This Spoleto Buzz blogger, having in recent days created a permanent indentation in his computer chair the size and shape of his backside, spent yesterday evening on the Piccolo trail, specifically that section of it carved out by Theatre 99 and their lunatic Fringe. At 7pm I was at Theatre 99 for a nearly sold out show from the Harvard Sailing Team, which is just as good as you’ve heard it is.
Later, at Charleston Ballet Theatre, I saw the very definition of “starstruck” when City Paper editor Stephanie Barna’s eight
Old Second City hands (whom many will recognize from previous Piccolo gigs at Physicians Auditorium) Frank Caeti and Jen Bills go way back with McBrayer, and when they spotted him in the audience they decided to have a bit of fun. They’re show runs heavy on audience participation – and not just the kind where they ask for a single-word suggestion. They want improvisers, or at least those who can fake it. The Lowbrow has never taken an improv class in his life, and if he ever manages to be clever with words, it’s only after expending deep thought and a lot of sweat and time at the keyboard. So when the two called on yours truly to stand up and say a few words about their fictional colleague, Jack McBrayer – a sales rep for ABC who’d recently died after falling from a ropes course – I stood and, with the star 30 Rock star sitting beside me, eulogized him with one of the lamest improvisational efforts possibly in the history of the art form. Dell Close would have cried. Afterward, I sat down and immediately retreated to my secret place inside, where I cut myself with sharp things and whimpered.
Naturally, McBrayer was friendly afterward, pretending it had all been just peachy. But I think in his secret place, he wanted to slug me.