April 1, 2009

Drumroll Please

A while back - probably about this time last year - I made a rather low-key, cryptic mention of a Big Creative Thing I'd undertaken. And of course now, while everything else is going on - The Big Work Thing, The Other Big Work Thing, kids teething - I find out that The Big Creative Thing has finally come to fruition, to a point at which I'm finally comfortable sharing it with you.

You see, I've written something. A play. Love In A Time Of Crayola.

Once completed, I shopped it around. I stumbled on a producer willing to, well, produce it and a director who was - big shock - willing to direct. For some strange reason, the planets aligned perfectly. Or almost perfectly. Sure, the play isn't quite opening on Broadway. But it is opening in New York. Off-Off-Off-Practically-Queens-Broadway, I guess you could say.


The time: The present
The place: Anywhere, USA

The play focuses on the Windenlow family - mother Gail, father Steve and their two kids, Hadley, age 5, and Hailey, age 13. Gail is a stay-at-home mom and Steve has recently taken a medical leave of absence. Steve began having flashbacks of the Vietnam War despite the fact that he never served in Vietnam or even the armed forces. Hadley is a seemingly normal five year old. Hailey is moderately askew, enrolled in her private school's Farsi immersion program based on her firm belief that the Taliban will soon take over the Western hemisphere. On this day - while the family sorts itself out, all four home together during the day for the first time finding common ground in the simple act of coloring - androids attack their small town.

I'm incredibly gratified to have such an impressive cast bringing these characters to life. Steve Windenlow is being played by Jerry Supiran, best known for his starring role on the hit television series Small Wonder. Lisa Calderon - known primarily for her role as Woman #2 in the eighth season of Friends - plays Gail. Despite their characters' age differences, Hailey and Hadley are played by ten year old twins Willow and Geoff Splain. Former Dance Fever host Adrian Zmed plays Android Leader.

While the work itself is classified as a play, there is one musical number, Burnt Sienna (The Android Song). I'm especially proud of the fact that we managed to make this work since it's a song I wrote shortly after Owen was born. In fact the line don't shoot me with your laser-blue eyes/androids go on home was inspired by his vivid blue eyes.

I'm also proud of the fact that in a relatively short time, the play's gotten some great buzz. Critic Franklin Henderson said, "Crayola pushes the bounds of modern theater. It's the best four act play featuring androids I've had the pleasure of reading." Renowned playwright Robin MacFarquar said, "Love In A Time Of Crayola is totally unique. It's like DeLilo's White Noise meets Westworld but without Yul Brenner because he's dead."

Love In A Time Of Crayola opens at the Jurgen Theater in NYC in May. I hope those of you in the immediate NYC area will be able to catch a show. In the mean time...

...happy April Fool's Day.

Posted by Chris at April 1, 2009 6:37 AM

And a Happy April Fool's to you.

Posted by: Ann Adams at April 1, 2009 6:42 AM

you TOTALLY had me. TOTALLY. Wow. I was happy for you too. I had no idea how you had the time, but I know you are big at multi-tasking. In Korea, its almost the end of April 1st, so I wasnt even thinking about an April Fool's Joke.


Posted by: alfredsmom at April 1, 2009 7:06 AM

What does it mean that I totally knew this was bullshit when I started reading? Have I been reading this blog for far too long??

Posted by: Stephanie at April 1, 2009 7:12 AM

I vowed not to be fooled today. Bite me, Cactus.

Posted by: Hazel at April 1, 2009 7:40 AM

At first I thought it was a joke (but not thinking it was 4/1), then thought maybe, then saw NYC in May and thought "I'll be there"! and then the punchline.
I decided I'm going to play really dumb today and let any kids that want to "April Fool" me have the pleasure of it.

Posted by: NancyJak at April 1, 2009 7:52 AM

I knew that this could not be a real play by Chris Cactus because if it were a real play by you there would have been mention of hookers and midgets.

