Once upon a time, many years ago, in the far off kingdom of Frankenmuth, Michigan, there was a troupe of merry players (well, except me, I was famously not so merry) called the Fischer Troupe (since we were performing at the historic (and tiny) Fischer Opera Haus).
It was a cast of 4 women and 4 men (although the first year we also had dancers as well); and mostly we did Gay 90s Revues, although some years we did melodrama, and a Ragtime Revue in rotation with the basic Gay 90s revue.
It was a ton of work and so much f*cking fun.
I was the comedic lead and played opposite Jeff Dove.
For most of the years we performed, I loathed Jeff Dove.
His personal hygiene was almost non-existent.
He pretty much couldn’t sing. (He was constantly being told “talk the song, Jeff”.)
And he could (admittedly) be pretty hilarious onstage because he was fearless (part of his never-ending ego).
The first time I met him, he was wearing a skin-tight t-shirt, and a pair of white corduroy pants with a purple velvet hand sewn onto the crotch (as if reaching from behind to cup his balls); and he walked around like he had a Christmas tree hung on the front of him.
I was not impressed.
And when we were together onstage, sparks would fly.
When I first got into the troupe, it was clear that the director, Ron Kieft, didn’t think much of me and didn’t know what to do with me. So he gave me a number with Jeff and told us to go off and work on it.
Sadly, I don’t remember what it was – Man on the Flying Trapeze and something else.
We came back and performed it for him and nailed it; and Ron understood that he needed to rethink my role in the show; and the rest is history.
At least part of this fat old lady’s history.