We are entering what many people think is the most unpleasant phase of making shows, and that’s the script doctoring. Fortunately, for us, much of what we wrote was on a deadline and could be made much better by a simple discussion of flaws and weaknesses. When a producer mentioned that at no point is anyone actually scared of the terrorists, and that our heroes don’t actually do anything to thwart them, we had to agree that this was a weakness in the show.

Except that it might not be. I saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels last night, and it was amazing, magnificent, fun, awesome, one of the best nights I’ve had in the theater in a while. Mostly because it knew what it was, which was pure entertainment, and it knew how to stand up to a modern attention span. The following exchange actually took place.

M: You can wrap your legs around my face and squeeze until the juice of your lust pours out my eyes.

B: What?

M: They also have cheese.

Without any context at all, that’s funny and weird, with the context, it’s drop dead hilarious. I chose “M” and “B” so it wouldn’t wreck the joke for th eleven people who read this.

Holy shit, the music, the lyrics, it’s all so great. And it gives me faith that people will get the jokes in Fleet Week. There is a song that in DRS that sounds exactly like a David Foster hack job, and it’s *PERFECT* since the people singing the songs are full of as much crap as Celine Dion ever was. In Fleet Week, we made the song about self-actualization sound like a Dar Williams/Brave-To-Be-A-Girl/Allanis song, except the guy’s are singing about how it’s okay if they infect their community with AIDS.

That sounds bad, believe me, it’s funny.

Anyway, not to gush, but this show had absolutely no emotional value for me going in, it’s not something I knew growing up or anything, but it *will* have emotional value for me from now on because I’ll remember it from this birthday. It was that good.

On another note, speaking of edits, I managed to convince everyone that in musicals, you sit through the first act in order to learn what the journey is, the second act is usually the journey. By the time you get to the end of the first act of West Side Story, everyone is fucked and everything has been set in motion to its inevitable conclusion.

The first act is about learning the characters and learning their world, the second act is when the good guys win. Yesterday was my 35th Birthday, and I have taken the two acts as a metaphor for where I am. It’s possible that the first 35 years were a chance for me to learn the world I’ve inherited, to understand the characters I’m here with and to get a fully realized character for myself. The second act will be the actual journey.