Monday, May 25, 2009


This was the logo that we used for our extended production of "A Little Bit of Broadway at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. There were many lessons learned here. One of the biggest we learned is that Santa Monica, California-- at least the folks walking up and down the Third Street Promenade are not theatre folk. One guy actually walked up to me and asked me what a musical was! Another wanted to know what "Broadway" was. People are there to shop, eat, go to a movie and talk incessantly on their cell phone. I am beginning to realize that the economy will be able to recover only because of the cell phone which (maybe some law I don't know about was passed) they can actually go outside and not be without one minute without talking incessantly to some one. Men, women, kids, grandmothers-- dear God, the regular telephone company will be going out of business because of the cell phone. But there is no one there or damn few at best that will or can be enticed to see any kind of play in a playhouse-- be it musical, be it drama, be it anything but a stand up comics show. And the comic show gets an audience of about seventeen or eighteen out of sixty-three seats. Only okay because these guys pay no rent to the theatre because early on they did lots of labor at the playhouse, itself when it first opened to make it all a reality in the first place. We did better in Hollywood-- with all of its congestion, traffic, street closures because of a Jimmy Kimmel special or a movie premiere or Even a Hollywood Blvd street fair. Santa Monica parking is an absolute breeze if you park in the PARKING GARAGES and not the PARKING LOTS. If you enter at 6pm, you can literally park all night (yes, the garages are open twenty-four hours) for a flat rate of $3. Al day is only $7.00 and there are LOTS of parking garages. As far as the production itself, we were proud of our efforts, the show got even better than before and we know how to rewrite it now. There were lots of people involved with the show who quit, broke their word and didn't keep commitments and promises. But for the most part we had a sterling cast. Amazing performers who gave their all. Good people like Brice Oates, Megan Cordero, Nick Sweet, Robert Wiener, Sarah Jane Marsh and especially dear Walt Hochbrucker. There were many expenses that just about did me in, but I'm happy I at least tried to get this mounted. I was simply amazed at the people who make a commitment and then quit when they can't have their own way. The human ego is simply amazing.In the play, I have a line that goes "Ego is for getting out of bed and performing IN bed --and everything else is bullshit!" Other lessons learned? Never let a con man into your life. Don't allow people to give you an ultimatum and you go folding like an accordion. And when some one makes a promise to you-- get it in writing. But okay-- maybe find a better venue or find a great way to market and promote it better. And a great big thank you to Adam Sowers who literally came in at the last minute and made the show so refreshing and wonderful. So there it is and I thank all of those who did attend. My family didn't for the most part and the one sister who did come left at half time because of a babysitter-- oh well-- guess you just can't rely on family for support anymore. That was very hurtful. My sisters simply want me to change to their way of thinking or they are going to simply walk away emotionally claiming they are far too busy with their own lives. How sad is that! Maybe when I'm gone they will regret this decision. What they don't realize is that if I were famous, rich, well-off, etc and "perfect", why the hell would I need them? I wouldn't call except maybe at Christmas-- and they would say "My brother is famous!" What would that get them?


Tony Westbrook said...

Well Mike you learned a lot from this, but you also DID IT!!! YOU mounted a production of YOUR SHOW!!! Everyone should feel so proud of themselves...truly...because the ones who stuck it out proved they LOVE doing it! Nobody ever said it was going to be easy!!!
Kudos and congrats! Were you able to tape it?
Don't give up. Find another venue in Hollywood and do it again! Never give up!

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