We were lucky to get the cast we have, 17 performers, many of whom have carried previous shows on their own…there has never been such a qualified musical cast in Central New York.
Lucas Hnath’s The Christians is a messy, near-masterpiece. Although Syracuse Stage’s production of the work falls short in a few ways, it stirs the audience to discomfort (intellectual pot-stirring being a noble theatrical aspiration.) It’s their best show this season.
Louise Maske stretches to see the King pass during a parade, and her bloomers fall to her feet. Her husband Theo, a low-level government functionary, is appalled when he learns what happened (he thinks he’ll be fired), while Louise’s upstairs neighbor is thrilled for the excitement. Soon, men are vying to rent a room in the Maskes’ apartment.
It was a grin-filled, charming evening, borne effortlessly on the singing, dancing, wisecracking shoulders of Megan Breit and Eddie Rose. Breit and Rose were born decades after the golden age of screwball comedy, but it must be in their genes, or maybe they were inhabited by some kind of theatrical spirit. Nice work, indeed.
And, at the end of the day… Thanks to my cast and crew for taking the journey with me. I’m going to drink some Scotch, sleep late a few mornings, then do it all again. Let’s do it together.
William Lanfear’s wigs and makeup were spectacular; Peggy Frantz’s costumes were excellent; Ryan Decker’s end-of-show baritone solo as Lurch was exactly what I’d hoped for (gorgeous and funny); Randy Fields had a nice bit of choreography in the climatic tango number.
Both sides of my brain were singing, another part was trying to think of the next move, but the LOUDEST part of my brain screamed, “YOU FOOL, YOU’RE 45 YEARS OLD, YOU’RE GOING TO TEAR A LIGAMENT IN YOUR KNEE!”
In three weeks, we’ll be presenting Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together at The Earlville Opera House. The dreams have started – where I’m onstage without a clue what to sing, the lights aren’t ready, and I’m in pajamas. (I hate pajamas, so that’s worse than being naked onstage.) Right on schedule.
Moss Island and The Earlville Opera House present Putting It Together –
Words and Music by Stephen Sondheim. July 24-26, 2015 at the historic Earlville Opera House.
Some of the best moments in my theater career have happened at high school productions. In fact, a disproportionate number of those were courtesy of teenagers. I love the “aha” surprises, when a performer finds a spark and burns up the stage, bringing the audience to its feet. Now, imagine a show composed of nothing but those moments, and you’ll have an idea of what I worked on Saturday night…