“Regrets…I’ve had a few…but then again…” OK, enough singing to myself. And besides, this post is about at least one regret that I’ll mention. This past Saturday, my lovely wife and son took a leave of absence from our family time together to spend some time with members of another Richmond family. And by spend time with, I mean watch the eldest son of the family command the new Liberty University stage as the lead character in “The Phantom of the Opera.”
If you’ve seen any number of productions by the Theater Company at Fort Lee or CYT or even Theatre IV’s “Peter Pan,” you know the T. Davis Mercer is a significant talent. But according to my wife, he’s only improved since heading off to school. And she also reports that both the Christine (Rachel Day) and the Carlotta (Erica Mini) of the production were exceptional. That’s not surprising given Ms. Day’s reverse lineage – her little sister starred in Theatre IV’s “Annie” just a couple of years ago.
I had the opportunity to go see this show (video snippet available here) but I decided to spend my afternoon hanging out in the sun, getting a not insignificant amount of sunburn and eating and drinking too much. In retrospect, I should have gone to see the show. For one thing, the still-fairly new Liberty University stage is apparently a gorgeous $7 million facility. Also, I’d be able to go into more detail about what was so good about Mr. Mercer’s performance (moral: don’t send a civilian to do a critic’s job). And finally, I’d be able to check off “Phantom” on my life “must see” list (yes, that burden continues…).
In some local news, Barksdale officially announced over the weekend that the lead in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is going to be Jeff McCarthy who may be familiar to some folks from his regular stints in “Chicago.” But he’s got some geek cred for appearing on the best of the many Star Trek series, “Next Generation.” Plus, he’s got a connection to Richmond expatriate Emily Skinner for his appearance in the original cast of “Side Show.” So there are any number of reasons to be excited about that casting news.
Triangle Players also just announced their season for 2011-12 and it includes many intriguing entries, including Tennessee Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer.” But the one that caught my attention first was “Stupid Kids” – and not just because it’s a phrase I regularly mutter under my breath. There are so many extremely talented teens in Richmond – a bunch who are going to be in SPARC’s summer production of “Ragtime” – that I would love to see a few of them step up to a truly mature acting challenge. It sounds like there will be plenty of those involved in this show and I hope whoever directs the show is willing to take a chance on a rising young talent.
PS: I almost forgot: the reading of "The Water Principle" at Firehouse tonight has a cast of very talented local stars. Check out Andrew Hamm's blog post (link over to the right) for details!