Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder, Part 1

One way I can tell I’m a theater geek is that I get a kind of giddy anticipation around this time of year as companies announce their upcoming seasons. I imagine it’s a little like what hardcore fashionistas feel like when they see the Fall lines announced – what here will really be worth buying? What offerings have the potential to be something really revolutionary? What old favorites will be refurbished? And what shows seems downright shocking or confusing or otherwise extreme?

Also, at least one show each year lends itself to a particularly delightful game of the casting guessing game. Last season, it was Swift Creek Mill's “Side Show,” though that one stood out because of its comic potential (my favorite: Jason Marks and Durron Tyre as the sisters…)

For the upcoming season, Theatre IV's “The Sound of Music” has already got the people I know guessing. There is the iconic role of Maria – has to be young, spry and maybe a bit quirky but also charismatic and of course madly talented. The possibilities are myriad and the choices each with their own pros and cons. For some reason, my thoughts immediately went to Angela Shipley, though I wonder if she’ll still be in town then. I wouldn’t be adverse to a certain out of town crush of mine (named Rita). Then there is Captain Von Trapp and all of the kids. The combinations and permutations are endless! Any guessing now is way too preliminary but still, it sure is fun to imagine.

In terms of a whole season I find intriguing just on titles alone, I have to say Henley Street’s got my interest peaked. I haven’t seen “A Doll’s House” since high school, I think, and would love to see what a more modern reimagining of it would be like, since I wasn’t able to make it up to the Tony-award winning production in 1997. The other two shows should be challenging and fun (the intense 'Shining City' by Conor McPherson and the wacky 'A Servant of Two Masters' by Carlo Goldoni) and their Bootleg Shakespeare project has all sorts of possibilities for unexpected surprises (though I kinda wish they were doing a lesser known comedy like “Two Gentlemen of Verona” rather than something as iconic as “Romeo and Juliet.” Still intrigued though…)

More on other companies and their season in the days to come… In the meantime, feel free to chime in with your own thoughts!


Thespis' Little Helper said...

I really wanted to post anonymously, but for fear of it seeming like a self-plug, I would love to see/hear Robin-Harris Jones play/sing Maria. She has such a wonderful chest to mix to head voice. And it all sounds like the same person! And she has the ability to make choices of when she does which as opposed to "My 'break' is at a Bb so when I sing this C it has to be in head voice, but I'll still belt up to the Bb because I can and it sounds impressive." Compare her "Star-to-Be" turn in ANNIE to others that I love (i.e. Andrea McArdle[the original Annie] in the new Disney movie of Annie who is STELLAR and FIERCE) but Robin made this wonderful choice to mix a lot of it and then progress into the belt toward the end, which made it even more thrilling to watch. NOTE: The Star-to-Be is what I spend the entirety of any production of ANNIE waiting for. I'm weird I know.

ANYway...that's my thought on that.

Overall I think there NUMEROUS exciting productions that have been announced so far, so I say KUDOS to Richmond theatres for doing what we do!

Dave T said...

I'm a long-time fan of Ms. Harris-Jones and agree that she would be a delightful Maria.

Robinitaface said...


My college voice teacher would be proud.

Eugene Galvin said...

ms harris-jones' old voice teacher IS proud.