New Year Begins on a High Note with HAPPILY EVER AFTER and THE ‘V’ MONOLOGUES

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on December 30, 2011

During the past holiday, three theatres had performances. We at the Roxy had A Christmas Carol, the Cumberland Arts Centre had Dashing Through The Snow and, on top of those two, Austin Peay State University had The Nutcracker. It is more than awe-inspiring that three large venues in our city had performances on the same night and that all three were filled to capacity — SOLD OUT!

I think back on our early days, some thirty years ago. If we had as many in the audience as in the cast onstage, we were lucky. I remember Tom and myself performing in David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre, a two-character play … performing it for the two people in the audience. We might have fared better in giving them the scripts and watching them muddle through it.

For five consecutive Januarys, we performed five of the greatest plays in the American cannon of stage literature: Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, A Delicate Balance, All My Sons and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf — two by Edward Albee, two by Arthur Miller and one by Eugene O’Neill. We played these productions for a three- to four-week run. However, with a single performance of Flospy, Mopsy and Cottontail on a Saturday afternoon, the theatre sold more tickets with that one matinee than the aforementioned did during their entire runs. I have said it often; it takes me awhile to get it, whatever “it” may be.

For Halloween, the dining room table looked as if the three witches from Macbeth had put every leftover prop on the table — pumpkins, bats, black cats and witches’ extras. That’s alright. When my partner went to New York for casting auditions, I put away Halloween and replaced it with three dozen small tagged gift bags, each with a name and containing things I had picked up or come across during the year. So, for weeks, not only did our dining room look as if Santa had crashed his sleigh into our house, but it spilled over onto the sideboard, sofa and coffee table — ribbons, wrapping paper and tape that needed to be picked up or hidden by the time guests gathered for cast parties.

This theatre’s schedule is like the proverbial treadmill — go, go, go. And then stop — full stop for the holidays, bang-into-a-wall stop, slide-down-the-wall-into-a-heap stop. Now relax. Forget about it until you return and hit the ground running.

But it’s all good. Some young dear faces return (Heather Anderson, Josh Bernaski, Travis Kendrick and Brandon Meeks) with a new face and talent (Ashley Laverty) to add to the mix in Happily Ever After, playing 2pm Saturday matinees from January 14 through February 11. And Adriane Wiley-Hatfield, who was most recently seen on the Roxy stage as Mrs. Muller in last season’s production of Doubt, will open our tenth anniversary of The Vagina Monologues, running January 6 through February 4.

Wishing you all the best in 2012!

[John McDonald]

Previous post:

Next post: