I went through the summer thinking about how crazy-busy it was, what with more shows opening in the traditional “down” time than I can remember. But now that we’re really getting into the heart of the fall, I’m realizing I had forgotten how truly crazy-busy things are once the summer’s over. Among the things to talk about:
The Dominion ArtStars awards are being handed out today, perhaps even as I write this. Arts organizations from all over the state were given recognition and cash awards as either “Shining Stars” or “Rising Stars.” Several theater companies were among the winners, including central VA’s Sycamore Rouge (congrats, kb!), Signature in NOVA, and Staunton’s American Shakespeare Center. It’s a great program that Dominion’s kicked off and I hope they keep it up.
The Amazing Raise starts tomorrow. The folks at Henley Street have been getting the word out about this. It’s an online event where leading non-profits can be awarded $10K based on donations of others. If you want to help groups like Henley Street, Gallery 5, Theatre IV, SPARC, the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and others get a shot at that payoff, check out the Amazing Raise website.
My review of “Merchant of Venice” should be out today as well as Mr. Griset’s take on “Becky’s New Car.” I’m still waiting for the first words on “Suddenly Last Summer.”
Among the Broadway news is that Billy Elliot will be ending its run on the Great White Way in January.
As if there weren’t enough shows out there right now, the “Wicked” tour lands here again, opening tomorrow night. In the past two days, I’ve heard two people who I would never imagine in my life going to a musical say “I’m taking my wife to ‘Wicked.’” It reminds me of this little video piece I did out in California asking people going to “Les Mis” if they were aware of local theater. Some things never change.
I enjoyed my little online chat with James Ricks about artistic issues related to “Merchant.” It has often occurred to me that Shakespeare might lend itself better to talk-backs BEFORE the show, to allow people to get some education on the play’s background. I think it would enhance their enjoyment of a show where they are more than likely going to have trouble parsing the language, let alone separate out the social, political and metaphysical issues.
And of course finally, we have the Artsies. Please get your tickets and please come. I think it’s going to be a good time. All the pieces are in motion, the question will be whether they all fit together before next Sunday. Come and find out! Oh, and tell your friends to come too!