Tag Archives: The Latvian Society

Little Plates, Big Tapas 3: closing night

Yesterday was closing night of Little Plates, Big Tapas.  All six of us actors were loopy and energetic for the performance.  Ali was feeling sick, and the rest of us took a pre-show shot of the horrible, bottom-shelf 151-proof rum we’ve been lighting on fire during the Fire Dog dish finale.  We improvised more in this show, which extended the show by about 8 minutes, but I think it was funny and playful and worth it.  One compliment I’ve heard about our show is that it retained the energetic feel of improv comedy.  That has been very nice to hear because, like movement on a fastball, I’m not sure that such a vibe can be taught.  If this play felt scripted and methodical, it would have been very hard to intentionally inject playfulness.

There is apparently a theater tradition of screwing with one’s fellow actors as the run nears its end.  With only four performances, we saved our sabotage for closing night.   Continue reading

Little Plates, Big Tapas 2: press

We’re in the home stretch for Little Plates, Big Tapas.  Tomorrow is our dress rehearsal/preview, and Friday is opening night.  This afternoon Groundswell actor Jack Meaney joined Mayor Nutter, Charlie Manuel, and Jose Garces as faces that have graced the front of the Philly CityPaper website:

Click for bigger version.  Thanks to Ryan Carey and CityPaper for the press!

Our Saturday show is sold out.  Our Friday show is nearly so.  We have plenty of tickets available for Sunday and Monday’s shows.  Our show is (imho) a great Valentine’s Day activity for both sides of the love it/hate it spectrum.  Want to take a date to a funny theater show?  We’ve got seats for you.  Want to boycott the holiday?  Come see an absurd comedy with plenty of music, weird food, and Jack Meaney in a chef’s hat.  Win-win.

Little Plates, Big Tapas 1

I haven’t been posting here as much recently because my time and creative energy are being diverted, USS Enterprise-style, to the creation of a play (“We need more power, brain!”  “I’m givin’ her all she’s got, capt’n!  Stop thinkin’ about spring training!”).  I’ve never done scripted theater before, so the whole process is exciting and exhausting.  We’re about to start daily rehearsal for the week and a half until the show goes up.  If I have time, I might record some thoughts here about the process and the hilarious and talented people I’m working with.

For the moment, I want to share some funny pictures created for the play.  We made postcard flyers, because we’re legit n’ stuff.  The artwork was created by the talented and charming Merrie Bentley:

artwork by Merrie Bentley

The “pig’s head ad infinitum,” Merrie informed us, is actually drawn to the 12th pig’s head.  The last few were drawn in the same way that Intel etches circuits onto atom-thin silicon wafers.  I wanted the other side of the card to show a pig’s butt, with a pig’s butt in that pig’s butt, etc.  But not everyone embraced my vision.

Second, the equally-talented and charming Pete English did a photoshoot with us.  Scott and Jack got into costume and Pete worked his gunpowder-and-indoor-umbrella magic, and silly photos like this resulted:

Tyler and Martini in the kitchen, preparing big tapas

I think the photo on the right, in particular, really gets at a certain attitude permeating our play.  Professional, sophisticated, measured.  Serious.

So yes, this is the project of the moment.  I aspire to a future post or two about this, but those darn warp engines have only so much thrust.  In the meantime, I hope you will consider snagging a ticket and checking out our show.  I’m very excited about the work we’re creating, and I’d love to share it with you.

Tickets available here.  Details of the show:

Little Plates, Big Tapas
Fri Feb 11th – Mon 14th (Sat the 12th is SOLD OUT)
The Latvian Society (531 N. 7th St, Philly)
8:00 pm
$10 online, $15 at the door
recommended for audiences