Guess what – never mind the joke that your waiter is really an actor waiting for his next role. It’s a stereotype. Because it is our accountant who is an actor in real life. Or is the actor an accountant in real life? Anyway David, a cracker-jack accountant, comes to the house at tax time, and patiently asks the same questions of us every year. We stack up every paper and he sorts through the mound for the right numbers. But he has never broken into song while doing it.
He told us he frequently understudies for roles in Chicago theater. The other day he phoned to tell us he was scheduled to play one of the lead roles in a current local play, so we obligingly bought tickets (mention my name for a discount) and dutifully attended the show.
He was great! It was delightful! The play was a musical, an operetta actually, called "She Loves Me." There are very few spoken lines, they converse in song. I could follow the male singers, but although the women had splendid voices, I could not catch their lyrics. I now understand that it is the high range voice that eludes me (also holds true with tots' high-pitched chatter.) No loss, the acting defined the story while the laughter from the audience helped establish the mood.
It is so much fun to watch a performance where you know one of the characters personally. Why, I didn’t know he was that gallant, that charming, that handsome! And that his voice resonates with music.
Curtain calls to wild applause.
A theater official appears at our side and sternly tells Art that it is forbidden to take pictures of the show. An equity ruling, and did you take pictures? she asked, looking at this rather large camera hanging from his neck. Art had thoughtfully snapped pictures only during the raucous moments so that the shutter would not be heard, but somebody noticed, obviously. We kept assuring her that he took pictures only at the curtain call for a friend-actor. This mollified her somewhat, as she stood there scowling, but she didn’t – what? Confiscate the camera? Remove the disk? Smack his hand? Art has made his career on taking pictures he wasn’t supposed to take. This was a gift for the friend so he felt innocently justified. The day Art starts following the rules is the day he stops being a photographer. I do admit to being distracted by the camera; it breaks my absorption into the fairy tale in front of me.
Afterward, David’s friends assembled in the “ballroom” upstairs where celebratory wine was offered. I recognized a book buyer in the room and found that we both are clients of David, whose accountant persona was missing all night.
I look forward to next year’s tax time when I will encourage the accountant to bring the singing actor to the table with us. And yes, he loved the photos of himself on stage.