For Tracy Hostmyer and Bryan Beckstrand, a welcome mix of generations keeps things interesting in Good Company’s ‘Months on End’
UPDATED 8 p.m. Jan. 7: The opening of “Months on End” has been postponed until Thursday, Jan. 13, because of Covid-19. It was originally slated to open Jan. 7.
Think of the new production of Craig Pospisil’s play at the 2nd Space Theatre as if you’re flipping through a monthly calendar. Divided into 12 installments, “Months on End” gives us a glimpse at a year in the lives of a tangled knot of interesting characters in New York City. The play opens Thursday, Jan. 13, and continues through Feb. 27.
To preview the Good Company Players show, I invited two of the actors, Tracy Hostmyer and Bryan Beckstrand, to appear on the December 2021 episode of “The Munro Review on CMAC.” You can watch that interview on screen (starts at the 3:10 mark), or you can read a slightly edited version of the interview below.
Donald: This play is described as “a year’s worth of happiness and heartbreak fused into one compelling story.” So we’ve got a year’s worth of stuff going on. What does that mean?
Tracy: Well, there’s a small collection of people who are connected in one way or another. We’re the parents of two daughters who appear in the show and then there are their friends. The show really concentrates on relationships — the marriage relationship, the sibling relationship, brothers, sisters …
Bryan: Boyfriends, however you define them …
Tracy: Exactly. Each scene of the show is a different month of the year. It begins in January, and it finishes in December. You get to experience a year in the lives of these characters.
Donald: Interesting structure. Are you connected to all of the characters?
Tracy: There is a wedding moment in the show and I think most of the characters are at that wedding. So we we cross paths with each other, but our main relationship is with our two daughters in the show..
Donald: Brian, tell us about your character.
Bryan: His name is Chris. He’s a very easy down-to-Earth character. If he had an element that he’d be associated with, it would be earth. He’s touchy feely. He’s kind. Which is the opposite of Tracy’s character, Gwen. And they play well off together.
Donald: So opposites really did attract.
Tracy: Yeah, I think so.
Donald: And I understand, Bryan, that you’re a little more reserved in real life than your character. So has that been a challenge for you?
Bryan: It has been. I’m not terribly touchy feely. So it’s a challenge to try to bring that out. I’m looking forward to it.
Donald: That’s one of the great things about acting because you get to kind of explore those different sides. Now Tracy sounds like your character is a little bit more on the high-powered …
Tracy: Well I’m not unkind, but … She is a little brassy. I think her kids think she’s very controlling, overbearing mom, like a helicopter mom. But I think she just really loves her children and wants what’s best for them. And what’s best for them just happens to be what I think is best for them.
Donald: This type of show is often a lot of fun for audiences because it gives you this whole constellation of characters that you kind of dip into. I’m guessing there’s a lot of interesting developments that occur between these characters.
Tracy: Yes. And we’re not going to tell you anything more. You have to come and see the show.
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Donald: Exactly. Tracy, I understand this is your first 2nd Space show since 1990. That’s a pretty big gap. What show was that?
Tracy: It was “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” and directed by Biz Fiester. It had a wonderful cast, incredible costumes. I loved doing that show so much. I had so much fun.
Donald: Does the 2nd Space seem like it’s changed much, or did you walk back in and say it’s just like it was before?
Tracy: It is just like it was before. I did have to ask for the restroom when I first got there. Where is it again? I don’t remember. But other than that … I see some of the same people who were around when I was around. I think GCP in general is like that. It’s like a family.
Donald: You can leave for 20 years, come back and kind of pick up where you left off. And you’ve had some interesting adventures.
Tracy: First I moved to London. And then I lived in L.A. for a little while, and then I moved to New York. And that’s where I met you.
Donald: I was covering the play “Janka,” which Janice Noga put together and your company produced it in New York. And I understand that Janice actually made a movie version of it that’s going to be coming out. That trip to New York was fun. A lot of people in Fresno supported the play. They helped pay for it.
Tracy: That’s one of the wonderful things about the theater community in Fresno. They are really supportive.
Donald: Bryan, where would we have seen you on stage before?
Bryan: I’ve been in several shows both at the 2nd Space Theatre and Roger Rocka’s. One of my favorite was “Detective Story,” from years ago, directed by Nancy Miller. It was such a fun show. I could have done that show forever. And one that you reviewed him that I really appreciated was “Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play,” directed by Denise Grazione, where I was Uncle Billy. It was such a fun character role to do.
Donald: Your show, “Months on End,” opens Jan 7. It sounds like kind of a cozy show, a nice winter type of show. You can burrow into it and get into the story.
Tracy: It’s relatively short in running time. There’s a little intermission in the middle. It’s a great night out at the theater because you can come and you’re not out too late. And you can have a little dinner before. It’s a great date show for those of you who are dating out there.
Donald: Well, it sounds like like a real treat.
Tracy: Can I just say one more thing? You mentioned Sondheim before (for a story about local theater people’s favorite lyrics by the composer). The only musical I ever got to do at GCP was directed by Dan Pessano. It was “Sweeney Todd. I was just in the chorus, but being involved in that show was just amazing. You know, that, music and those lyrics. It was such a pleasure to get to be part of. (Gets a little emotional.)
Donald: When I was writing the story a few minutes ago it was surprisingly emotional. I got on Apple Music and just started putting in Sondheim songs and just thinking, my God, this guy was brilliant.
Tracy: Yeah, he’s amazing.
Donald: Again, thank you. “Months on End” runs from Jan. 13 to Feb. 27. You can find more details at gcplayers.com.
I love your interviews, Donald. It’s like sitting b on a conversation with old friends. This is no exception. Wonderful reminder to get to opening night. Thank you for that