Saturday, August 11, 2007

In Praise of Community Theater

Living, as we do, within the virtual shadow of NYC, when theater is mentioned it is often in regards to Broadway. And Broadway is a wonderful place to get an introduction to theater.

I was twelve when my father took me to my first show. We had seats front row mezzanine for "Annie". Unfortunately Andrea McArdle was no longer playing the lead role, and they had moved through a second Annie as well - but no matter, the girl I saw play Annie was just great: Sarah Jessica Parker.

In January I took Pippi to see her first Broadway show - Mary Poppins. And we had a great time.

The thing with Broadway is that - as fantastic as it is - it's also really expensive. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to make that sort of expenditure on a regular basis. We can not.

But that's fine. Broadway is not the only act in town.

We have two wonderful playhouses near us where we've seen shows on occasion. Even those kind of evenings can start to add up - expense wise.

But last night we took the kids to the theater. And for a very reasonable price - saw "Into the Woods." It was put on by a church theater group. The cast was mainly teenagers - with a few exceptions. They were all excellent - no exceptions. The set may not be as elaborate as a Broadway set - but that didn't detract from the magic of the show.

We had front row seats - which was even better when you consider that quite a bit of the action happened in the area in front of the stage - right in front of us.

Pippi and Harry are familiar with the show. We have the album (yes, the actual record kind) and recently got the DVD so they could see the Broadway performance. But there is nothing like having something acted out right in front of you. It truly is magical.

Now they'll be ready to give their own performance come Friday.

Oh - another Broadway note - I did see Into the Woods on Broadway during it's original run. Unfortunately I did not see Bernadette Peters play the Witch. (always seem to miss those original performers) But I did see Phylicia Rashad play the Witch - and she was awesome.


Sister Judith said...

Hello Christine:

It was so good to check in to your blog. Thank you for your kind comments about mine, "Hopef-full Signs". I notice you read Father Jay's "Young Fogeys". He is a good friend of our community. It is so nice to "meet" you!

Sincerely, Sister Judith

Christine M said...

Thanks Sister Judith,
It's nice to meet you too.