This weekend Richmond says 'hello' to three big shows: Barksdale and Stage 1 each putting up big cast musicals and the Mill doing a big cast comedy. It seems as though actors who might have been looking at a dry spell this summer are instead going to have their plates full. So that’s a good thing. And theater-lovers afraid of gaps in their social calendars are instead going to have to scramble to see everything that’s showing (particularly with RichShakes “H5” closing so soon and “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” having such a short run).
I’ll be at opening night for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and am looking forward to seeing Maggie Marlin again; I’m a fan of hers since VCU’s “Chicago” this spring. And of course, I’m a fan of Ali Thibodeau’s at least since I first met her back in “Peter Pan,” but I think even before that going back to the SPARC production of "Cats" (I think she was in that; my memory is getting cloudy as I get old...) Patti D’Beck set the bar pretty high with “Guys and Dolls” last summer so I’m expecting / hoping for big things with TMM.
For folks who were planning on seeing “Summer of ‘42” tonight, you’ve probably heard that the preview is canceled. From what I hear, the child involved in the family emergency is fine; my best wishes go out to the family involved and I hope any scrapes and scratches heal up quickly.
I have enjoyed the artfully rendered photographs from “Millie” (running in a slide show) and “Summer of ’42” (a few examples are on Facebook...at least one is visible on the Stage 1 website) that the theater companies have put together. Theater is a visual medium, after all, and good pictures whet the appetite for the real deal. Recently, I was disappointed that Style wasn’t able to get ahold of a current picture from “From the Mississippi Delta,” a production with some great potential visuals. The picture that Night Light Collective has posted from “Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls” has also increased my level of interest in that production. Frankly, I don’t think anything sells a show about pretty girls better than a picture of, you know, pretty girls.
In other news, both Triangle Players and CAT have published their 2010-11 seasons and Stage 1 promised one last week. Maybe once I see the Stage 1 season, I’ll post my preliminary thoughts about all of these. In the meantime, feel free to lay out your own reactions. Anything you are particularly looking forward to? Anything you have no desire whatsoever to see? Anything you really want to audition for? Anything you saw and went, huh?