I have a thing about Playbills, the glossy and ad thick handout featuring the current production of any performance art production. I find the nearest receptacle and pitch the booklet.
This quirk of mine goes back to the days of my youth when I worked as a janitor ( Local 25) at Theodore Thomas Orchestra Hall (1904-2013), now known as Symphony Center.
After each CSO, Harry Zelzer production ( Gordon Lightfoot, the Clancy Bros. & Tommy Makem, Cleo Laine, Richard Tucker, Danny Kaye, or Peter Max & the Young Rascals) not to mention CPS high school graduations, my comrades and I were required to sweep the hall from stage through the gallery by lifting the seats, picking up the napkins, Junior mints, orange juice boxes and tons upon tons of Playbills and depositing them into the 55 gallon plastic garbage cans. It was a job.
Thus, from that time forty plus years ago, I hold onto a proffered Playbill no longer than CTA President Forrest Claypool holds a political sinecure. Gone, in a nano second.
Playbills make wonderful keepsakes. Keepsakes pile up. I never know what to do with the book that I can not read, while at the performance, and care not to read after the show. I 86 it.
I wish I had not done so with the Playbill I tossed at the Goodman Theatre yesterday, prior to witnessing some great theatre.
An elegant and stunning female woman and I attended the matinee performance of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. The play by Lynne Nottage is running until June 2, 2013 at the Goodman.
Kara Zediker and Tamberla Perry in Vera Stark
One of the principles, rather the co-star of the production was an Honors Studnet of mine at Bishop McNamara High School - Kara Zediker (BMHS 1987). Her Mom, Carole " Cookie" Zediker was a colleague and her Dad Phil Zediker uttered, "Interesting," every time I opened my yap.
Phil is a prominent psychiatrist.
Kara is a supremely talented actress, singer and dancer who has made scores of films hundreds of TV appearances and trod the boards with the likes of John Malkovich while with Steppenwolf Theatre in the 1990's. Kara plays Gloria Mitchell in Vera Stark, a fictional America'n film's Sweetie-pie of the 1930's. Kara plays up-from nothing gran dame with spot on vocal inflections, poignant facial deliveries and a silky sense of the stage. I was not surprised, because this beautiful little thespian has delighted me every since her grammar school baby-steps with the Paula Aubrey School of Dance, wowing the crowds at BMHS with her Ensign Nellie Frobish in South Pacific and favorite Zediker role extant - Mammy Yokam in L'il Abner.
Kara went onto Chicago's Columbia College, where her talents were plucked by the late John Hughes who put Kara in Uncle Buck. Kara was member of Steppenwold and the old Goodman on Monroe, over by the Art Institute - to wax urban provincial. From there, Kara went onto movies and TV
After the packed matinee crowd bolted down the hall to grab all of the tables at Petterino's, my sexy and chic theatre companion and I waited at the Security desk to catch-up with Kara. We did the Hollywood smooches and then the two talented and toothsome women gabbed like Mother McAuley Alumnae, while I played with the change in my pockets. Then,. . .then we were joined by Vera Stark and her arch rival Anna
Mae, played with intelligent gusAmelia Workman.Ms. Workman and the cast, aside from Tamberla and Kara played dual, or triple roles - here she is as a lesbian feminist cinema critic.
Four gorgeous talented women within an arms reach of this 79th Street Mick troll. God is Great!
Tamberla Perry was stunning on stage, but in person she could make Chris Matthews shut up. I gushed out my praise on all three young ladies and asked them about their Chicago roots. Kara mentioned that I work fro Leo High School and the already luminescent Ms. Perry lit up with proud recognition - " The Pride of 79th Street!' Yes, Mam.
Again the ladies chatted up the arts and the young actresses were called to a cast meeting. Ms. Sullivan tucked her Playbill into her purse. We parted from the cast with sweet sorrow . . .on my part.
Petterino's was booked. We opted for Atwood's in the Burnham Hotel - she the duck breast; me the halibut.
Hours later the thoughtful and beautiful Ms. Sullivan gave me a call. " Had you not tossed away your Playbill, Mr. Hickey, as is your habit, you would know something that I know," she coquetted.
" Honor bright?"
"Yes, of course, I am not the perpetual eight year old in this relationship. . . ," no pique, just fact.
" Spill it, Sister."
" Did you know that Tamberla Perry, Vera Stark, was in the cast of Tapioca, by Friend Houli? . . .this from the Playbill you so scorn , "On film, Mrs. Perry has appeared in Tapioca, Puzzled Love and Chasing Robert, and her television appearances include Boss, Chicago Fire and as the Illinois Lottery hostess on WGN-TV. Ms. Perry is a company member of MPAACT."
" Well, I'll be dipped and rolled. . ."
" Yes, and you should be . . .'
"Friend Houli? What's he turned Quaker?"
" That will be enough for today, I think. Get a good night's sleep, my dear."
I was yet gobsmacked by the information.
This exquisite looking and talented girl worked her chops for Houli? Playbill said so.