The Last Days of Disco

Every month or two, my ex-roommate Richard and I will spend an evening hanging out. It usually goes like this: a dinner much too high in calories and fat, then a mainstream type movie, then back to my place to make fun of Saturday Night Live or play a computer game like You Don’t Know Jack. Pretty routine. This last time, though, was a bit different.

First of all, I found out at dinner that he did indeed audition for Jeopardy, as he said he would. But he didn’t pass the test! I couldn’t believe it–you’d have to know Rich to understand just how full of useless trivia he is. I also beat him at You Don’t Know Jack that night, winning two out of three games. The world is turned upside down! With the Jeopardy audition, you have to correctly answer 35 out of 50 questions you are asked. And they are fill-in-the-blank, not multiple choice. Rich said only 2 out of the 50 or so people who auditioned passed the test.

The coolest part of the night was the movie. Instead of a typical big-release picture, we decided to see an indy film, The Last Days of Disco . Currently in “limited release” in Southern California, Disco it is a Whit Stillman film and part of his trilogy of movies which include Metropolitan and Barcelona. When we got there, I was reading a blow-up of a Los Angeles Times review of the film posted outside the theatre and saw that a friend of mine was one of the stars of the film.

Matt Keesler, who plays a assistant District Attorney and major disco aficionado in the film, played the title role in The Interrogation of Nathan Hale at SCR a few years ago. He’s a cool guy, and I’m glad to see him doing so well. I enjoyed not only the film itself, but also seeing a sextet of “unknown” but highly talented actors for a change. A person can only stomach so many Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Al Pacino, other other “A” cast movies before yearning for something truly different.

Today was the first reading of Hollow Lands. With intermission it came to about three hours. The director, David Chambers, had us break the script down into individual stapled scenes because the script was so unwieldy in size. I thought the reading went well, but I felt sorry for a few of the actors that had little to do in the show. It must have been hard to sit up there onstage and wait for three hours, especially after four hours of rehearsal this morning. What’s really weird is performing at 3 p.m. on a Friday. The next reading is at 10 a.m. on a Sunday. That’s even stranger. Theatre isn’t supposed to take place in the morning. It’s not natural.


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