Thursday, August 25, 2011

Performance Review

Last night, I was lucky enough to see a hilariously fantastic staging of the play Get Smart based on the 1960s TV show. It's being put on by Stage 1, a theatre company here in Sault Ste. Marie. I work with the director, Richard (or Joe at the theatre), and know a few of the actors and crew members. I definitely had to see it, and I am so glad I did. I'm going again to the final show. It's Saturday night and it will be awesome.

Despite having a minimal budget, the production is in no way low-rent. The available space is used very efficiently, and the lighting is designed perfectly to work with it. Even better, the actors clearly know the stage well, making them experts at navigating it. With the effortless blocking, the dialogue flows easily. The chemistry between the actors is genial, creating a friendly and fun atmosphere.

One incident that attests to the professionalism of the actors occurred midway through the show. A poster advertising an important location in the show was affixed to one of the "hotel room" walls; however, it wasn't affixed very effectively since it fell after a few minutes. The actors responded spectacularly, never once breaking character or acknowledging the poster as a mistake. They simply rehung it as if it were an errant decoration in their own home or office. Not long afterward, the poster fell again. And again. And again. That was an incredibly enjoyable part of the show, though, because they managed to take a potential distraction and turn it into a comedic bit.

At the intermission, I had the opportunity to talk to Richard. He's been stressing over his play for weeks and has been putting in incredible amounts of work. He seemed nervous because he assured me that the second act was better. That surprised me, seeing as I was enthralled with the first act already.

One of the best attributes of the cast was that age was irrelevant. The cast was young, but they all lived up to their roles. I didn't spend any time guessing real ages or trying to figure out who was older or younger. I was just watching and enjoying the play.

That's another thing that Get Smart did; it reminded me that I love seeing plays. I often forget how much I enjoy them, but whenever I see a truly well-done and entertaining play, it rekindles my passion for theatre. Don't let Get Smart pass you by. There are three more shows: tonight, Friday night, and Saturday night, all at 8:00 p.m. If you go on Saturday, I'll see you there!

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