Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Andy and Eric are Heroes (Editorial)

The other day I was checking my spam folder and between ‘V1agraCialis Sale’ and ‘Remove Unsightly Weight’, I found ‘Eric and Andy’. After the other two e-mails provided nothing of interest I opened the Viagra e-mail and found a request to write a testimonial for ‘Eric and Andy’.

I suggested using the same testimonial I had written for the NSA/CSS or the verbiage from the restraining order, but they wanted something new, and less than 350 words.

So, where to start? I first met Andy in the process of writing the seminal piece of western-ghost-epic-coming-of-age-musical-theatre-about-magic-talismans-and-gambling-and-love-triangles-and-circus-freaks-like-august-osage-county-without-the-attic: THE TRUE BALLAD OF FALL’S BLESSINGS for Strawdog Theatre Company back in ought- four or so. Andy played Bertrand, the Boy Who’d Eat Anything, and his plot line was to live the happy ending version of Hamlet, kill his father, and take his rightful place beside his mother, the bearded-lady, and rule incestuously as the ’King of the Freaks’. (no. really.)

More recently, I have found myself to be the lucky director of THEATRE WARS, a game show at Strawdog that pits theatre company against theatre company for bragging rights, and ad space. THEATRE WARS has an extremely energetic and talented group of collaborators, amazing guests, and Andy, at the center as the host, sucking all of the energy, talent and amazement from it like The Black Hole (the 1979 Movie, not the make-believe science thing).

As for Eric. I met Eric during Strawdog’s production of RED NOSES, I think he was playing someone’s uncle, maybe his own, and he seems like such a good man, but that probably says more about his acting skills than his personality. Whenever I think of Eric Roach, his kindness, generosity of spirit, and talent, I am reminded of the age old Chicago Theatre Question: Why is Joe Janes still working with Don Hall? Eric. Joe. Wise Up! I will say this about Eric, I am certain he is smart enough not to let Andy hold the baby, or his child.

So, Eric and Andy: They are Jokers, Jesters, Tricksters, and Fools, and in all the best ways. In a community that can get pretty damned caught up in its own self-importance, it’s nice to have a fool or two around. So read what is posted here with a grain of salt, and your other cheek pre-turned. And if someone could get back to me on the whole ‘Joe Janes’ thing I’d appreciate it.

-Hank Boland

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