I’m seeing CHERRYWOOD tomorrow night, which is directed by David Cromer. I’ve never met the man, although I’ve seen him in person as the stage manager of OUR TOWN. At one point during the play, he ambled about four feet away from me, at which point I felt a kind of warm calm envelop me that I could not explain until I realized that the sinus pressure I had been feeling had miraculously disappeared. I tried to beckon him nearer so he could do something about my eyesight, but it was to no avail.
Now you may think I’m exaggerating Cromer’s effect on audiences. But critical acclaim has fallen upon Cromer’s head like an anvil in a Road Runner cartoon, and it’s gotten to the point that if one of his productions fails not only to entertain, but heal the sick, audiences and critics alike will set him on fire.
But I don’t think David Cromer wants to be the Joan of Arc of the American Theater. He’s not a woman, he’s not French and he’ll never be played on screen by Milla Jovovich (and neither will anyone else, fictional or not, for the rest of eternity, if we’re lucky).
Like I wrote in the paragraph three paragraphs before this paragraph, I’ve never met the man. He has taught at Columbia College, where I teach, which means I have something in common with him that I can bring up if I ever happen to meet him.
We also have the letter “O” in our last names.
That will be a short conversation.
CHERRYWOOD has 49 actors in it. That fact alone makes me want to see it. Add Cromer to the mix and the fact that they’re doing the damn show at Angel Island, a theater so small they’d need to grease the doorways for Audrey Hepburn to fit through, makes this show a must-see for me.
It better be good.