THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Actor-Writer-Director David Drake Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
08 May 2013


The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, original production


"In lieu of dinner, I bought a standing-room ticket for Search while it was still in previews at the Plymouth Theatre. Stood along the railing in the back, in a pair of tap shoes (taps removed; my only 'good' shoes to wear to work). They were wet because it had been raining that autumn night in 1985. But once Lily Tomlin took the stage, I felt no discomfort. As a little kid, I'd grown up with Lily doing characters on TV's 'Laugh-In.' The first LP I'd ever bought at age nine was 'Lily Tomlin: This is a Recording.' Clearly a fan, I was not prepared for her power in person. The way she glided in and out of each character — and breaking the fourth wall in character — was without doubt awe-inspiring. I'd never seen any one do that on stage before. Unbeknownst to me at the time, in my psyche and imagination that night, Lily set the standard for a kind of solo performance work I would one day venture out to create myself."