My wife and I like to cook. We’re not master chefs, but we do dabble in a wide variety of cuisines. And so it was that we hosted a thank-you dinner for folks involved in Left of Left Center’s recent Beta Blockers production. Since we decided not to make it a priority that everyone could sit at one time, our 2-bedroom apartment actually worked pretty well. Many beverages were enjoyed, many dishes sampled, and a few eyes, ears, and taste buds were opened to olivetta, ratatouille, and sausage ragu served over, what else – polenta.

A good percentage of the party also indulged in our wall of games, playing Blokus, Dominion, Wise and Otherwise, Get Bit, and even a couple of rounds of Lord of the Fries. The populations of gaming enthusiasts and actors intersect significantly, as evidenced by the strong reaction we got to Advantage in the recent show. This was the one where two people almost came to grips with the true depth of their relationship after a game of Catan was scattered all over the floor. No one at our party was quite so uncivil, but conversations flowed freely between the two arts.

We discussed a lot of theatre, not least of which the promise that Left of Left Center will produce at least two more shows. I’ve got my eyes on (and have gotten the okay from the playwright’s agent to do) a piece I saw a few years back in Chicago. It’s a play where superheroes and Shakespeare intersect and it’s a shining example of what a number of our recent audience members thanked us for presenting: intelligent theatre. I’m not interested in pandering to the masses and this play won’t. Once we’ve secured the rights and the performance spaces, I’ll announce it here and share more details.

Audiences – you can expect to see us somewhere in Madison in the June/July timeframe, performing a play that will delight your mind while stimulating your brain. Actors – you can expect to audition for a play that has that rare attribute: many roles that can be cast by any physical type, age, or gender. I’m looking forward to casting toward the available talent, which, in my Madison experience, is considerable.

Also look for Beta Blockers: The Refill (thank you SBH for the name of the sequel) featuring more of the kind of jaunty, philosophy-swapping, soul-revealing, and mirth-inducing material we presented in February. No violence as plot devices or camp as humor. We will mount this second version of Beta Blockers sometime in the fall. Stay tuned.