IT WAS AN UNSEASONABLY WARM WEDNESDAY IN FEBRUARY WHEN…
…Mr. X called to see if I could meet him as he was in town for the day and wanted me to see his client’s property which had been lingering on the market for two years. He was looking to cast a new broker for the role of getting the place sold. I told him, unfortunately, I was booked solid until 5 PM but could meet him anytime on Thursday. When he told me; however, that our meeting was a top priority and he’d happily wait and take a later Acela I forgot that “no” is a complete sentence as it is missing in my people-pleasing vocabulary.
I didn’t tell him that the reason I couldn’t meet earlier was because three old friends (all coincidentally named Christine) and I were seeing David Rabe’s new play that is set in a rural Connecticut mental health center. I had said yes to the invite weeks before when the idea of going to a matinee on a “school day” seemed like a fun spring break from the February greys. I told the three Christines at lunch that I was going to have to dash out as soon as the play ended never imagining it would run 3 ½ hours and forgetting that we’d chosen seats that were literally on the stage.
When Christine #1 handed the usher our tickets he told us we had to leave our coats and handbags on a shelf and would be entering from backstage. I panicked not because I was concerned that someone would take my cash and credit cards but because I didn’t want to part with my Vanilla See’s lollipop, water, chocolate chip cookie, phone, and coat so I simply smuggled the contraband to my aisle seat. I laughed hysterically when Christine #2 stood up at the beginning of the show and clapped not realizing that the other people standing were the actors in the play including the man wearing pajamas in front of her who I thought was a great F. Murray Abraham look alike.
I debated leaving at intermission but decided I didn’t want to later regret missing out so I unwrapped my chocolate chip cookie and grabbed a playbill which I somehow misplaced when I first sat down with my smuggled goods. I was over the moon excited when I read that the actor who looked like a shorter Ed Harris was actually Ed Harris, that the older version of Amy Madigan was in fact Amy Madigan, that the woman who sounded like Rhea Perlman but had a different face was Rhea with a facelift (or a lot of filler) and the actor who said “excuse me” when he had to climb over my handbag to get to his seat was F. Murray Abraham. At 5:30 PM I decided I couldn’t keep Mr. X waiting any longer in the 25 million dollar property so I did what any former actress turned real estate agent would do and raced across the stage. I couldn’t see the exit backstage in the dark but managed to get there in time to audition for the role of listing broker. The good news is the property has a theatrical lineage, has had two brokers and since three’s a charm I believe at the very least I’ll get a “call back”.