Seeing Bob again was a delight. And, coincidentally, we learned he was a tremendous Moliere fan, having studied theatre in France and translated many of Moliere's plays. We had been thinking about offering some Moliere - a taste of classic French theatre that has so many similarities and differences with Shakespeare. And suddenly we had an expert Moliere director and translator, and one who was looking for a good excuse to spend more time near his grandkids in Marin.
We talked about doing one of the popular comedies, but we were mostly keen to have Bob do something that would really turn him on. So when he suggested a play that is not chock full of laughs, one that is more philosophical and that has no real ending, one with a statue that comes to life and a hell-swallowing pit, of course we were thrilled to tackle something that seemed like a great challenge. Bob's idea was that each act of the five act play would be presented in a slightly different acting style: romance, street theatre, melodrama, etc. Angie Paton, Bob's wonderfully talented wife, sat in on most if not all rehearsals and was a tremendous presence. (My kids recognized her from Adam Sandler's The Wedding Singer and American Pie, but we knew her as an astonishing lead actress at theatres like Berkeley Rep.)