Category Archives: Television

Goodbye J.R.

When I was a little girl, I started watching Dallas on Friday nights with my mom. I can remember loathing that The Dukes of Hazzard a really ridiculous car bang up show came on first. My brother, Curt loved cars, so of course we had to watch it. But then, there was Dallas. I didn’t understand it, but I loved it all the same, and I really followed JR and Sue Ellen. I just wanted them to get back together and they were always separated or she was drunk. J.R.was always cheating on her. Oh, it was evil, but interesting. I even made up a game that I called “Dallas.” I’d make my friend come up the stairs and catch me cheating on her. I would be J.R. and she would be Sue Ellen. Don’t laugh. I really did this.
By the time I was a teenager and Dallas was still on the air, I’d stopped watching. Teenagers don’t sit home with their mom’s on Friday night! So I barely noticed when the formidable show went off the air in the early nineties. But I was always interested in Larry Hagman, because he seemed so charming and likeable and yet he was a scoundrel. He was, it seems to me, a little like my own dad. He even looked very similar to my dad and they had the same initials. J.R. — and my dad is Jack Rohrman, so his initials are J.R.
My dad and mom were divorced by the time I was five. So I didn’t see my dad so much — on weekends — sometimes. He remarried when I was 6. My dad lived large. He and my step mom went on long, very fancy and exotic vacations. In fact, they still go on fancy, interesting vacations. Bhutan — who goes to Bhutan? Thailand, Ireland, Russia, Cuba…places I couldn’t even imagine going. Whether it was true or not, my dad seemed rich. He drove a blue Mercedes. He had and he still has a style about him that is unique. He is handsome, like J.R, but my dad J.R. lives in the wine country, so he drinks wine and has a hot tub instead of oil wells. He is a scoundrel, but loveable. He was a lot like J.R and like Larry Hagman. Perhaps, only now as a grown up, do I understand that possibly I liked Dallas so much because watching the show was like getting to spend time with my dad.
Out of odd fascination, I was excited when Dallas returned in 2012. I watched every episode. And even though he was an old dinosaur, I loved it that Larry Hagman reprized his role as the scheming, smart, J.R Ewing. He was back! Somehow, even though he was really old and had very long eyebrows, he was still so charming. Overall the show grew on me, and I’ve enjoyed watching the very last of J.R. in season 2. I think the producers did an apt job of keeping his memory alive. The more I read about Larry Hagman and this role — the one of J.R., the more it seems to fit. He went out, just the way he’d want to — wearing a ten gallon hat and shrouded in mystery…at least in TV land. Real life is sometimes not as much fun.

It was odd, but I cried when I first heard that he died. I mean, I know that I liked Dallas when I was kid, but I didn’t know Larry Hagman. His death really shouldn’t make me cry. But there I was, reading about his life and tearing up, for about a week before, well, other horrible things happened in the world.

The weekend that Larry Hagman passed away, we were visiting family in D.C, and it was very difficult for me to get a minute to myself to catch any news on the TV about his passing. Finally, I just turned on the TV and my little three-year-old happened to be in the room with me. I didn’t care, I really wanted to see the news about Larry/J.R.
When his picture popped up and the newscaster’s described his life in passing, Maya, my three-year-old, saw his picture on the screen and said, “There’s Gompo! Why is Gompo on the news?” Gompo is what she calls her grandpa, my dad. It was unexpected since, I’m sure I hadn’t mentioned anything about Dallas or my dad to her. These were my secret thoughts. I was touched, and felt a sense of redemption and deep understanding from such a special place: my daughter. I suppose his death made me cry because it reminded me of a special time when I was a little girl. Maybe it also reminds me of my dad, and how much I looked up to him. If he was all good, he’d be a little boring. And let’s face it, J.R. was never boring.

