Friday, April 21, 2006

Building a mystery

I was going to finish my review of "Doubt" today, but after reading review after scathing review of "Three Days of Overrated, Overpaid Actors" and "The Threepenny Opera, Roundabout Style - Or, Brecht Would Just Love How Much Money We Threw At His Show About Poor People"... I felt I needed a palate-cleanser. Plus, I walked to work this morning with warm spring sun on my face and saw the most beautiful tulips on Park Avenue. I just don't feel that snarky.

People, I am in luuurve. I am dead gone over my costar, the aforementioned Hot guy. Nor is this the first time I have developed a raging crush on my leading man, I am ashamed to admit.
This crush has an interesting(?) twist - I still don't know, er, which team he bats for.

The evidence thus far:

1) He lives in Chelsea

2) He dresses well - that is, his clothes fit him well, his t-shirts are never loose-fitting and he is clearly in very good shape

3) He's a good dancer - his movements are noticeably confident and body-conscious. It's hard to describe, but I guess I can put it best by saying that I never noticed how my boyfriends in the past moved, except to note that one walked like a duck and another kind of loped along because he was so lanky

4) When we were talking about costumes one day, he mentioned as part of a joke the name of a very high-end designer of women's clothes that I would venture to say most straight men would not know

5) The only other person in the cast to whom he talks much is a guy who is quite clearly gay

On the other side of the balance:

1) He is constantly telling me how glad he is that I'm there and how much he enjoy spending time with me

2) He has had to leave in a rush at the end of rehearsal several times without saying a proper goodbye - he always apologizes to me the next day

3) He is constantly whispering in my ear, which - hello, distracting! - and touching me. A lot. Shoulder pokes, light arm punches, mock fights, impromptu neck massages, hugs, lingering hand hand-holding... Blowing me kisses (frankly I'm not sure which side of the ledger this belongs on). Last night I was having trouble finding my way offstage in the dark after finishing a scene with him, and wearing very long costume robes to boot. He already had me by the hand, but as he guided me along, he came up right alongside me, slipped one arm around my waist, and walked next to me, still holding my other hand. It was completely unnecessary - and wonderful.

4) I catch him watching me sometimes - and when I do, he gives me the sweetest smile

5) We've already gone out to get one drink together, after his repeated suggestions that we do so. Granted, not a thing happened, but we spent a couple of hours talking, during which time I found out about his family, his career, his apartment, his love of kids and dogs, but not even the slightest hint of his preferences. I dropped a couple of casual references to an ex-boyfriend, and to the parental pressures I've been feeling to get hitched, but from him - niente.

Looking back over what I've written, I realize this is less of a gay-vs.-straight list, and more of a gay-vs.-maybe-he-likes-me-too list. But this is the problem - my gaydar is usually pretty good, but clearly in this instance I am too blinded by luuurve to judge anything clearly. I'm also faced by the uncomfortable thought that if he is gay, or otherwise unavailable, all of this - the touching, the deliberate withholding of information about his love life - is part of his work in creating a great, believable onstage love relationship. If it is, it's manipulative and I will probably end up hurt and angry. I wish there were some way to figure this out without betraying too much or wrecking what could be a really lovely friendship. Truly. He's one of the kindest and most comforting people I've ever met. He doesn't make me nervous the way crushes sometimes can, and every time I see him we both break into these huge smiles. When we saw each other at an audition yesterday, we walked up close enough to kiss, and stood there just beaming at each other as we talked.

I keep reminding myself that I only have to get through another week or so of this - once the show ends, I'll know for sure where this is headed, if anywhere. I wish I could simply enjoy it for what it is right now - a marvelous flirtation that makes every moment of working together so joyful.

But to paraphrase from Women of Manhattan - a play by John Patrick Shanley that I find much more interesting than Doubt - at some point I want to come down off the balcony!


posted by Addy @ 4/21/2006 09:59:00 AM |


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