Part III – The Audience Speaks Back
After the play it was announced that Peter Mac and Ms. Parker would be staying to do a Q & A, during which pictures would
be allowed. Once again the rear screen was used, this time to run the Dark Shadows scene where Angelique places her curse
on Barnabas Collins.
I’m not sure that Ms. Parker was completely comfortable with watching her performance, as she stressed after the clip
was over how long AGO this was. However, she seemed VERY comfortable during the rest of the Q & A itself, relaxed and friendly.
Perhaps the small venue had something to do with it; perhaps also the LACK of the “lunatic fringe” who can make
both actors and fans very uncomfortable with their blatant rudeness.
This led into discussions of the performance and the play. As it turns out the cast deserves far more credit than I suggest
above. This was NOT a reading, but a play, performed without benefit of scripts or teleprompters, and it turns out that the
players fit this in between day jobs, and LP had left her classes (she currently teaches at the college level in LA, and refers
to herself as retired from acting with the exception of special events such as this show) gotten straight on a plane and gone
straight to work only a few days before the performances. The workload involved in pulling this together must have given
her déjà vu to the shooting schedule of DS: get script, memorize, rehearse and DO IT – with no retakes. Clearly she
hasn’t lost her ability to pull this off – and the rest of the cast, NOT accustomed to that breakneck performance
pace, deserves great credit for pulling it off as well.
A suggestion that this be done again NEXT Christmas met with enthusiastic approval, and the possibility of other venues was
discussed. Not one to let an opportunity pass, I suggested that it would be a good play to perform at a Dark Shadows Festival.
Peter’s response to that was to suggest that those who would like to see that should write to the Festival address/
LP answered a number of questions from the audience, and was clearly having a good time bantering with Peter and talking to
the fans. She told everyone that she had JUST become a grandmother (and seemed to think it was ABOUT TIME), and how thrilled
she is about the new grandbaby. She said she couldn’t wait to go home, get him into a little red suit, and take pictures
in front of the Christmas tree.
After a few more questions the session ended, and I spoke a bit with some of the other performers before leaving the theater.
One hopes that Ms. Parker and the cast were heading off somewhere to eat and relax, before having to do it again four hours
Help is On the Way Today: As mentioned above, these performances were a fundraiser for this organization, with the services
of all the actors donated. But, although the performances are over, the need still remains. Speaking as someone who works
for a 150 year old child welfare organization, I assure you that there’re always far more kids with a desperate and
legitimate need than there is money to help them. Government grants, even when available, can’t be stretched far enough.
So, I’m sure this organization would love to hear from you, and get donations to help more kids at this holiday season.
To find out more about this worthy charity, please check out their webpage:
Help is on the Way