My show business career was, to be kind, unremarkable.
I was cast in exactly two plays, and both of those were in high school.
In “West Side Story,” I was unable to sing or dance and thus was cast as the bitter Lieutenant Schrank, a role in which my colleagues immediately crowned me “least supporting actor.”
Later, in John Hershey’s “The Child Buyer,” I was once again cast as an officious law enforcement type, whereupon after the performance, the school’s high-strung drama teacher who abhorred athletics, urged me to try out for the football team.
Today, I still manage to catch several Broadway and even off-Broadway shows a year, and in the interest of full disclosure, often picture myself in starring, or at least supporting, roles in each production.
Which is why my interest was piqued when I was contacted about the June debut of “Professional Skepticism,” a dark comedy about CPAs scheduled to make its debut in New York later this month.
The play, written by James Rasheed, who himself worked at a major accounting firm, takes place in Charleston, S.C., and centers around a quartet of auditors who face the daily pressures of making moral and ethical decisions while poring over their clients’ financial statements.
In a plotline all to familiar to those in the profession, a brewing scandal threatens to transform the auditors into poster children for corporate reform.
According to a preview, Rasheed’s play follows the characters after fraud is uncovered at a major client and the team's senior audit partners try to “finesse” the growing financial malfeasance.
I’m not Clive Barnes or Frank Rich, but it seems I’ve seen this play before -- several times.
Incredibly, a release said that “Professional Skepticism” was actually penned before the quagmires at Enron and WorldCom -- drawn no doubt from Rasheed’s experiences as an auditor.
If that’s true, then nightmare scenarios such as document shredding, illegal entries and winks from c-level executives were probably far more widespread than the public imagined. It just took two multi-billion-dollar bankruptcies, the loss of billions in pensions and investments for thousands of workers, and the collapse of Arthur Andersen before anyone noticed.
Sadly I’m told that the cast for the play is already set. I really thought that after seven years at this job, I would have been perfect.
But if they need an understudy without an inkling of musical talent, they know where to reach me.
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