Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go See Drowsy Chaperone

Local audiences hate strange and unfamiliar things.

Well, they hate actually buying tickets and going to the theater. Once they're at the theater, watching the show, they are actually quite happy.

It can be frustrating if you're putting on the show. Two of my most favorite shows in ever were "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." The shows were great on the page, the casts were awesome, my direction didn't suck, and the people who went were absolutely delighted (I will always remember how delightedly the audience would gasp and laugh and applaud at the big reveal in Scoundrels because by then they were so completely into it). But getting them there was a chore.

People like going to see things they already know. And that's okay-- there are shows that are famous and beloved for good reasons. And that's okay from a community theater group's point of view. Doing Rogers and Hammerstein is like printing money.

There are other obstacles to going to see unknown shows as well. Theater folks who DO know these shows sometimes forget that there's a whole world of folks who have no idea what they are. Well-crafted publicity is critical. And can we talk about Barrow ticket prices-- they sometimes give me pause, and I know better. They have certainly kept me from attending a show twice.

But at the end of the day, FCOA has earned audience trust. FCOA puts on good shows, entertaining shows,more-than-merely-competent shows.

And Drowsy Chaperone is such a great show. I am out of town during all performances, and I'm bummed because this is a show I would have loved to direct (stage or music) or play in the pit or even just run the lights. I would even have dreamed of taking my completely inadequate performance skills on stage for this. And I have to miss the whole thing.

So, you should go. If you feel any sense of friendship or obligation toward me, you should go in my stead. You should take my place in the audience, clapping and laughing (you do not have to laugh obnoxiously in my place).

The show is such a great show. It is loaded with character roles, each one delightfully hilarious. The music is just great-- not a filler song in the whole score. When I listen to the "Scoundrel" score, each song is my favorite song until the next one starts, and then THAT is my favorite song. This score works the same way.

Man in Chair is genius. The whole framing sequence is genius and it allows the show to do what the best comedies do-- root the humor in something that is true and human. A good comedy always lifts my spirits a thousand feet higher than an "uplifting" show. No show has ever made me cry like "ILYYPNC" and no show has ever made me feel better about being alive than "Scoundrels." This show is one of those. Don't get me wrong-- it is relentlessly hilarious, but that hilarity is not based in Just Being Stupid.

The Rogers and Hammerstein crowd should also hear that the show-within-a-show is a great show of the they-don't-make-them-like-they-used-to variety. And for fans of old shows, there are plenty of nods to classic Broadway.

This is a great show and I really hope it gets the audience it deserves. If people can just get over their fear of unknown shows, they will get a great evening of entertainment for their money. Go see this show!

From my Flickr