It was my 17th birthday when the cast was announced for E.C. Glass High School's production of "Arsenic & Old Lace." And what a gift I got: the lead, playing Cary Grant's role as Mortimer Brewster. The cast was packed with my pals Strele, Donna Mae Moose, J.T. Thornhill and my girlfriend Beth Joyce.
As president of the Drama Club my senior year, I figure our teach Mrs. Fitchett likely felt obligated to cast me; and it didn't hurt that I fit the part. That, however, didn't make up for the fact that I possessed the acting prowess of Keanu Reeves.
I might have been dynamic, I managed to learn a heap of lines—and I was a trophy-earning success with high school and college forensics and public speaking—but I know now that I pretty much just sucked. Alas, live and learn. To this day, it remains among the most cherished experiences of those dastardly high school daze.Above, the full cast. Below, Mr. Brewster backstage.Mortimer onstage; and with Beth and Donna. Hmm, perhaps I should consider wearing pancake make-up again... After all, I'm not 17 anymore.Later in the school year, E.C. Glass produced a glorious version of "The Sound of Music." In previous years, I'd been part of the orchestra, but this time, I was determined to be onstage. I tried out for the role of Rolf, but since I can't sing for shit, I ended up as Admiral von Screiber, the idiot Nazi that lets the family head for the hills. With me is Butch Wright, a truly fine actor. I lost touch with him over the past decades. Good guy.