by RoxyRegionalTheatre on June 24, 2011

The show must go on!

I didn’t know what that meant or why one said it, but I do now. Our Huck Finn in Big River came down with something which caused him to miss a performance. But the show must go on. Why? Because if it doesn’t, you have to give the money back, and no theatre can afford to do that.

Fortunately, Travis Kendrick pulled the fat out of the fire once again, just as he had done for us last fall in Around the World in 80 Days, covering at the last minute for an ailing Jay Doolittle. With text in hand, talent, technique, a vast experience, and the help of over forty well-trained young thespians, Travis pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the proverbial hat. The show must go on, and it did. I always joke that our good friends at F&M Bank like to see us make those deposits, and you can’t do that if you have to give the money back.

A father coming with his son to see Big River said he had been reading Tom Sawyer to his son. His son was interested in reading, but his father said that Twain’s verbiage and wordplay was a bit of a struggle for his son. I said, “Take him to Borders and set him free. He’ll find something there to grab his attention.”

The theatre changes lives, minds and attitudes and uplifts the spirit. I’ve seen it happen for the good much more often than not. However, sometimes, but rarely, the glittering confetti, the flash of sequins, along with the colored lights and paper moon, becomes the be-all and end-all of a child’s world. We do not encourage it, but rather place family, school and church above all involvement in theatre. And if grades aren’t up to snuff, or this business we call show causes any form of chaos at home, we are required to terminate our relationship, as sad and difficult as that might be.

The interns are in rehearsal for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and have been for two weeks before our two professionals, Travis Kendrick and Erica Lee Haines, joined them. It is not like my own teen years as an apprentice at the Front Street Theatre in Memphis. I was able to observe George Hearn (“Sweeney Todd”), Dixie Carter (“Designing Women”), Jonathan Frid (“Dark Shadows”) and others. You almost learn by osmosis, or rather from following the example of consummate professionals.

Joseph opens tonight (Friday) at 6pm. All tickets are $10. You can stay after and see Almost Heaven, which is in its final two weeks, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm.

Parks and Rec Summer Playhouse “Performers of the Week” for the first week were: Truman Jepson, Brianna Olds, Rhiannon Pickney and Terrishiel Stone. “Performers of the Week” for the second week were: Summer Aoki, Laurel Peek, Liam Poland and Jeremy Weltch. Congratulations to all!

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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