This year I spent my summer vacation attempting to complete production of the squirrel operetta which I started back in 2017 when financing began in earnest. It has been a trying last few weeks as I watched all my hard work go for naught.
Why this happened is a mystery that can be discussed for another time. Right now I want to thank the hard work of the crew and my family for all their support. I did everything to keep the cast happy but in-fighting, egos, and just general mayhem kept us from crossing the bright lights of that finish line.
My vision was sort of a cross between Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung and Equus, as both play’s central theme is religion, although I changed the focus onto Nugget the Horse. I also insisted that the nude scene be played naked as called by my star squirrel for the Equus script. We fought over this many times and the only way to keep him wearing the headpiece was encrusting the inside of the horse head with seeds and nuts using peanut butter as an adhesive. Unable to find a miniature Viking helmet for my second act, we decided to use a small Darth Vader helmet. To avoid confusion, the opening for the Darth Vader helmet was only large enough for the chipmunk of the cast to squeeze his head through. Thanks to hawks in the area, I had to resort to using understudies on a weekly basis, each having to learn the lines from scratch.
The final straw was twofold. My musical director, an accomplished name who I will leave unnamed here but who worked with some of the biggest names at Lincoln Center, was enthusiastic when I first shared my vision for this play. After he agreed to score the show, I sent him about twenty files of footage to work with. I heard nothing from him for months until I finally tracked him down. His answer? “Oh, man, I’m sorry, Bob. I thought you were joking about the whole thing. This is real?” That same day I went back to my home to learn that a black bear had trampled on my outdoor set, destroying the whole stage and two of my bird feeders. The final curtain came down.
I share with you an excerpt from, The Ring of the Nuttenberg. The other 14 hours of footage will be released if I see there is a public demand for it.