Wednesday, November 26, 2014



Thanksgiving was always the big holiday in my family.  I think it was partly because as Jews, it was the one major holiday we could share with the rest of the country.  Sure, there’s Fourth of July.  But folks don’t fly home to be with their families for that. 

No, Thanksgiving was IT.  And it was always at our house.  My mother owned Thanksgiving.  She only missed hosting (until she became really old and wheelchair-bound) the year I was born on Nov. 27.   Thanksgiving is the one holiday that marks time for me:  "Oh yeah, that was the year I had it with Dory in Pennsylvania..."  or "That year was in Modesto with my Auntie Hannah and cousin Miriam..." 

Although I loved my mother's celebrations, my most memorable Thanksgivings have been away from home.   In 1990, Pat Bond, whose writing is featured in HICK: A LOVE STORY, was slowly dying of lung cancer.  Of course I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with her in the hospital.  She was always good company – especially after the doctor put her on anti-depressants.  Very helpful when you’ve got lung cancer.

She shared a room with Ida, an African-American woman who was in a coma.  I can’t say I was really looking FORWARD to this Thanksgiving, mainly because of Ida.  I’m not even comfortable around quiet SHY people – let alone comatose.  I WASN’T worried about the food.  My hospital Thanksgivings have never been deficient in the food department.  But the company this time – iffy.

ANHYHOW, Pat and I were quietly talking, waiting for the food to arrive, when a whole CLAN burst into the room!  Adults and children, about 15 of them, laden with food!   This was Ida’s family, who we’d never met before.  She was the ruling matriarch, and there was no question where they would spend this holiday.  It had to be with her in the hospital, even if she didn't even know they were there.  

The whole family drew Pat and me to its collective bosom.  We were in need of family, and they were happy to supply it – along with Thanksgiving dinner.  Pat and I spent that day laughing and eating the delicious food Ida’s kids and grandkids had cooked. We heard stories about this fearsome Granny Ida who ruled with an iron hand when she was well.  Maybe her family was particularly jolly because Ida was no longer cracking the whip.

So:  Just because someone’s in a coma doesn’t mean she can’t throw a great party.  It remains one of my favorite Thanksgivings.
                                                        Pat as Hick
Me as Hick

Friday, November 14, 2014


Here's Carolyn (director/producer), me Terry (playwright/actress/producer), and Bob (light board operator), looking rather fabu last night.  Sadly, the souls of both my companions have been taken over by zombies, as you can see from their silver eyeballs.  I'm holding down the fort for the human race!  The TBA Awards were
quite something - a packed theater at ACT, wonderful entertainment, lots of snazzy dressed up folks (although I dare say no one besides me sported yellow-and-black checked pants by Versace - you gotta know which thrift store to hit, dahling).  The award giving and receiving moved swiftly.  Wow, there were a lot of nominations.  For those who aren't yet avid theater- goers:  There is a lot of really great theater in the Bay Area.  I say this as someone who's familiar with the New York theater scene and likes the SF scene better. 

HICK was nominated for "Best Solo Production."  The other nominees were: 
BABA, by Denmo Ibrahim, where she plays both a newly immigrated Egyptian father and the Americanized daughter
NOW AND AT THE HOUR by Christian Cagigal, a magic show that simultaneously told the story of his father, who was a Vietnam vet
PAN-O-RAMA by Jef Valentine, about his relationship to the story of Peter Pan
MAESTRO by Hershey Felder, about the legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, which had been on Broadway...... and which won.

Funny thing about competition:  No matter how much I tell myself that I'm honored to be nominated (which WAS true) and it's fine PERFECTLY FINE if I don't win --- It is NOT perfectly fine.  I felt rather bummed out.  The after-party would have been a LOT more fun if HICK had won. 

Oh well.  On with life.