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Understudy

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Sara Brady: B | Grade It Now!
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Waiting in the Wings

Julia and Tom are at what looks like Sister Incommunicata's School for the Deaf's junior-class production of Three on a Match. Which seems to be a whole show about the "La Marseillaise" scene in Casablanca? Julia mutters to Tom, "It's the biggest piece of junk we've ever written." Yet, Julia. Yet. After the show concludes with seven perfunctory seconds of applause, the director announces that the composer and librettist are in the audience and Tom gets up to address the crowd. He's having a very extroverted day, no? He is totally going to nail Sam on this public-adoration high he has going. Tom makes a little speech about his partnership with Julia and how they get each other gifts on their anniversary, "just like a real husband and wife," and holds up an apron signed by the cast and crew. Julia, reminded that she's a faithless lust beast, has had enough of breathing auditorium air and breaks for the exit.

Randy Cobra. Rock star. He asks Eileen if Rebecca Duvall is related to Robert Duvall, "'cause I love that guy." He says someone tried to make a show out of his songs once, so maybe he's supposed to be the ghost of Freddie Mercury, and says it didn't work because "those people are insane." Eileen gently asserts that she's not insane, and that when a show hits, the possibility for profit is huge. (Well...if you're Disney. Or ABBA.) Randy says he has more money than he needs, partially due to some way-illegal stuff with Nick (human trafficking? Nigerian email scams? Selling clean blood to junkies?) which is exactly what Eileen wants to hear. The actor playing Randy, incidentally, was in the movie version of A Chorus Line. And I'm shocked, SHOCKED that no one has made a "Dance ten, looks three" joke about Karen yet. Except that she can't dance.

Ivy and Karen are walking through Times Square for the second time in a few days, which is more than most New Yorkers can endure (I did it in March, and I won't go back till the odor of the M&Ms store has faded from my sense memory), discussing how Karen is basically a tall, pretty prop for Derek to move around the stage. Ivy refrains from mentioning that when he does that in bed, it's awesome. Instead she harps on about how "they" did that to Marilyn too, "just expected her to be there, look gorgeous, and do whatever she was told. She hated it." You know, to do the job they were paying her for. THE HORROR. Karen moans about how she's only an understudy, and Ivy starts stoking the fires of rebellion, knowing that she'll benefit from all of Derek's frustration when he comes home and wants to actually tie his leading actress to the headboard and have his way with her.

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