I received a casting call last week.
Hey, I was as surprised as anybody. I was minding my own business at the computer when the request came in asking if I would perform in a starring role.
I didn’t hesitate. These opportunities don’t come your way every day.
Maybe you’ve heard of the production? “The Three Bears.”
I was offered the part of Goldilocks. Imagine. Me, a brunette. And at my age. I always pictured Goldilocks younger. And shorter. And thinner. Oh well, the things they can do with makeup and special effects these days.
Anyway, it was an off-Broadway production. Way off. Way, way, way, way, way off. It was so off-Broadway that it was in our front room.
So I walked over to the set and saw that the cast and crew (you do double duty when there are only a few of you) already had all the props in place. The wooden play table has been set with three plastic plates for porridge. Two small chairs and a little red rocker were lined up, and two love seats were designated as the beds.
The cast and crew looked young, as in younger than age 4. But, clearly, they knew their stuff.
“Do you know your part, Grandma?”
“I think so,” I said. “This is the one where the girl goes in a stranger’s house uninvited, eats their food, sits in their chairs, falls asleep in a bed, then the bears come home and find her, and she runs away screaming.”
“That’s it!” They were equal parts amazed and delighted that I was familiar with the story.
It was a family-friendly production — something hard to find these days. The only strong language was from Papa Bear, who preceded his every line with an emphatic “HMPF!” That’s a standard Papa Bear line in one of their Three Bears books and has become a favorite. There was no nudity either, as long as you didn’t count the brief intermission where we changed their baby sister’s stinky diaper.
I knew I wasn’t the first one asked to play this part, nor would I be the last. I’m not the only grandma in town. But that’s showbiz, isn’t it? You’re only as good as your last performance. HMPF!
Any chance of a callback would depend on a grand finish. When the two bears (they played multiple roles) woke me up, I, Goldilocks sprung from the loveseat, jumped over the back of it (a feat these legs and this back had not done in years) and ran from the room screaming and waving my arms wildly.
The finale was well received. It wasn’t just a standing O, they started running and screaming behind me. It was like Goldilocks being chased by the paparazzi.
When the dust settled, one of them said, “Let’s do it again, Grandma. You know, the part where Goldilocks wakes up and runs wild.”
We may take this show from the front room on the road — now selling tickets for seats in the backyard.
Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.