That's the headline I'm hoping for from the local critics, but whether they say so or not, this show has "got it"! Neil Simon's farcical mayhem has come alive under Ben Layman's professional direction of a fantastic ensemble cast of local amateurs. The only thing missing from this production is sell-out crowds.
With two shows down and four more to go I'm having a great time listening to the audiences react to the antics on stage. Unfortunately, I can only guess at what exactly they're seeing because I live backstage now hunched over my script, poised to cue up the next sound effect. Most of the time, I have a pretty good idea what's going on based on the many hours of rehearsals I watched and took blocking notes for. But now and then the laughter surprises me and I have to wonder, what new bit of genius did the actors come up with tonight? Last night, they were laughing hysterically when someone came out of the powder room and all I could think of was maybe she has toilet paper on her shoe. I was right and it was perfect. What I really don't understand is how the cast doesn't lose it completely. They are really good. Even their mistakes elicit moments of inspired ad-libbing.
I'm having a great time and feel like an important cog in the show's machinery even though I'm not out there under the lights. In a way, it's nice: I didn't have to memorize pages and pages of snappy [read: difficult] dialogue and I don't have to worry about how I look. And, while I am nervous about screwing up the sound FX, no one sees my face if I do. I've enjoyed wearing many hats with the added bonus that most of my work is done now: I designed the posters and programs and a portrait for the set; I took blocking notes, served as prompter and ran a couple rehearsals; I procured props and helped build and decorate the set; and I helped with costumes. Now all I have to do is "crew" for the shows, setting props, running the sound system (music and FX), making a loud crashing noise once backstage and saying my one surprise line.
Now, all YOU have to do is COME TO THE SHOW!!
Next Generation Theatre at Between Friends Art Center, 39 Center St, Brewer
$10.00 (plus yummy concessions, including wine)
Remaining shows are TODAY, Sunday Sept 27 at 4:00pm
Friday-Saturday, October 2-3 at 7:00pm, Sunday October 4 at 4:00pm
Come enjoy a glass of wine and a lot of laughs!