I really meant to get out to Sycamore Rouge earlier. After all, it's just a couple of exits further down I-95 than Swift Creek Mill. Some of the shows they've been doing there have sounded interesting (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Nickel and Dimed, etc.). People had told me that the theater was really nice. Still, the months passed, shows opened and closed, and still I didn't make the trip.
Well, now I realize just how dumb that was. The theater is not just nice -- the couch and cafe table setup with an open bar and waitresses make it like no other theater around (you'd either have to merge the Firehouse and ComedySportz for something similar, or build a bigger stage in the cafe area of Barksdale's Willow Lawn location). The courtyard outside seems like a great place to hang out (when it's not 100 degrees) and the people there were quite warm and hospitable. The city street location gives it the ambiance of an urban enclave but the behind-the-venue parking makes it more accessible. And the production I saw, well, it was quite fantastic.
My outing to Sycamore Rouge last Friday taught me a valuable lesson: don't let new venues go unexplored. When the next new venue opens up in town (hmmm...maybe Stage 1 in a few months?), I'll be sure to get there, if not on opening night, at least shortly thereafter.