Saturday, September 25, 2010

Show #50 "Sherlock Holmes and the Doom of Devilsmoor" at Lakewood Playhouse

Opening night of a new season at the theater....what fun! No matter how much live theatre I experience, either on stage, backstage or in the audience, I always feel that excitement of opening night.

This evening was no exception. One of my favorite theaters in the world, the Lakewood Playhouse (after all, it was at this fine theater where I met my husband Randy), rolled out the red carpet for their new season.

I started the evening with a personal greeting by Artistic Director Marcus Walker, who heartily shook hands with the patrons as they entered the lobby. I was personally escorted to my seat by Duncan Foley, the President of Board. The playwright, CP Stancich was on hand and made merry conversation with Randy and me. And after the final curtain, the Lakewood Playhouse's board hosted a fine reception complete with my favorite non-alcoholic bubbly.

But, there were also the familiar opening night mishaps that occurred as well.

You know the ones I mean. There was the french door on the set that wouldn't close without the poor actors fussing and constantly adjusting. Then there was the wardrobe malfunction that sent Randy (and the wonderful costumer seated in the second row) into hints of stifled laughter. And then there was the actor who entered the stage and promptly stepped on an actress's skirt hem.

These were relatively minor things, but to be honest, it added to my enjoyment of the evening! I kind of like imperfection. I smile when I see an actor stumble his way through an unexpected development and then see his way out of it with grace and humor. Yes, it may temporarily break the spell of the story, but it does something else. It makes us all a little more human.

But, you may counter, don't we want to see professionalism and polish when we pay to see a theatrical production? Well, yes we do.

If a production is overly filled with mishaps, then I would have criticized the show and declared that the cast needed another week of rehearsal. But, this was only a couple of small gaffes, and being opening night, very forgivable. I've experienced many an opening night as an actor, performing on a stage whose paint was still wet, whose doors had just been hung an hour before, and costumes stitched during intermission.

If I were to come back to see this show on closing night and saw the same goofs, that would be another story.

But, this was opening night at the Lakewood Playhouse, and a reason to celebrate! It was a great evening, and even the small errors were something to celebrate. Here's to another great season! Cheers!

Graphics courtesy of Lakewood Playhouse

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