Friday night Teresa and I went to Trustus which is a small local theater known for its emphasis on productions that are entertaining, yet relatively avant- garde. The play was Collected Stories by Donald Margulies and directed by Milena Herring. We aren’t reliable patrons for the arts in Columbia, South Carolina, but we both enjoy the Trustus experience with its comfy chairs and intimate surroundings. Adult beverages are available, and I bought a Corona Light at the bar simply because the woman in line ahead of me bought one. I’m also an unreliable beer drinker. When we found our seats, I was delighted to find the free popcorn baskets were still conveniently placed for our happy consumption, and I sat back with popcorn and beer to enjoy the play.
Not so fast my friend, as Lee Corso of Espn says. As Teresa and I took turns munching on the popcorn, an attractive woman walked over to us and said, “Oh Look! It’s Boo Radley!” I must have looked surprised when she and Teresa laughed together at the remark. The woman looked familiar, but I didn’t know who she was.
Teresa spoke up at that moment and said, “This is Melina Herring who’s directing the play tonight.” I made an appropriate response to that news flash and told her how much we were looking forward to the play. “Why Boo Radley?” I asked.
She was still laughing at her own joke. “Because whenever we go out with Teresa, she always says she has a partner who’s in Texas on family business. The invisible partner. Boo Radley. As a matter of fact, I think I remember someone asking Teresa if she’d considered the possibility you’d left her?”
Normally I would be flattered by a comparison to a character in my favorite novel To Kill a Mockingbird, but maybe Boo Radley wouldn’t be my first choice. I picture myself as a Scout-Atticus combo on my better days and now had to reconsider my self perception versus the perceptions of others regarding self. I added a twinge of guilt to this observation and felt like I did when I was caught eating Christmas candy before Christmas. Strangely unsettling. I’d been too long gone.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln – how was the play?
I am giving it a two thumbs up. The dynamics between the two actresses playing the older author and her successful protegé were excellent, writing fabulous, and of course, directed beautifully by the woman who called me Boo Radley.