UK: It’s a good thing I got all that rest in July, because I needed it once August rolled around. My producing partner and I premiered a new musical we’ve been developing in London, later moving it lock, stock and barrel to Edinburgh as part of the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Many of you know about my theatrical background, but for those of you who don’t, I need to get you up to speed via an old theater joke: if Hitler were alive today, his punishment should be to go out on the road with a new musical in trouble. (I just need to think that joke and it cracks me up every time.) Of course, it wasn’t all that arduous – or punishing – but to start, it was being done across an ocean. And while my partner and I are both old hands at this by now, we’ve also both invested a peculiarly personal part of ourselves in The Screams of Kitty Genovese, which only served to raise the stakes.
On top of it all, we were in two of my all-time favorite cities: London and Edinburgh. Yet we were working, working, working the whole time – and not in the lighthearted way travelers do but in the how do we fix this particular scene and how much is it going to cost us way that producers do. I will say it gave me a different perspective of each city. I may have been staying along Hyde Park but I spent the days working – or is it wandering? – the back streets of Hammersmith. Once we made it to Edinburgh, we were lucky enough to be staying together in posh digs at the Hotel Missoni, which was transformed into Kitty HQ. A bee-line to the theater was quickly established, from which we rarely strayed.
The show – as I’m sure you’re dying to know – was an unqualified success. A complete sell-out in London, it was equally well received in Edinburgh. Plus it looks like it will be coming to New York in the very near future, so watch this space! It was an exhilarating experience, working overseas without any infrastructure in place or familiar resources at our disposal. It made us get out into the streets on a very basic level, which went a long way towards making my romantic notions of two cities I’ve come to know extremely well over the years much more realistic.