Yesterday was a good day to just take it all in. I’m not feeling too eloquent so I’ll leave rapturous descriptions to the pundits. I’ll just say that in the middle of a dark cold time, I felt the spark of a warm bright future in yesterday’s spectacle.
I expect the producers of the upcoming “Obama on My Mind” are hoping to capture some of that spark. I thought this production was a joke at first but apparently it’s real. The next question will be, is it anything more than a calculated way to capitalize on an historic moment?
In much of the coverage of yesterday’s events, I heard many interviews with people saying variations of “I don’t really agree with his policies but I’m willing to give him a shot.” It is in that spirit that I’d like to talk about “Who Killed the King?” the production from Mystery Dinner Theater that I saw this past Saturday.
There are many things about the MDT shows that could rub the strict theater-phile the wrong way. The characters are flamboyantly one-dimensional, the jokes are fairly infantile, and the plots are essentially Spark Notes reductions of Agatha Christie. My biggest beef about “Who” was that the king was supposed to be a womanizer but there were also broad hints about him being gay. Hmmm…
Still, the actors are engaging within the narrow confines of their characters and willing to interact with patrons in an entertaining way. My favorite aspect of the evening was the way theater was taken out of the realm of high-brow fine art and brought back into the common denominator level of fun, interactive entertainment. I laughed out loud at a couple of the dumb jokes and the people at the table next to ours sharing the bucket of brews laughed heartily and often. At the end of the night, I found myself moderately eager with a touch of anticipation, thinking I was one of the two people in the audience who had all of the clues right. Unfortunately, my answer form was not one of the ones picked to win the final prize. Ah well.
I was surprised at how full the room was – I think they said the number of attendees was in the mid-to-upper 60s. I hadn’t seen an MDT show since my wife was in one many years ago, and it might be several years before I go to one of their shows again. Still, at the end of the night, I expect most of the folks who were there would say that they had had a good time. Who could ask for more than that, right?