The foreseeable future

Mark Filiaci, shown here as Mortimer in our 2007 production of 'The Fantasticks,' will direct.

Mark Filiaci, shown here as Mortimer in our 2007 production of ‘The Fantasticks,’ will direct.

Me, David McClutchey, Mike Brocki and Peggy Taphorn in 'Moonlight," 2009.

Me, David McClutchey, Mike Brocki and Peggy Taphorn in ‘Moonlight,” 2009.

When I heard in April that a hurricane had blasted the Lowe’s hardware store in Sanford, NC, I did two things. First, I mapped the distance from Lowe’s to Temple Theatre … 3.4 miles. Shit! Next, I emailed Temple’s artistic director, Peggy Taphorn, to find out if the downtown area had been spared. It had. Whew.

I’ve worked three shows at Temple, starting with The Fantasticks in January 2007, and think of it as part of my very loosely defined “territory.” Had my health not fallen apart last year, I’d have four Temple productions under my belt by now, but as the song says, there’s a time for every purpose.

Peggy called last week to offer me a five-week contract playing Chief Inspector Hubbard in Dial “M” for Murder, which opens October 20. I accepted. The schedule coincides perfectly with what I hope will be our delivery from this hellish summer, as well as some settling out of other dust, personal and professional, that’s gotten kicked up over the course of the last year.

Mark Filiaci, who played Mortimer in our 2007 production of The Fantasticks, will direct. Mike Brocki, David McClutchey and I did Hamlet and Moonlight and Magnolias back-to-back in 2009. We’ll be reunited in Murder, minus Peggy, who played Poppenghul in Moonlight. Peggy says she considered allowing herself to be cast as Margot Wendice, but decided to take a break instead. Her loss.

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Back in my gardening days, I had the pleasure of watching any number of plants reach critical mass, that mysterious thing that sometimes happens at the latter end of the “sleep-creep-leap” sequence. I’d give credit afterward to the mulch or the fertilizer spike, maybe the weather, or maybe assume that the roots had hit a pocket of something or other that’s good for roots. But I never knew for sure and it never really mattered.
Something along those lines seems to be happening to FernCreek Creative.

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This just in: Dashiell Hammett is entertaining! I’ve forgotten how I came to buy Hammett’s 1936 omnibus, but in the vein of “you had me at hello,” here’s how it begins: “I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte. He also called his shirt a shoit.”

What’s not to like?