Thursday, December 27, 2012

There was this auto repair place on I-55...

For two weekends in January, 2013,  First Run Theatre will stage my play. It's a one-act called "Open Sundays, All Makes Repaired." The dates are Friday thru Sunday, Jan. 11, 12, 13 and 18, 19, 20. The story involves two strangers with conflicting agendas who meet in a seedy garage on I-55.

The real story, however, began back in the summer of 1991. My son, Gregg, and I had driven to Memphis, where he took SAT tests to be admitted to the U. of Memphis. It was a hot weekend in Memphis, laced with thunderstorms and high humidity. He took the exams, I walked around the campus in the city, then we went to a movie. Big mistake. Kevin Costner as "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves." Actually Kevin Costner as Kevin Costner, dressed in his cute outfit. The movie was saved by Alan Rickman who, I later learned, had some of his best scenes edited out because Kevin was afraid Alan was going to steal the movie. It should have been stolen and dumped into the Mississippi.

But I digress. That was a Saturday. We headed back to St. Louis on Sunday. We were in my 1988 Mazda RX-7 convertible. One of the reasons I bought it was that it reminded me of the 1960 Corvette I once owned. Anyway,  Gregg was driving. We hadn't been out of Memphis more than an hour, tooling north on I-55, when the engine let loose with an awful noise and the temperature gauge shot up a few seconds later. We pulled over. I'm not very capable when it comes to automobiles. I know how to open the hood. Which I did and saw smoke. At least I thought it was smoke, realized it was steam, then saw that one of the hoses had broken loose.

We hitch-hiked to a garage not far up the highway. Looking around the garage, while waiting for someone to take us to the car, I wondered: "What if...." From there it was, "What if two guys meet... one headed south, one headed north, both of them on an urgent mission, and they both need their cars repaired 'right now.'"

That became "Open Sundays, All Makes Repaired." It's been through a couple of severe rewrites since I first wrote it a few years ago. First Run Theatre chose it as one of the plays for their new season. My play appears on the same bill with another one-act, "The Predicament" by Patrick Conley, a very funny comedy about the Irish, the IRA, and a group of men who take matters into their own hands.

I am fortunate to have a strong cast, and an excellent director in Donna Nelson. Her list of credentials is very impressive and she has effectively brought my play to life. The productions take place in the theater at DeSmet High School on North Ballas Road. I hope you make the time to see both of these plays, and support local theatre. You can click on this link for more information.      About performances and tickets


  1. You are so right about Alan Rickman. He was the ONLY good thing about that movie, and he was brilliant. Rickman almost eclipsed Tom Selleck in "Quigley Down Under." Almost.

  2. Wonderful, Gerry! Checking my schedule...

  3. Gerry, I'm glad to learn that your play will be up on its feet before a live audience, which it richly deserves. We first read this play at my NYC apartment with a group of actors from a class I was in. That was sometime in the early 90's. I read a much later, and much corrected, version last year and enjoyed it more -- your growth as a writer and playwright were very much in evidence. I wish I could attend this staging. Break a leg, breadk two legs. God bless...Jim