Monday, October 6, 2008

I see England, I see France...

Olney Theatre's current production of Steve Martin's "The Underpants," which I have not seen, received a fairly weak review in today's Washington Post. It caught my eye because, on page one of the Post's style section, letting readers know what's inside, there is a picture, not of Olney's current production, but a picture of the Washington Stage Guild's hit production of the same play from 2003.

I got a giggle out of the mistake, then started to feel a bit bad for the three actors who appeared in that picture from 2003. I hope they don't get any blame for what appears to be a pretty lackluster production.

It reminds me of some trouble I had when I lived in Los Angeles. There was another actor there with my name, though he did not carry my first initial; I'm the only one pompous enough to do that. This other Scott Williams received one of my residual checks once (I never did get that 50 bucks! Thanks, SAG), and another time, I turned to the Arts section of the LA Times and, there on the front page, was a review so scathing it singed my eyebrows. I don't remember the play, it was an original, but the critic cut the production no slack. The worst thing in this debacle, the critic railed, was Scott Williams.

All this on the front page of the Arts section of the LA Times.

The review was continued on page six, which, thankfully, contained a production shot of Scott Williams. He was a 300 pound black man.

I could only hope that everyone who knew me took the time to read the whole article, which exonerated me. You see, I'm the whitest guy ever.

That's not the only other Scott Williams I have run across. I ran into another one while I was in grad school. He was a drag queen in Columbia, SC, and the talent portion of his contests were quite unique. While the other gentlemen all come out and did that annoying lip-sync thing to the latest Madonna tune, this guy, dressed to the nines in sequins, high heels, and huge hair, came out onstage, sat down, and played the violin.

He always won.

Come to think of it, that kid was black, too. I'm beginning to detect a pattern here...

I seem to have wandered off-course a bit. As I said, I have not seen the Olney production of "The Underpants," but I did see the Stage Guild production back in 2003. I loved it. So, to Nigel Reed, Michael Glenn, and Chris Davenport (at right), the three gents who are getting partial blame for the Olney show without actually being in it, let me ease your minds.

Back in 2003, your Underpants gave me great enjoyment.

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