City Paper is not for tourists
OK, so it’s actually just another attempt at guerilla theater-marketing: Charter Theatre honcho Keith Bridges stars (alongside actor-playwright Chris Stezin) in a 7-minute drama about why Charter won’t be staging Richard Washer’s Quartet, originally announced for the new-play specialists’ January-February slot.
Watch (agog) as Bridges explains his emergency back-up plan to his 3-year-old daughter Rosie: “Sweetie, papa has a brilliant idea. He’s going to save his theater company by inviting Barack Obama to come see his next play, called Am I Black Enough Yet? Isn’t that brilliant?”
Choice moment: an “outtake,” toward the end, where Bridges tries to get wee Rosie to pimp the Charter website. She’s so over it that she won’t even wave bye-bye when he finally gives up.
Backstory: Charter lost one of the cast members for Quartet — a play that was already “a tough sell,” according to Stezin. (It’s not a comedy. It’s “a low-key, thoughtful piece,” and its musically-inspired structure is anything but orthodox.)
“Bad mojo started to pile up,” Stezin says, and with every theater in town having trouble putting butts in seats, a postponement seemed the best thing for Quartet.
And as the company’s leadership talked about replacements, they realized that Am I Black Enough Yet?, a 2007 hit, “wasn’t just our best selling show last season — but our best-selling show ever,” Stezin says.
And so, a revival. And, coming down the pipe: More episodes of Charter’s serialized YouTube drama. And with any luck, a newly elected special guest and his family in the good seats.
“You can always dream,” Stezin says. “We’d love to get the attention of somebody on the Obama campaign.”