Some thirty-five years ago I and my buddy Pat O’Brien (Underneath the Lintel) performed the two-hander, Whisper Into My Good Ear for a one-act theater competition in the Twin Cities. It’s a classic from the ‘60’s about two old farts sitting on a New York park bench coming to terms with their soon to be ending lives. (Not to worry; there are plenty of laughs along the way.)
We were both just coming into our 30’s at the time; so there was lots of old-age makeup and hair-white; contrived and contorted voices and postures.
We got decent notices for our characterizations; didn’t get too far in the competition, though; and then went our separate ways. For about three decades.
We hooked up again by chance a few years ago in the audience of a Minnesota Fringe Festival show and went out afterward for drinks to talk about old times. Well, it didn’t take more than one beer to convince ourselves that we HAD to do Whisper again now that we were old enough to do the roles without the makeup and pretense of aches and pains of age.
Our number wasn’t picked for the lotteried Minnesota Fringe, but Pat had done his sold-out one-man show for the Indianapolis Fringe a few years earlier and they invited us to return with Whisper last summer.
Well, the rehearsal process was a revelation. In some ways it was more difficult; it took us three times as long to re-learn our lines as it did to learn them from scratch thirty-five years ago. But I’m sure it would be no great surprise to tell you that the depth and nuance that we were now able to glean from the script was a revelation. It’s not hyperbole to say it’s a completely different show from thirty-five years ago.
So if you’d like to take a break from taking chances with the wacky and the madcap that is the staple of fringe, please consider our more traditional show, about which the Indianapolis Arts Weekly NUVO raved:
“The chemistry between O’Brien and Ripp is as impeccable as their characterization, while the show’s pacing hits every beat as the action unfolds toward a moving climax. This delightful two-hander is simple theater at its finest. 5 of 5 stars!”
Laurence Ripp is a 37 year veteran of the Twin Cities theater scene with many shows under his belt, some of which being his own productions. A former radio announcer and commercial copywriter, Larry enjoys writing his own material and has produced a number of award winning short plays including: “Hans the Obscure”, the telling of three lesser known Hans Christian Andersen tales, and “The Twisted Grin”, a stage adaptation of the short stories of Donald Barthelme. He travels the upper Midwest as the “Baron of Bubble” delighting audiences young and old with his creations of bubbles the size of Volkswagens.
Whisper Into My Good Ear
July 19 — July 24, 2016
MLK Jr Memorial Library
901 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Show details and tickets