Tonite I watched a preview performance of FINKS, opening this Saturday evening.  It’s sold out.  No doubt!  😉 This accomplished cast, headed by French Stewart, offers an evening of American Exceptionalism at its darkest.  The Black List is among our more embarrassing historical footnotes; post WW II, as American artists confronted American political bigotry.  FINKS will play in repertory with OPPENHEIMER, which engages the creation and deployment of nuclear power as a weapon against humanity.

I can’t imagine any contemporary actor being unmoved by FINKS.  It is riveting, a Sophie’s Choice: Either cooperate with HUAC…or no longer work.  Accomplished careers were shattered; lifelong friendships were betrayed and destroyed.  I suspect that many ‘civilians’ will find resonance with our reality right now.  The Confrontation of self-interest with principle:  “Which side are you on?”

I was engaged from the outset.  But I was stunned by French’s work late in the 2nd Act.  It was as tho his Truth had reached into my chest…and squeezed my heart. I hope you’ll choose to attend. This is memorable theater. This is a performance you’ll not want to miss.

As usual, a synchronicity further connects me to FINKS.  In the late 70’s I’d purchased a two bedroom co-op on Central Park West, leaving behind my beloved NYC loft existence; I wanted to OWN a home in NYC.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar occupied one of the penthouses, and Tony Brown, another.  12 B. 444 Central Park West.  My two bedroom overlooked Central Park, the East Side to the east and the TriBoro Bridge to the north. Tits!

This building enjoyed a history.  It had once been known as Little Moscow…because so many of its units were occupied by accomplished artists included in the Black Lists.  I only learned of that several years later, when filming a MOW for NBC in Atlanta, FOR LADIES ONLY.  I was portraying a male stripper…probably my zenith as a sexual object. 😉  One of our stars, Gregory Harrison was visited in Atlanta by his friend, Dinah Manoff. I learned that she had grown up in that same building.  She remembered my doorman, still on the job.  Dinah’s parents were Lee Grant and Arnold Manoff.  Both were referenced by name, tonite in FINKS.

Extend yourselves, LA theater goers.  ROGUE MACHINE THEATRE now exists in Venice.  Our brand still represents; much like KFC, we still do THEATRE right!  Book a reservation and see FINKS…and afterwards, knowing that you got lucky, return to see OPPENHEIMER.

Goddamn, I am so proud of our theater and the art we generate!

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