A Delightful Evening of Social Romance

A Delightful Evening of Social Romance

I’ve always wanted to produce an evening of holiday themed plays and finally I’ve done it. Here’s a link to our press release on Broadway

It’s a mini production, a night of readings, which has turned out to be a lot of fun, and it’s cheaper and easier than putting up a full production. These days, I really need to try to make my life a little easier…

To make up for the lack of production, we are only requesting a $10 donation. That’s a fair trade, right? The whole thing is a benefit for Manhattan Theatre Source, a theatre that needs way more than your $10 donation to stay afloat, but that’s another story.

Why you should go:

Do you like funny one-act plays, goofy songs, already miss the show Mad Men and often pretend that you are Don Draper? Do you miss the days when Santa filled your stocking?  Did you enjoy the book Memoirs of a Geisha, then consider how you might become a Geisha?  Have you ever met someone online? Did you like the movie The Social Network? Basically if you are a human and you live in New York City, you’ll enjoy this show. The only thing missing is alcohol, which you can get at the bar next door, North Square, which serves the best “Blood Orange Martini” I’ve ever had.

The new comedic one-act plays include: “Geisha School” and “How Don Draper Saved Christmas” both written by Laura Rohrman (moi) and directed by Li Murillo and Michelle Pace.  Sara Adler will perform 2 songs and there will be one other play “Cyberia” written by Aurin Squire.

The Benefit is one night only. Wednesday, November 10th at 8PM at

Manhattan Theatre Source which is located at 177 MacDougal Street/cross is at 8th

One last good one: Bullets, Bums and Barack

Hope. Now I have it.  I’m so excited to see what Barack Obama is going to do with his presidency!  I feel proud for the first time that I am an American; that I had the chance to vote, to make a difference.
My interview project is nearly complete.   From September 17th – November 4th, I attempted to interview one person a day as an exercise to keep me writing.  The result is pretty amazing.  It’s a journal of New York City as we prepared to elect the first Black president.   On September 17th, the day after I arrived  in New York after spending two weeks in California, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the beauty of the city in the fall.  It was as if someone had put V-juice in my coffee.  Or, I was in love again with New York.  The trees, the air, the people…everything was cracking with change.

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Reading of REPORTER GIRL (a play about Brenda Starr Reporter) September 26th at 7:30PM.

If you like Mad Men, you’ll love my new play.  I’m just showing the first half (as a reading), but if you enjoy learning about history and feminist issues — and if you ever read Brenda Starr Reporter, you’ll love this play.
Watch a young female cartoonist as she fights her way into a male dominated culture in the 1940’s.  Years later her granddaughter struggles with some of the same issues and discovers what is true and fiction about her grandmother’s amazing story.


NEW YORK, Friday, September 26, 2008
7:30pm – 9:00pm
REPORTER GIRL by Laura Rohrman
Laura Rohrman will present a staged reading of REPORTER GIRL,  a full-length play about her grandmother, Dale Messick, who created the famous cartoon strip BRENDA STARR REPORTER in 1940.  Dale Messick was the first syndicated female cartoonist in the world. The play has been a finalist for both the O’Neill festival and the Princess Grace award.
Friday Night Footlights New York is held in the Frederick Loewe Room, Suite 710, at 1501 Broadway (located between 43rd and 44th Streets), New York, NY  10036. you must have a photo I.D. to enter the building.

Thanks to Hillary…SATC and Brenda Starr Reporter

Now that all the Hillary hating is over, people can start missing her. In some of those photos, Hillary is absolutely stunning. Her beauty is deep within in the lines of her face.

The political landscape is far less interesting these days without her in the race.

I spoke to the Marketing Director of The Chicago Tribune today and she said: “Never in my life did I think I’d see the day when a black man and a white woman would be running for president. Together they’d be unstoppable.”


Why was I talking to the Marketing Director of the Chicago Tribune? Well, because we were chatting about my granny and Brenda Starr — and how my granny, Dale Messick was one of the early pioneers for women, paving the way for not only other cartoonists, but for journalists. Dale Messick via her character Brenda Starr Reporter inspired millions with the “I’m a woman and I can do it” attitude.

SATC – perhaps it just proves that movies don’t have to be all about men or violence to be popular.