Separate ways: a fond farewell to "Frost/Nixon"

By Christian Carvajal on February 7, 2011


"Into a bright new dawn of fresh enterprises, and challenges..."
--Richard Nixon, in Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon

It's often said of film sets that cast and crew form familial attachments, only to see them dissolve a few months later. It doesn't always happen that way in theater circles, but after months playing Bob Zelnick in Frost/Nixon at Tacoma Little Theater, I'm here to tell you several of us are going through withdrawal pangs following Sunday's final performance. This was a memorable ensemble in the care of an amiable, long-suffering, and dedicated crew. I've seen some of them semi-clad, some in emotional distress, but all were at the top of their game; and for a long while, it won't feel like a Friday night without them. But life goes on, so break a leg to one and all as you move on to new auditions or simply get back to your life.

Thanks again to director Brie Yost for giving a curmudgeonly theater critic a space on the boards at TLT. You were right. I did have something to prove. I'll let you and the rest of the gang assess my results.

With regrets--especially since auditions for A Few Good Men are coming up--I'll be taking a break from acting for a while. It conflicts with my review schedule, for one thing, and my girlfriend is starting to forget what I look like after two shows in four months. This weekend brings the opening of Parallel Lives at the Midnight Sun in Olympia; it's a sketch show written by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najima. The Prodigal Sun production stars Elizabeth Lord and Lauren O'Neill, both of whom are enormously gifted when it comes to connecting with an audience. This script requires them to play numerous roles including Supreme Beings, so let's hope their range is in full effect.

I know a show is terrific when I sit in the audience thinking, "God, I wish I were in this." But no matter how good Parallel Lives or any other show this spring turns out to be, I'll feel less of that envy; because after the last few months, any imperfect experience will seem like rather a letdown.

Adios, Mr. Zelnick, wherever you are.