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Searching For Fosse in Middle American
by Yves L'attrappe

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So I found myself in Lola's Diner sitting and wondering if I could get this off of the ground. A waitress came to my table and introduced herself as Deanne and asked to take my order. I decided on the biscuits and gravy and a cup of coffee, which she promptly poured into the overturned cup which lay before me. I asked Deanne if she knew anything about Bob Fosse and she told me that no one with that name had come into Lola's Diner recently. I said that he was dead and she said that she was sorry. I said that it did not bother me, because I did not know him, though I would miss his work. "His work?", she queried... I told her that he was a choreographer who worked on Broadway a few years ago. She gave me a vacant stare and went to get my biscuits and gravy. At that point, an unaffected lass of about fifteen pranced over and said she overheard that I was directing a play. I told her that it was a definite possibility. She told me that she tried out for Bye Bye Birdie but did not make it. I told her I was sorry. She said that she wasn't bitter, and that in her opinion, the show's director was an idiot with no talent anyway. She asked me what I was interested in directing, and I told her Sweet Charity. She hadn't heard of it. I told her it was a piece from the sixties, and Fosse was the original choreographer. She hadn't heard of Fosse. I told her that he was also involved with Cabaret. She told me that she rented the video once but the Emcee in Cabaret scared her and she was not able to finish the movie. She asked if she could try out for my play, and I told her she could if I was able to get it mounted.

Deanne returned with the plate full of biscuits and gravy and refreshed my coffee and looked at the young girl next to me, and gave a wink... I had the feeling you get when you accidentally push the cork into the bottle because you can't find a corkscrew...

I finished my dinner and paid my check. As I got up to leave, my new young friend got up as well. She followed me out of the diner and clung to my arm. Her big eyes beamed at me, and then she asked what kind of parts were in the show. I churned inside, as I knew I was getting into something interesting. I told her to go rent the movie, but it wasn't enough for her. I dispensed a laconic good-bye, but she ignored it. She asked if she could audition for my play, and I told her she was welcome to do it. At that point, a red suburban pulled up, and a thrice-rinsed platinum blonde leaned out to tell the girl it was time to go. She climbed in the vehicle, but I had the feeling that it was not the last I would see of her.

I came to realize that there was no food in the cabin, and I stopped in at the dated grocery store. At one time, it might have been called a supermarket, but it had long been eclipsed by the Safeways and QFCs in other cities. It was small, but it suited most of my needs, and it had automatic doors. I went in, and bought a loaf of bread, some mayonnaise, a six-pack of hefe wiezen, and a gallon of milk. It came to $17. The checker asked me where I was from, and I told her I was a college student here for the summer. She asked me what my major was, and I told her Theatre Arts with a specialization in dance. She gave me an odd look and bagged my groceries.

My next stop was Elliot's Gas Station and Video Mart...

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