Monday, July 16, 2012


So possibly the biggest selling movie of the summer – maybe even of all-time when all is said and done – will be opening in a few days. “The Dark Knight” currently sits at #4 in all-time domestic box office. Given the acclaim of that movie, plus the promise that it’s the last of the Christopher Nolan trilogy, there is a chance that “The Dark Knight Rises” will beat out “The Avengers” for the summer’s box office crown. (Of course, without the Heath Ledger effect, I’d say that chance is 60/40 versus guaranteed.)

I mention this because it means that movie theaters are going to be swamped this weekend. Beyond the Batman saga, “Spider-Man” is still selling, the kids have “Ice Age” and “Brave,” big boys have “Ted,” and little girls have “Katy Perry.” The Cineplex is awash in content.

So I’d recommend avoiding the crowds and checking out the parallel cavalcade of live theater in town. Specifically, SPARC is offering two new productions that sound very promising. SPARC’s summer musicals have always been spectacular – I know I’m biased but last year’s “Ragtime” had some truly breath-taking moments in it – and I expect “Chicago” will not disappoint. This summer, the Summer Stock program takes on a new challenge – the slamming-door comedy, “Noises Off.” Just like young energy can make old musicals seem fresh and alive again, youthful vigor can enervate the funny and farcical. There are several veteran actors in town that have slogged through a dozen or so such comedies in their careers; with SPARC, you’ll be seeing many performers discovering this genre for the first time. What they bring to it will be intriguing to watch.

I’m very interested in seeing Firehouse’s “Rocky Horror Show” because of the oft-repeated warnings being issued about the production pushing of the envelope. “Not your parents’ Rocky Horror” definitely peaks my interest since I’m probably one of the parents they’re talking about. With “Spring Awakening” already making patrons blush at VA Rep, I can’t wait to see more unabashed programming heating up this summer.

Both “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music” and “Merry Wives of Windsor” received good reviews from the T-D in the past few days, Ms. Lewis even using the word “flawless” in reference to “Nice People.” With all of this good – and challenging and different and entertaining – theater around, the playhouses in town are the best places to stay cool this summer, not the movie houses.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Cole said...


Don't forget that this week, in addition to Rocky Horror and all the rest, there is a special fundraiser for Sycamore Rouge on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8pm.

A great cast has been assembled for a reading of The Princess Bride (yes, THAT Princess Bride); donations taken at the door for this FREE event!

All of the info can be found via Facebook (of course).

Hope you can make it!