I got a friend request on facebook from James Inverne. We have a couple of common friends. I couldn't place him. I accepted the request. Why not? Shortly after I got a message from him asking about doing a reading of a play he had written. Again, why not? I love reading new plays. I had no expectations.
Then information starts to trickle forth. Benjamin Kamine will be directing. We've met - not worked together - but I've heard nothing but good things. I was recommended to James and Benjamin by Philip Himberg, who's play Paper Dolls I had recently worked on. The play we were to read is called A Walk with Mr. Heifetz and is about an encounter between Jascha Heifetz and Yehuda Sharrett in the mid 1920's in what was then Palestine. I was to play Heifetz, the prodigious violinist. These were all wonderful things to find out. Then I heard the kicker. Steve Guttenberg would be participating in the reading alongside the wonderful Yuval Boim and myself. I'm just going to repeat that for all similarly aged peeps. I got to work with Steve Guttenberg.
Working on the play with Yuval, Steve, James and Ben couldn't have been more enjoyable. It's a complex and profound conversation between passionate men chock full of interesting stories. Ben steered us in some thoughtful conversations, and it was great to have James in the room to share his intentions and scholarship with us. The reading took place in a stunning home on Riverside Drive as the sun was setting over the Hudson. The play went off rather well. There was musical accompaniment and wonderful food. The audience was receptive (and included Alan Dershowitz!). If I sound a little glowy and a tad name-droppy, well...yup. Random requests from relative strangers don't usually yield experiences like this one.
Holy Crap I GOT TO WORK WITH STEVE GUTTENBERG!