I am visiting Chicago for the Memorial Service of my first great theater teacher, Robin Bennett. This morning I met her daughter Jenny and Jenny’s partner for breakfast. When I met them Jenny handed me the copy of the Riverside Edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare that my school had won when we took our ensemble developed “Songs and Sonnets” to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s High School Festival in 1988, pictured here. Apparently Robin had wanted me to have it. The place we went to breakfast was an Irish pub type place called Hackney’s I believe, with lots of carved wood and ketchup bottles on the tables. It was full of people in Chicago Cubs regalia, who were headed to a football game. During the meal, the Riverside sat on the table, but I had set my black leather gloves down on top of it, obscuring the title. While we were eating, not one but TWO waitresses stopped by the table, guessed correctly what the book was based on familiarity with the decor on the binding (the title was obscured remember), and voiced their enthusiasm for its contents. Can’t really picture this happening in another American city. Although I suppose we should make some allowances for the fact that the spirit of Robin Bennett was probably working her voodoo on the waitresses to make sure they noticed.
Chicago is a theater town. And how.
Andrew Wood Acting Studio