Archikulture Digest

Theatre Tailgate #1 – “The 39 Steps”

Theatre Tailgate #1 – “The 39 Steps”

Conceived and proofread by Brian Feldman

Brian Feldman Projects

September 19, 2010

Parking lot of the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre</strong>

I tailgated once at a Milwaukee Brewers game and vaguely remember the 5th and 6th innings – something about hitting a ball and running in circles. Tailgating is the rage today, at least for big sporting events – it gives the fans something to do, spreads out traffic flow, and you have a change for a better meal than the $10 hot dog available in the stands. Theater normally doesn’t operate that way, we typically dine at elegant restaurants on caviar and endangered fish, our limousines drop us at the door and wait discreetly behind the loading dock, and we enjoy elegant cocktails at the bar, poured by a man in a white tuxedo while a chanteuse in a low cut dress freshens up the complementary macadamia nuts. But that’s not life in the parking lot.

“Tailgating, Feldman Style”

Feldman has picked up a folding tent like the ones you see at art festivals, and plopped it down just outside the shady part of the Shakespeare parking lot. In the background, a British-sounding voice narrates the novel version of John Buchan’s novel “The 39 Steps.” A few friends gather. Terry Olson and his wife drop by, and a lively discussion of present and future events flows. Thomas Thorspecken unveils a new mural later this week, someone who has already seen “The 39 Steps” reveals the cliffhanger ending, and a Lynx driver asks if the theatre is open so he can drop off his elderly charge. Hummus and mini pitas are passed around, and bottled water is consumed openly. Where are the vegan hot dogs, the face paint, the portable TV’s with endless preshow commentary? That lies in the future – Theatre Tailgating is a still a weak challenger to Fringe Beer Tent Hanging Out or Cast Party Debauchery, but it has a future. Today was a small start, but this could be the Next Big Thing: Look for future tail gates at Mad Cow and other local venues. Bring your own chair, something to eat and some friendly gossip. And if you don’t have face paint, an old T-shirt from a previous production will do for now.

For more information on Brian Feldman Projects, please visit</em>

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