Changes to Tonight’s Playbill

Jon Methven announces several cast changes for this evening’s performance of Random Arrows: A Reality Broadway Musical.

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Second understudy Marsha Parker will replace Natalie Noon in the role of Bessie while Ms. Noon recovers from her injury. Theater patrons will recall that Ms. Noon was the original understudy to Carla Osborne, who is dead.

Fresh off his riveting Saturday night performance in which he played the entire third act with an arrow lodged in his neck, Ray McCallum is dead. He is replaced in the role of Rudy by his understudy’s understudy’s understudy, David Wiley.

Mezzanine Archers Number One, Four, and Thirteen have been terminated. Archers have been warned to keep it below the waist, preferably in the fleshy part of the thigh.

Broadway veteran Molly Ving has retired. Stage legends that cannot carry a tune whilst delivering a believable nude sex scene beneath whizzing projectiles maybe were not cut out for Broadway after all. She is replaced in the role of Trista by Devry Johnson, who will take any part she’s offered.

Audience members are encouraged not to cheer puncture wounds as it disrupts the actors’ performance. Don’t cheer missed arrows either. Don’t turn and look up at the mezzanine. Stay in your seat. Keep quiet. No cell phones. We mean it.

The woodwinds section of the orchestra pit has been replaced by an iPod until they learn to wear their goddamned helmets. We’ve heard for the last time you can’t wear a helmet while playing the flute. Tell that to Julliard graduate Mellissa Ling, who is dead.

Director John Mayhill, who pioneered reality Broadway Theater with his Tony Award winning hit, Random Fruit, has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the autopsies. Mr. Mayhill is working on his next musical, Random Bears.

Ron Meachum, staff medical technician, has quit, claiming he did not go to medical school to extract arrow shafts from wailing thespians. He is replaced by Millwood Dorn, who has played a doctor in numerous off-Broadway productions.

The plot has been dismantled. We don’t know exactly when, or who is responsible, or if it just evolved into random chaos as the actors were forced to improvise depending on who was impaled. Say what you will about the random violence of an arrow striking an actor mid-speech — you can never prepare your senses for it, and it’s near impossible not to let slip a slight chuckle. The longer the show goes without someone getting hit, the more nervous the orchestra becomes, and the faster they play as the entire stage turns into this massive paranoid “Jack in the Box” vaudeville. There are also costumes, and sweat. Plenty of sweat.

There will be several unplanned intermissions that will last more or less as long as they must. Guests are invited to intoxicate.


Photo from the UW Digital Collections

Jon Methven’s writing has appeared in The Awl, Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, New York Magazine, n+1 and The Morning News. His first novel, This is Your Captain Speaking, was published by Simon & Schuster. Find his work at JonMethven.com, or follow him on Twitter