Scene It

Scene It

Posted by: Lee Mickus at 02/04/2013 01:49 PM

Scenemakers board member
Lee Mickus

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to attend the Goodman Scenemakers’ Cocktails & Cacti event, which included a private food-and-drink-filled pre-show reception with the director, a ticket to Other Desert Cities and a post-show meet and greet with the cast (filled with more food and drinks). It was a great evening and I was there to report how everything went down. First, the reception was held in one of the Goodman’s actual rehearsal rooms, which was adorned with very cute decorations for the occasion—miniature cacti on each table, sketches of the actual costume designs on the wall, and a mockup of the set, which was fantastic to see in miniature before experiencing the full-scale version in person later that night. The director, Henry Wishcamper, circulated throughout the reception and gave a short talk on his vision of the play before taking questions from the audience. Other Goodman artistic staff, including Casting Director Adam Belcuore and Playwright-in-Residence Seth Bockley, were also present for the bustling reception, which was fun because I was able to quiz them on their upcoming projects and other behind-the-scenes info.

Director Henry Wishcamper   

After chowing down on some great food—including all kinds of salsa, fresh guacamole, cheese, fruit, cookies, mini meatballs, small sandwiches, vegetables and dessert—it was on to the show. As promised, the show was a thought-provoking drama/comedy on family interactions. Since I had already seen the set model and heard so much about the production, I was looking forward to the live show; it did not disappoint. From my second-row seats I followed all the family interactions with avid attention. I drooled over the mid-century modern furnishings of the set, and kept thinking “Where can I buy that couch?” And the costumes were just as divine—the cobalt-blue caftan the play’s matriarch was wearing was to die for. Plus, much of the play really hit home for me, as the onstage parents in the play are about the same age as my parents, and many of the family’s struggles were similar to my own. 

   Guests enjoying Cocktails and Cacti

After the show it was back up to the Polk Rehearsal Room to meet the cast and chow down on (more) food and drinks. I cornered them to pick their brains about the play; they were very gracious to stay and answer lots of questions from me and my fellow theater patrons. It was a very intimate gathering, which allowed for one-on-one interactions with the artists; that was a great plus. And to be back stage at the Goodman, prowling the halls filled with signed cast posters gave this theater geek a big thrill.

Lee Mickus, Scenemaker Board member, and over 20 year Goodman subscriber

Interested in learning more about the Scenemakers? You can learn more about this dynamic group here or email

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