I had a great time performing at La Mama Galleria for Discovering Oz’s party this week. Discovering Oz is a rare quantity– a public relations firm with a specialty in non-profits, arts organizations, and genuinely nifty people. On Friday night they took over the Galleria space on East First Street in the East Village, hung the work of artists with whom they’ve had successful collaborations, and invited talented friends to perform to a happy, wine-d up crowd.
I first met Darien Bates, the founder of Discovering Oz, some years ago when I performed in “I, Claudius, Live,” a cult-hit serial– and seriously skewed– version of “I, Claudius.” And I had originally hooked up with Theatre Askew through my friend, Jason Jacobs, who was co-founder and co-director and now is successfully working as a freelance theatre director.
It’s such a pleasure when you realize that you’ve been working in New York theatre long enough to have serious history with wonderful people. Usually there are many pockets of friends and companies with whom you’ve worked, and if you’re lucky, you can reconnect with them like I did on Thursday night. People like the then-comedian and now-writer and creator of Breakup Girl, Lynn Harris— one of the funniest, smartest women I know. And her brilliant co-consipirator, freelance designer and illustrator Chris Kalb, who’s now the art director of City Scoops magazine. When we met, we were excited, energetic, loud in subways, probably hugely annoying. I’m so glad to know not only are my old friends continuing to work in the fields they were dreaming of at that time, the goal of becoming nice, grounded, grown-up people seems to have been accomplished too. And that new friends like Darien Bates can provide excellent excuses for us to cavort again.
And introduce us to new circles– Friday night I saw Talking Band for the first time, a 37-year-old experimental theatre group of which I’m now officially a fan. They create thought-provoking, funny, heart-filled music-theatre work, and they’re who I want to be when I grow up. I’ll be at their next performances, coming March 1-18 to La Mama.
NOTE: My friends and colleagues’ swell-ness may inspire me to create an avalanche of links, in this post and in the future. So sue me.
Posted on December 11, 2011