Capital Fringe 2014 Preview: ‘Everything I Do’ by John Becker

Everything I Do  Is…Complicated

Can you justify your existence? This is the question George Bernard Shaw felt should be put to every person every five years. A little harsh, but it does force one to reassess.

sixteen (18)

How about this: Why in God’s name would any rational person write a musical?

The answer, at least in my case, is complicated. First, I was under a curse.

Maybe not a curse, per se, but—well, you be the judge.

Here I was enjoying a fairly successful playwriting career and making arrangements for my parents 50th wedding anniversary while also helping them (along with my siblings) to move
from the home we’d all grown up in. My wife was pregnant with our third child.

My father hadn’t been feeling well, so we insisted on taking him to the hospital. Long story short, it wound up being cancer. As I drove home alone up Georgia Avenue at midnight, my wife called in hysterics to tell me our two year old daughter was barely breathing and I had to get her to an emergency room immediately. I stomped on the gas pedal, numb, mind and heart both racing.

Before long, I was in an ambulance, never allowing my daughter to leave my arms. Siren shrieking, traffic parting, we spun into the second hospital of the night.

A medical team worked on my daughter while I held her. After vomiting the first few rounds of medicine, they were able to restore an acceptable oxygen intake.

I curled up with her in a small, oxygenated tent and watched her fall asleep.

She recovered.

One month later, my father was in deeper decline, and I (and my siblings) spent most of my time between hospitals and trying to help sell my parents’ house. While surrounded by excited children—readying for our annual Halloween party—my wife was due home any minute from her pregnancy check-up. She called, again in tears.

We had lost our baby.

Several days before Christmas, my father passed away.

This wasn’t the end of the curse, but you get the idea.

As everything slowly, painfully began to right itself, I decided to do everything I’d ever wanted to do.

Thus my first musical, Everything I Do, loosely adapted from Shaw’s Man and Superman, a play I’d literally kept stuffed in my back pocket throughout my wonky teenage years.

Though it hardly sounds like the stuff of comedy, and crazier yet a musical comedy, that’s what it’s become. Or at least a comedy with strong dramatic elements.

George Bernard Shaw may or may not feel that Everything I Do justifies my existence, but I can say that our cast and crew have had a wonderful time with this show, and we hope our audiences will laugh as often as we have in rehearsals!

 Atlas Performing Arts Center Lang Theatre-1333 H Street NE, in  Washington, DC 

7/10/14 @6:00 pm
7/15/14 @8:00 pm
7/19/14 @8:00 pm
7/24/14 @6:00 pm  
7/26/14 @8:45 pm




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