Friday, March 18, 2011

The Rat has rung down the curtain...
Since we have been doing The Two and Only there has been a stuffed rat that has called the show to start. It was given to me by my friend Chris Wallace as an off Broadway gift... it is a New York Rat.  Dressed in a fedora and tux, smoking a cigar and sporting a fine line moustache he is a typical New York lounge rat.  If you punch him in the stomach he will sing three alternate phrases of the song New York, New York in the best Sinatra impression a rat can do.  At "30 minute call" the Rat would sing "If I can make it there, I'd make it anywhere."  At 15 minutes he would sing, "It's up to you, New York". And at five minutes before places the rat would sing the final phrase, "New York."
Lori, Suzie, Greg, Julia, Ginger and now John have kept up the stage manager's tradition of hitting the rat pre-show.  The rat has even traveled to London to do the show.  We have never done a show without the rat until last week.  
On the first show of the long trip last week, we could not find the rat in the trunks.  He is always there but was not to be found.  "Surely at the next stop we will find it," we thought.  But even after and exhaustive search of all the trunks in the show, there was no rat to be found.  It baffled me for a moment until John and I figured out we had not seen the rat since the show where I lost my temper on the sound guy.  Names and venues not mentioned since A BLOG IS NOT A DIARY.  
As a joke I hung the rat by a noose in the dressing room.  It was my not so subtle comment on being so upset.  John got a big kick out of the fact that the rat had committed suicide at this particular venue.  We both had contemplated the same scenario earlier that day.  But after the laugh was over, and the show was done, we could not wait to get out of that theatre.  Evidently in the haste we left the rat hanging by a noose from one of the cabinet knobs. 
I miss the rat.  I should have been more careful in packing him away that night.  He was not at his usual place so the routine was broken.  It happens. And if the rat were ever going to off him self and leave the tour it would have been that venue and that show.  I think it is a fitting end. 
But I am sure that the next person who came into that dressing room thought this was some sort of farewell art work, or innuendo.  I can hear it as a TMZ quote, "And he was so pissed off he hung a rat in the dressing room, as some statement of disgust."
In the words of my friend Harry.  It is the story that counts. Forever the rat will have given his life at one of the toughest shows we have done. Viva la Bastardo Raton.  I will attempt to find a replacement, and the show will go on.
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

Well now I'm gonna worry about that rat. I really hope you get it back. Tradition is important.

Bob Conrad said...

Next time you play that theater you could pick up the rat from the sound guy. Maybe not.