The Rude Mechanicals ran a workshop performance of some of a new and as yet unnamed piece last Friday at their Off Center stage behind Joe's Bakery in east Austin. They charged nothing to attend the single staging, but prospective attendees had to sign up through an on-line service for the gratis tickets. All available seats were reserved well ahead of time.
The printed program was enigmatic, a single sheet with unexplained designs thrust into the Rudes' generic promo program. The cheerful woman onstage assured us that the Rudes looked forward to our feedback to the staging, so tentative in nature that it didn't yet have a real title. "We've had only one tech rehearsal, so it may be a bit rough." She pointed to a low table to our left, along the wall. "But we have cupcakes for you afterwards, and there are plenty of them! And remember, it's free!"
Was this don't-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you? Probably not, since the evening had been publicized by e-mail blast to the Rudes' devotees. After 50 minutes, when the action had stopped abruptly and without further communication from the company, the devotees descended upon the goodies. I scored a delicious maple-flavored concoction with towering cream swirls, the consumption of which prevented me from scratching my head in puzzlement.