Vodka in Pockets

By staff January 25, 2007


When the curtain comes down, the party starts.


By Hannah Wallace


This past Friday night was dedicated to some quality mommy-and-me time. My mother, production stage manager for Asolo Rep, opened Expecting Isabel on Friday. Openings are cause for much relief and celebration—especially for stage managers, who work before, after and during every minute of every rehearsal.


Me, I was just celebrating Friday.


After the show, waiting in the lobby for my mother to emerge from backstage (and fighting to avoid the osteoporotic feeding-frenzy around the cheese table), I forewent the free champagne and convinced the ladies behind the bar to sell me some of the bourbon I knew was hidden back there. The Asolo pros, following standard backstage protocol, take a slightly different tack: Mom arrived in the lobby, asked my cork-popping, bourbon-pouring friends for a glass of ice, and pulled two tiny bottles of Smirnoff from her jacket pocket.

IT’S CALLED MISDIRECTION: I try my hand at my mother’s signature booze-producing magic trick.


Frankly, I’ve always thought producing booze from her apparel is one of my mother’s coolest magic tricks.


“I lost my sense of humor about 24 hours ago,” said Mom, describing her last day of rehearsal as she poured her opening night presents. “And I didn’t get it back until just now.”


After a bit of schmoozing and whatnot, word circulated that the Asolo folks were gathering at Hemingway’s out on St. Armands. And bless her, Mom was down with that. I’ve always coveted my parents’ social circle and feel slightly poseur-ish without one of them chaperoning me. (Why yes, thank you, these neuroses are just my size.)


We got to Hemingways sometime after 11:30 and the bar had already been overtaken by Asolo folks—actors and interns, stagehands and students. The same thing used to happen at the old Broadway Bar on the Trail until somebody dropped a Publix on it. (When is that place going to reopen, anyway?)


I whiled away an hour or so exchanging stories with the theater’s cool-as-hell whippersnappers (i.e. people my own age)—the education director, the company manager and the dramaturge, who told me about wearing Shakespearean garb to a college bar and being mistaken (why, we’re not sure) for a soccer player. Coincidentally, I told her, Shakespeare was my nickname on my college soccer team (and we went to bars all the time).


Eventually I reunited with my mother, her sense of humor restored and then some. As the crowd began to dwindle, we chatted with Antonio Salieri (Asolo Rep’s Amadeus is still playing), the three of us ending the evening with a delightful conversation, about what I don’t quite remember.


[Next opening night at the Asolo: Feb. 9, A Few Good Men—sweet sweet Sorkiny goodness.]
Filed under
Show Comments