Sunday, September 21, 2008

There's No Business Like Show Business!

Well, nearly 25 years ago, I was cast in the part of Buffalo Bill in Annie Get Your Gun at Lawrence Welk Resort near Escondido, Cal. It was the show in which I earned my Actor's Equity card.

The incredible Lisa Robinson played Annie, Connie Schuck, the gentleman farmer from Fallbrook and father of John Schuck, played Pawnee What's His Name, David Silviera played Little Jake and some clown named Howard played Sitting Bull. Standing Bullshit would have been more appropriate.

Howard and David roomed in the Welk guest house during the run of the show and they didn't get along so hot. Howard was about 6'2" and old and David was about 5"2" and muscley. They were always pretty crabby with one another. Mostly Howard. But certainly a mismatch, pugilistically.

So it's half way through the first act and I'm sitting in the dressing room with Connie, who cannot see very well, and Howard, who is in the corner stewing.

I'm looking in the make up mirror when David comes in from his exit and everything goes to slow motion. Howard leaps from his seat with his arms outstretched and is running towards David to throttle him. He grabs David by the throat and starts doing one of those cartoon chokes with the funny noise. I look at Connie and he is oblivious. And it dawns on me that it is I and I alone who must stop the impending dressing room brawl in the middle of the show from occurring. So I leaped to my feet and threw myself between the strangler and David. I calmly, firmly and pretty loudly (There was a show going on) told that mofo Howard that I was gonna kick his bony ass and drag it up to Lawrence Welk's private office for another spankin'. I pushed him to his seat.

He was, of course, fired. A guy named George was brought in to replace the moron. And George was good, very good.

Tonight I went to an audition for Annie Get Your Gun at Performance Rio Nada, some 25 odd years later. And I got the part of Buffalo Bill once again.

I haven't a clue as to who else is in the show.

I do know that it's the new revised version that Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat were in. I hear there are some major changes in the script that put Buff Bill into a narrator role.

Gotta dust off my cowboy boots, find a Stetson big enough for my fat head and grow some luxurious golden tresses.

But I ain't gettin' on no horsie!


Blogger Donita Smith said...

Squee! When does it open?

12:15 AM  

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