by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 10, 2014

“What is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.” [James Russell Lowell]

Last summer, like summer itself, seems long ago.

But during that time of long days, light and hours of continual heat, the very talented and eager young theatrical hopefuls of the Parks and Rec summer program, along with the Roxy summer interns, helped with reworking Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, a script we produced here some years ago. From that troupe of seventy, all told, came a new script now acted by six professionals.

I feel as if I discovered Eli Jolley and Jake Jessup, although I know they both came to us already well-trained and educated. These two upfront fellows, on their own accord, came and made the proper inroads to audition for us and, in doing so, were cast in The Great Gatsby. They were so perfect in their roles of Tom Buchanan and George Wilson that we could not wait but to have them return.

Michael Spaziani takes on the role of Hans Christian Andersen after having played Paris in Romeo & Juliet, a soldier in Civil War Stories, Lt. Cable in South Pacific, Frankie in Plaid Tidings, and Frog in A Year with Frog and Toad. He will be leaving us to play Radames in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida right after his jaunt as Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing.

For a time in January, we produced five of the greatest plays in the canon of American greats: Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance, and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and All My Sons. Those productions ran a month each, or rather five months of performances in all.

It takes awhile for me to get anything. First, after three years we got that at Christmas we should produce a holiday-oriented production. A decade or so later, we started to produce a Halloween-themed play for that holiday. And then in one performance of Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail on a January Saturday afternoon, we played to more people than saw the five aforementioned American classics in their entire run.

I think, because our proximity to the time zone’s line of demarcation causes us to suffer under dark, dark early afternoons, that our audience goes home from work in the dark and, like myself, once in wants to stay there.

Tonight, after having been cooped up and gone stir-crazy, unable to escape most of the week and having suffered with cabin fever, it’s time to break loose — and I do mean loose. The twelfth annual Vagina Monologues opens. Talk about starting off the new year on the right foot. This play, performed by three of the Roxy’s best — Leslie Greene, Michelle Foletta and Adriane Wiley-Hatfield — plays upstairs in theotherspace at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and at 7pm on Thursdays, now through February 1.

See you at the theatre!

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