Thursday, May 27, 2010

Show #25 "The Trip to Bountiful" at ACT Theatre

It was like coming home again.

The familiar sights, the beauty of the classic architecture, the energizing walk up the welcoming promenade.

It had only been a few years since I called that place "my favorite," but I felt as though I had been gone for a long, long time. Too long, in fact.

What in the world am I talking about here? Did my evening of viewing Horton Foote's "The Trip to Bountiful" make me pine (like the story's main character)for a hometown from my long ago youth? It isn't what you think.

I'm talking about my return this year as a season subscriber to the wonderful ACT Theatre in Seattle. The Allen, their marvelous theatre-in-the-round mainstage, is my favorite performance space in the Seattle-Tacoma region. Not a bad seat in the house. A terrific view for every audience member. A large mainstage venue with an intimate, small theater feeling.

It was good to be back home.

It also helped that the play was very, very good. Truth be told, Randy and I were almost bracing ourselves for a dreary evening about a depressed old lady mourning over her long lost hometown named Bountiful, TX. Were we in for a surprise!

I found myself settling quite nicely in her shoes, feeling her longing and relating to her wistful remembrances of home. But unlike her story where "home" isn't exactly what she romanticized, my return "home" was everything I remembered.

I love theatre in the round! I love being so close to the action that you forget you're simply watching a show, not witnessing a personal event.

I know not all the shows this season will take place in The Allen Theatre. Some will be at their Bullitt Cabaret and others will be in The Falls Theatre. Maybe I will fall in love with those spaces as well.

But I doubt it.

I love The Allen. It's where I want to see shows. As an actor, it's where I wish I could perform one day.

After all, as Dorothy (in The Wizard of Oz) would say, (to mix my show business metaphors), "there's no place like..." Well... you know.

production photo courtesy of ACT Theatre

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