Posted by: William at April 1, 2009 8:14 AM

I'm with Stephanie, I think I have been reading you too long,lol. I started by daily blog reading and came to your blog first to see what your annual April Fools joke would be and how many people would fall for it! Nice job!

Posted by: Lisa at April 1, 2009 8:17 AM

Oh Chris, you had me at Farsi Immersion Program.


Posted by: chatty cricket at April 1, 2009 8:54 AM

... I WAS wondering how you had secured the rights to the word "Crayola"

Posted by: harmzie at April 1, 2009 8:58 AM

And Happy April Fools day to you too!

Posted by: Jessie at April 1, 2009 8:58 AM

Sort of sad that this is not actually coming to "Off-Off-Off-Practically-Queens-Broadway" because your casting of Adrian Zmed as Android Leader was sheer GENIUS!

Posted by: CountryGirl at April 1, 2009 9:02 AM

Sorry to say you didn't fool me. I immediately was thinking it's april fools day, I'm just THAT cynical.

Posted by: Deirdre at April 1, 2009 9:04 AM

You're good....had me fooled...my only excuse is that I haven't had my 5th cup of coffee so my mind is not awake yet ;)

Posted by: Gabriella at April 1, 2009 9:29 AM

Oh thank God!
I was visibly cringing.

Posted by: Varinia at April 1, 2009 9:30 AM

Happy April Fools day! If I hadn't just been talking about April Fools day with the hubs, I might have believed you.

Posted by: Steph at April 1, 2009 9:42 AM

Did you teach Mia all about April Fool's Day? My kids have been coming at me all day with a twinkle in their eyes...and here they say 1 april, dikke bil (April 1, Fat Butt) in a sing-song manner.

Posted by: Tera at April 1, 2009 9:50 AM

Is it wrong that I kind of wanted to see that?

Posted by: Loth at April 1, 2009 9:51 AM

well played

Posted by: Kathleen at April 1, 2009 9:51 AM

Just got back from seeing Spamalot last night, so totally in the right mental place to fall for this one.

One question:
How does it end? ;)

Posted by: metawizard at April 1, 2009 10:28 AM

I don't think I have EVER said this online.


Fuck you!

I could SO imagine you writing a play. I said "hmmm" at Farsi immersion program and the androids? I thought were silly. But you know, these *creative types* :) Thanks for the laugh! Well played.

Posted by: Nadine at April 1, 2009 10:57 AM

Heh heh, I knew it was coming and yet, I still read the whole entry. :)

Posted by: Claire at April 1, 2009 11:13 AM

I might have believed you, androids and all. Except that I've seen your schedule and, having written a few plays myself, I know there is NO WAY you have the time to write one, much less shop it around.
Happy AF day to you too :)

Posted by: Amy at April 1, 2009 11:22 AM

My dearest, you must aim high. Who knows? You might well be able to write an off Broadway play! Or a novel. You certainly have the talent. And that is no April Fools Day joke!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 1, 2009 11:22 AM

I hate april fools day. I'm too damn gullible. By the way, I was totally excited for you even though I didn't understand what the hell the crayola android taliban thing was about... Because I believed you!

I need to get a life.

Posted by: SassyPants at April 1, 2009 11:23 AM

i was totally believing you until i got to the "small wonder" part and then i died laughing :)

Posted by: kati at April 1, 2009 11:47 AM

Oh good. I was going to ask how many four act plays featuring androids that critic HAD read. Seems like a limited market.

Please tell me you did actually write the song Burnt Sienna though. It makes me happy that there might be a song like that out there.

Posted by: MidLifeMama at April 1, 2009 11:53 AM

Theoretically possible...

I would watch it at least once! Sadly, having been in college theatre, I'm SURE I've seen worse.

Posted by: heels at April 1, 2009 12:12 PM

you're the second person today who's totally had me, hook line and sinker. ... out of two people who tried...

Posted by: bri at April 1, 2009 12:28 PM

Wow - although my brow was furrowed at the though, you TOTALLY had me going! Thanks for the fun!

