even if I wasn’t in it, and for asking me to be in it in the first place.
Our last performance of the show, a full year after the first Spank, will be Wednesday at 9:30, paired with Langan Kingsley’s The Dicewoman Cometh. I hope you’ll come out and see it.