Feeling grand, baby.

Grey freezingness aside, it's a day for listening to Nina Simone. A good day. (And if you're not in the habit of blasting Dr. Simone on good days, get that way quick.)

Getting set for the final two performances of Michael Shannon's THE WRITERS' ROOM. Our indefatigueable director Richard Lavery is back in town, and our cast and crews have worked with serious dedication on this piece since June. This is the fourth stop on the mini-festival tour, and it's been great to see the piece develop into the tightly-wound little gem it is now.

Between the rehearsed reading and lots of work this week, I've been clearing out the house (kicking aside the chaff, making good-karma donations to charity, etc.). Last night I found a photo taken of the cast of DON'T: A GUIDE TO BELFAST IN ONE ACT. Stephen Bleakney and I co-wrote and -directed it at the John Hewitt in early 2007, on the last night of smoking in pubs. The company are all huddled around some long-gone graffiti in Exchange Place ("This is Belfast, not a warzone"), looking younger than four years ago should. And Mike Shannon's there as well - somehow Stephen and I finagled him into acting in it. (Soon after the picture was taken, the entire cast sang the theme to "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" in unison, while walking through the Cathedral Quarter. As you do.) I think when I see Mike standing next to the bigger-than-A0 poster of his play at the Opera House later today, I'll get an even better sense of how far we've come.

Now - off to the Baby Grand. See y'all soon.

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