Posted by: Tricia at April 1, 2009 12:30 PM

Not that you couldn't have written a play. I believed that. As well, I liked the title. I was a little thrown by the kids rhyming names. I skipped to the end at Androids.

Good joke!

Posted by: Heather at April 1, 2009 12:37 PM

Bastard. You had me. I was already googling it. Again...bastard.

Posted by: Candy at April 1, 2009 12:48 PM

nice and evil! should've known. 'Crayola' would've cost you a pretty penny. :)

Posted by: Nenette at April 1, 2009 12:53 PM

I'm a fan of anything that stars androids and Jerry Supiran.

Posted by: GreenCanary at April 1, 2009 1:27 PM

you had me until the androids. although, i've seen (and paid for) worse :)

Posted by: jeanne at April 1, 2009 1:39 PM

Love in the Time of Crayola is a fantastic title. Nice work!

Posted by: Erik at April 1, 2009 1:42 PM

Sadly, I own a calendar.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at April 1, 2009 1:59 PM

Much love, but that was a duh. ;)

Posted by: alektra at April 1, 2009 2:03 PM

I am such a sucker - I totally thought you were serious. Weird ... but serious. I guess it just shows how talented WE think you are!

Posted by: Kris at April 1, 2009 2:26 PM

I guess I should have read your post VERY early this morning before I remembered it was 4/1 and vowed not to take ANYTHING seriously this year. I'm too darn gullible the rest of the year, for just one day, I decided it was time to just not take anything for face value! Sorry! ;-) Good story though!

Posted by: cyndy at April 1, 2009 2:39 PM

Nice try mister....

Was wondering if anyone knew which dick got it to freakin' snow here this morning though... grrrrrr

Posted by: english thorn at April 1, 2009 3:49 PM

Niiiiice. I almost believed you, there.

Posted by: Anica at April 1, 2009 4:27 PM

I was actually buying it until the two kids were being played by twins. I'm gullible like that. And also, I think you should do it. As an April fool's to your April fool. Like, "I said it was a joke, but I really meant the joke was a joke and I actually wrote the weird play."

Posted by: Amy at April 1, 2009 4:57 PM

You got me hook, line and sinker! I didn't entirely get how the characters would develop and where the plot would lead, but I figured that you would tie it all together with some bizarre bathroom encounter.

In my defense, I am sleep deprived and reading this on April 2 so the thought processes really didn't click into 'Oh yeah, this guy loves to mess with my head' mode.

If you ever took time away from 'work' you could totally write a play!

Posted by: del at April 1, 2009 6:37 PM

hee. I love your April Fools Day posts. You might have gotten me if my insane daughter had not spent the entire day saying "You have a (insert wacky animal here) on your head! April Fool!" in a rather loud voice.

Posted by: tulip at April 1, 2009 7:59 PM

You had me until androids.

Posted by: Dani at April 1, 2009 8:37 PM

You totally had me.....gah!! Today I gave a phone message to a co-worker and told her that "Mr. Bare called and wants to talk to you about our IT classes". I put the zoo's phone number on the message. She called the zoo and said, "I am returning Mr. Bare's call". The zoo operator laughed at her and said "I think you've been had".

Posted by: Kristy at April 1, 2009 8:53 PM

You had me until Adrian Zmed.

Posted by: Teresa at April 2, 2009 12:02 AM

You had me right up until "androids." IDK why I always fall for your hijinks.

Posted by: kalisa at April 2, 2009 10:49 AM

and I believed you. I should have known better. Liar Liar.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at April 2, 2009 11:21 AM

Crayola...Cholera...how very clever! :)

Bathroom Encounters, Chris. now THAT would make for an interesting play!

Posted by: jessica at April 2, 2009 3:49 PM

The play may be fake, but the playbill cover rocketh mightily. You could have a lot of fun doing stuff like scraping bits of Crayola onto the page with a butter knife and then smushing them into the paper with your index finger. Kind of the airbrushed look.

Posted by: Kat at April 2, 2009 8:07 PM

I'm SO proud of myself because I called bullshit from the start!


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