His Play Write, My Summer 2013 Play Wrong!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Terrence McNally _Thomas KirdahlDuring the Summer last year my husband and I were visiting with acquaintances near the small town of New Hope, Pennsylvania. Passing the historic Bucks County Playhouse, our host mentioned their current production of Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally – I enthusiastically told my day’s companions that I and my parents before me were huge McNally fans and that in fact, I believe I might have once met this genius writer at a Philadelphia event with my Father. All agreed it would be a wonderful idea to see his latest production but time probably would not allow us that opportunity as the play only ran for a few more days. Nothing unusual so far but as with so much in my REALLY serendipitous and always interesting life there is a caveat to this seemingly simple and mundane occurrence.

Just a few days later I found myself attending a meeting with the acquaintance of myself and my husband that had previously suggested we all see the play. As we walked to dinner where the plan was to discuss possibilities for my husband and my new venture, my companion realized we were quite near the Playhouse. We strolled past the billboard in front where I fawned over the play’s announcement – again expressing my admiration for Mr. McNally and the star, Tyne Daly. On this very hot East Coast evening in very high heels I was led by my evening’s host down toward the small gathering of the play’s professionals and arriving theater goers. It seemed [now and for future discussions a bit odd] that my host had previously met Thomas Kirdahy who apparently was involved in the play’s production in a very prominent way and as such introduced me  to this extremely charming man – my introduction led to questions and after discussing my studies and family, the chat turned to my planned books and blog. Mr. Kirdahy seemed interested and of course, I was only too eager to suggest he write down my contact information and take a look – as you are doing right now – at my blog essays. I was thrilled that he agreed and was careful to note the exact title of my work and then there was a small discussion that maybe my work could be a play someday along with publisher’s suggested plan for a movie. Oh my, I was thrilled and took the offer of free lemonade the playhouse was serving while being both beaming and excited.

Melting in that evening’s extreme heat and now anxious to both not wear out our welcome and also get this Friday night’s dinner meeting completed, I agreed to sit for a moment more at the the table where the play’s principals were waiting for curtain call outside – it was then that my “play wrong” faux paus occurred – I received a second introduction that went like this: while still standing I heard, “Tereza, this is Terrence“. I leaned over to shake the kind looking gentleman’s hand saying “Nice to meet you, what do you do?” Graciously my new acquaintance answered “I write plays” and then as I sat down said, “That must be interesting“. Yes I did – I said that to a man I have admired for many years and for some reason my dinner companion  – which I would have done if visa verse – did not take it upon himself to gently prod by reminding me that this was Mr. McNally [more in future writings about my later concluded reasons for that]. It does get worse my dear readers – after this ridiculous totally unexceptionable social misstep, I began to chatter away about my own writing – actually suggesting that Mr. McNally might enjoy reading what was then my most recent blog essay titled “My Special Relationship with Justice Scalia” – it was obvious we were both probably political Liberals and so there were a few guffaws about that essays title. Still oblivious we bid farewell and walked to our dinner reserved restaurant. Only then did it dawn on me that I had just met one of my favorite writers – an award winning and quite heroic gentleman. Oh my G-d, Oh my G-d, Oh my G-d … yes indeed that was my moment of  “I can not believe I did that”  happening.

There is a rather sweet follow up to this debacle. The next day I found that a special friend of mine and his husband were in fact seeing that evening’s production of this play. The day after my friend posted on Facebook photos of himself with Mr. McNally and Mr. Kirdahy and Tyne Daly – the play’s star – all of whom my wonderful friend and his husband seem very well acquainted with. Another Oh moment then as I realized I did in fact know that Mr. McNally and Mr. Kirdahy were married – having read that in the New York Times, etc.. Well now – I am fond of saying that I don’t do embarrassment – no that feeling is not in my emotional repartee. My life instead consists of realizations when wrong or offending another, that sincere apology is required, a life correction one might say is to be pursued as a regretful action might have been my mistaken course. With this in mind, I am thinking of just the right gift and note to send the couple of McNally and Kirdahy as explanation and apology for that hot Bucks County evening’s “can not believe I said that” moment!

 

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