by Yves L'attrappe
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.
For quite some time, my quest has been to mount a production of
Sweet Charity in a small town near my university. I looked at the
possibilities, and after a survey of community theatres in my state, my
final choice was Capton, Washington, a small logging town in Northern
Washington about one hundred miles from Seattle. Their playhouse
recently mounted a semi-successful production of Bye Bye Birdie.
Rumor has it that they were the only amateur group in the region to
make every number in the show work, including the Ed Sullivan number.
The Capton City Little Opera wasn't the only playhouse in the state;
there were bigger ones, and more cosmopolitan ones, but none of
them were as near to my grandfather's cabin.
As one would expect, it took a little bit of tooth-pulling to persuade my
grandfather to allow me to move into his cabin for a few months while
I was putting together a musical. My friends said I was crazy. My
mother cried. In spite of all, I wanted to do something interesting. Last
summer I had decided to attend culinary school in hopes of making
more money during the school year. It went well, but sometime around
the souffle classes, the whole thing fell through. This summer would be
different, and I would succeed.
When classes finished at my university, I left for the cabin, armed with
all of my Fosse videos and my computer. I then set out to contact the
Chamber of Commerce. I entered their lobby and strutted up to the
receptionist's desk. The woman had a vinegar smile, mild rosacea, and
red hair to match. She was dutifully filing away at her nails when I
asked her for information on their playhouse. She put down her emory
board and gave me the number of the Capton City Little Opera House.
I thanked her and took a mint from the bowl before leaving. My quest
I walked down Oak Street until the Canon Street Little Opera almost
slapped me across the face. I wasn't expecting to come across it that
evening, but walking around long enough in this sort of town made one
certain to hit such a landmark. Unfortunately, it was already six-thirty,
I was getting hungry and the playhouse was closed, as expected of
any business in this little town on a Tuesday evening. I had guessed
that in the past, it had taken in vaudeville acts and an occasional high
school band concert. I made note of its location and continued on.
So I found myself in Lola's Diner...