Friday, June 04, 2004


Let there be Leah!

This is not an official part of the story, just a fun reminiscence...

As I've said, Leah spent a good portion of 1992 being shuttled back and forth between her mom in Tacoma and her Dad in California. When she was out of town, her part would be played by Katy, or Alexis, or a couple of times by Gyeni. But when Leah was home, the part was hers, no question.

Now, we gave Leah no end of shit over the stuff that would come out of her mouth. Once, some of us were at the beach, picking up rocks and watching the crabs scuttle out from underneath. Leah, bless her, asked us, "do they walk sideways or are their heads in the wrong place?"

Then there were this pair of shoes she had, called "Clicks." Well, somehow she got that confused with a certain sexual term that she had heard but never understood, and referred to these shoes as "Clits." Lots of jokes about "clits on my feet.

Then there was the stuff that would issue forth from her mouth late at night, as I'd be driving her home and she was falling asleep in the car, when she would start muttering about "the carrots with the stringy stuff, and the teeth were all around me." Even she didn't know where the hell that came from.

But despite all that, it was understood; you mess with Leah, you would have a whole theater full of big brothers coming down on you.

So when we found out that Leah's Dad was letting her move back up to Tacoma, it was big news. And what, I wondered, could we do to make it even more special?

So I came up with a plan; me and Chris, at the end of the month, would take a weekend, drive down to California, and bring her back ourselves.

It was going to be a big deal. EVERYBODY in the cast and audience knew Leah. We all wanted her back. We were even going to call the theater from California to give updates.

Unfortunately, almost as soon as I had the idea, other people wanted in. "Can I come? Can I come?" Pretty soon, at least seven or eight other guys had pledged to come along in my five-seater car. Where would Leah sit?

Then I heard from Leah herself. She didn't want to wait til the end of the month. Her dad had given her the money for a Greyhound, and she wanted to come up NOW.

So she came home. Privately, I was a bit relieved at not having to find out whether my '86 Hyundai would survive the trip. Not to mention having to spend an entire weekend in that car with six teenagers. We came up with a new surprise.

Only me and Mike knew that Leah was back. So we snuck her into the theater and told her to hide in one of the stalls in the ladies room.

Chris was totally oblivious, having been at college all week. But as midnight approached, he was becoming very vocally hysterical about our lack of a Magenta. I told him that one of Dagmar's friends was playing the part.

Dagmar almost blew the ruse a few minutes later. She had seen us smuggling Leah in, and when Chris asked her if she would play Magenta, she innocently asked, "Isn't Leah here?" I stood behind Chris and frantically shook my head, mouthing "play along," to Dagmar. "Oh, right," she corrected herself. "My friend is playing Magenta."

The show started, and in the darkness we snuck Leah into the theater, into the hallway behind the screen. Chris was panicking now, convinced he would have to do the Time Warp with no Magenta. He did his part of "Over At The Frankenstein Place," then began asking girls in the audience if they could play Magenta, before I ushered him back to the stage for the next scene.

The anguish was visible on Chris' face as he admitted Brad and Janet into the castle. He perfunctorily exchanged the dialogue with Brad and Janet, right up until Janet's line, "Lucky him."

Suddenly, Leah emerged from the hallway, putting gusto into her line, "you're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're ALL LUCKY!"

you're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're ALL LUCKY!

The applause was deafening. The look on Chris' face was priceless. Don't believe me? Here it is:

Chris, getting got good

Leah eventually met a guy named Boris and they became Deadheads, and later Phishheads. I think she eventually settled down in Southern California, though I know she drifts around. Leah Cox, I hope you Google yourself and find this page, and know how much we all love you.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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