Sunday, October 24, 2010

Show #57 "Reefer Madness: The Musical" at Burien Little Theatre

Seeing 52 shows in 52 weeks is by no means an accomplishment, especially if you run in theatre circles like I do here in the Seattle/Tacoma community. In Seattle, we are a theatre town. There's lots of it here to see and enjoy. Less so in Tacoma, but Randy and I have seen most of what Tacoma/Pierce County has to offer this season.

But, a goal is a goal. It motivates us to do something that we normally wouldn't do. So...last January, I set my sights on seeing a bit more theatre than the usual.

Now that this goal of 52 shows has been surpassed, it came to no surprise to me that, on our way to the theatre last evening, Randy and I confessed that we are feeling "burned out" by all this theatre viewing.

Alas! What heresy is this? Can the woman primarily known (by some) for parking her rear end into a theatre seat at least 57 times during 2010 be growing wearied by the task?

Burn-out is a common symptom of our American society that is constantly moving in over-drive. We move too fast, too furiously and too often. I am no exception. So, what keeps us going even when we want to put our transmission into "park" and just rest awhile?

Simple. Keep going, and experience something that re-fuels your tank. (Sorry about all the bad car metaphors, don't know what's come over me.)

That "something" for me was to see Burien Little Theatre's slam-bang production of "Reefer Madness: the Musical." Talk about re-feuling my tank....this was high quality, high octane entertainment. It is fun, irreverent, off-the-wall and the perfect cure for burn-out.

Just as I was saying a few weeks back about the show "In the Heights," this play is part of the new wave of live theatre. This is the direction live theatre needs to go, if we are to reach a new generation of viewers. In other words, we need YOUNG rear ends parked in theatre seats if theatre is to survive.

I am glad to report that Randy and I were one of the older people in the audience last night. The house was packed, and was I delighted! I was glad to see young people in the audience laughing and applauding along with the geezers like me.

It helped tremendously that BLT had a strong, well-acted and cleverly staged production to offer. It didn't hurt a bit that the music was fun, performances were right-on and the dancing was astounding (if you like "Dancing with the Stars," Reefer Madness will even give you a dose of ballroom dance!).

BLT is a true success story. Only a few years ago, this theatre group was on the brink of extinction. After experimenting with different genres of plays, it wooed its audience back with some tried-and-true shows but has also found a new audience with cutting edge and off the chart shows such as this.

Yes, even us theatre junkies get a bit burned-out. But what brings us back to life is spending time with a theatrical phoenix like BLT and seeing cutting edge entertainment (yes! it needs to be entertaining...not simply "avant garde") like Reefer.

So....I guess I'm good for another couple of shows, for now. least until December 31.

Thanks to Reefer cast member Brad Walker for this photo.

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