Bayonets of Thankst: The Launching Of A Theatrical Colossus

"Richard, I've been going over these invoices..." I said, shuffling through page after page of yellow-hued carbon copies from various supply vendors.

"Yeah?" Rick Kunzi replied, his tone challenging yet careless, even over the phone. "And?"

"Well, I mean... '18 buckets of greasepaint' and '1.5 cords of dynamite'? Like... what is all this?"

"Hey, it's the price of doing business when you're off-Broadway, Turkey-Lurkey," he said with the confidence of a man who has clearly been indulging his greasepaint-tooth.

"No, this is the price of doing business with NASA," I replied. "We're artfully marginalizing the biggest bloodbath in the country's history, not building cosmic toilets here."

"Says you," Rick said, biting into an apple he had apparently procured.

"Hey, wait a sec..." With a frown, I began flipping through the stack of receipts. "Is that an apple you're eating?"

"Um..." he said, his mouth clearly full of one of nature's more crunchable fruits.

"That wouldn't happen to be an apple from 'Famous Frank's Famous Fruit' out of Orange County, CA, would it?" I asked, finding the massive bill of lading I'd been looking for. The numbers written in the form's columns were so large that I could not comprehend them.

"Um... no?" Rick said, attempting to disguise the apple he was clearly eating with a less-aggressive chewing-pattern.

"Rick, why on earth did we order two cases of mangoes? There aren't even any mangoes called for in the script." 

Here there was a pause and then the muted noise of what sounded like a basketball being inflated by a hand-operated air pump.

"Right?" I asked again.

"Hang on a sec..." he said, his voice trailing off as the sound of metal-meeting-concrete could be heard over the line. "Oh, goddammit..." He sounded like he was now across the room from his phone.

"Wait - are there!?"

There was a rustle of... was it fallen leaves? Then the sound of what I can only describe as a Jenga tower collapsing. With a sharp exhale into the mouthpiece, his voice returned, now startlingly close. 

"Well, Adam was concerned about his B9 folate levels-"

"This is unbelievable..." I sighed, massaging the bridge of my nose as my now chronic headache returned.

"Hey man, rewrites happen in this business - you just gotta learn to let it go! 'Kill your darlings' - isn't that the phrase? Or a phrase, at the very least?"

"Yes, Rick - 'kill' your darlings - don't choke them with pulpy tropicals."

"You sound stressed, J - you getting enough folate these days?"

"Uh, dare I ask you about this bill from something called 'Nuts For Bolts' in which we have requested approximately three square miles of muslin?"

"Yeah, well... that's sort of on a need-to-know basis, you know?"

"No! No, I don't know, that's the point! And I'm really needing to, Rick - I'm needing-to-know."

"Well, if you want a delicious Civil War musical comedy, you gotta break some eggs, right?" He sounded wounded. And slightly disappointed.

"That's just another phrase, Rick! You think I don't see the receipt for Bartlett's Familiar Quotations- it's right here!"

"I thought we cancelled the Bartletts and went with D'Anjous..." he murmured. "Well, I'll definitely have to call Frank's about that."

"It's hardcover, Rick - why!?"

* * *

Ah, show business!

So, in case you've somehow not heard, we're doing a play, you sons-of-bitches! And it starts this week! 

Yes, after all this time, the dream comes to life like a stovepipe hat-wearing Frankenstein monster, fully prepared to entertain with its charming bluegrass numbers and frighten the local peasantry with its gruesome murders. (Note to self: don't use the brain of a known-murderer the next time we make a musical.)

Here's the scoop: this dirigible launches tomorrow, people - and I expect to see you all there. This is complicated in that I will not be in New York until the Saturday shows, but I still expect you to be there, if only so you can send me pictures - you've all got my number, right? 

Anyway, for a run at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival that began as five shows, we've now sold some out and have been gifted with two (2) extensions. No one will be left behind here - if you want to experience the majesty of Gettysburg's darkest hour and are craving some low-key duck-puppetry, then you shall have it.

While I man the Bayonets phone-bank in Detroit and Adam Barnosky mans the pilot wheel of ourBayonets-themed riverboat casino, Rick informs us from his offices in Manhattan that this cast and crew are putting together a performance that will shake the very foundations of the musical theatre world. When not running lines and blocking what are undoubtedly classic pratfalls, these beautiful people are running wind-sprints and sitting in bathtubs full of ice in order to prepare their minds and bodies for the rigors of giving it everything they have. For you!

And speaking of you, let us offer you, the gentle reader, what we like to call 'Bayonets of Thankst' for your continued support and patronage while we set to the task of burning out the footlights with what I can only humbly describe as "the Greatest Stage Production the World Has Ever Seen."

I will see you there - mangoes will apparently be available in the lobby.