It has been a while since I posted. I’ve been having panic attacks, to a degree that I can’t really describe. I’m just now beginning to get them under control, but I’ve not really been trusting myself lately, not really understood my place in the middle of things, and I’ve decided it would be better not to write anything while I felt, y’know, insane.

So, the good news is really quite good and there’s quite a lot of it. I can’t tell you what theater the Fringe festival has provided us with because it might change before July 1st, but it is one of the most storied houses in New York, with plenty of seats, in the middle of the right neighborhood for a gay sailor musical. Just the thought of producing a play that goes up in that gorgeous space is making a lot of the struggle with this play worth while.

We had a reading of the play last night with some of my favorite people in the world, who also just happen to be lightning amazing musical theater actors. Rick Gradone, with whom I identify on almost all levels, showed up at my house after catching a red-eye from Los Angeles and said, “I want to do this guy like he’s from Long Island”. I said, “Oh… well, none of these guys have ever been to New York…” and Rick’s eyes lit up and he said, “EXACTLY!”

That’s when you know, with a piece like this. People read the piece and look up at you and say, “Wait, why don’t they know who the Statue of Liberty is” and you should just rip the script out of their hands and point at the door. We had an interview with one guy where I said, “Do you think this takes place in 1945 or 2005?” and he said, “I don’t think it matters…” and I wanted to kiss him.

This leads to a problem. This problem has a shorthand with me, Jordi and Mac, which is “not wearing the red sweater”. We were doing a play two years ago where Mac and I played multiple characters and one of them was named “Red”. We were wearing different sweaters to delineate who each person was, so a red sweater was used for the character “Red”. Then one of us said, “what if Red is the one who *isn’t* wearing a red sweater?” and we laughed and laughed and laughed. Then the director looked at us and said, “But… that isn’t funny.”

And he’s right. It’s only funny if you know that initially we had thought of putting him in a red sweater and decided not to, in order to be absurd.If we don’t make a decision about what year the place is taking place in, then it looks like a *mistake*. Jordana and I were driving past this crappy events planning place in Queens three years ago and she said, “We should get married here…” except that everyone who came to the wedding wouldn’t think it was funny, they would think it was crappy.

But… you have to have the same page open in the book of comedy. This project needs to be married with a vision that says, “It doesn’t matter what year… but I *hate* mistakes”. We still haven’t offered the job to anyone, but I think we’re really close.

At the reading, we also had Tally Sessions who… I mean, the man is a genius. He’s an actual genius. The problem, of course, is that like any genius he can sometimes steer off into territory heretofor unknown by us mortals, but that’s, I guess, why you have a director. Tally will be going along in fifth gear and then, just ’cause he can, he’ll spin the car around and drive in reverse. But, God, I’m always so glad to be a passenger when he does that.

And then my friend Rob Hoyt. Rob has trouble getting work, and I think it’s honestly because he is so goddam bigger than life that no-one knows what to do with him. He’s the only guy I’ve ever met who is a better sight reader than me, he’s one of those “just give me the starting pitch… never mind, I think I got it” kind of guys. One of the pieces we wrote is almost a tone poem, with key changes and accidentals throughout, and Rob read it like he was doing first grade math. Which, I guess, is all music is anyway.

Rob is larger than people. In every way. I’ve known Rob since before we were twenty years old, and for some reason we have always loved each other deeply. It doesn’t make sense, we should have always been in competition, both of us singers, both of us actors, both of us obnoxious barrel chested wannabe alpha males who actually just want a pretty girl to be nice to us, and yet we really have hardly ever fought in the entire history of our relationship.

And the play? It works. We’re right at a B plus right now. We’ve got a few more little things to find out, but a lot of that will be during the next two weeks and then during production re-writes. But we’re off to a hell of a start just with the people we know, and we’ll have to see where we go from here.