New Year Brings Resolutions, Dreams of New Season

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 1, 2016

I’ve made my New Year’s resolution.

I’m going to try to keep the lessons which I have been advocating for years on the tail of all those bah-humbugs from the stage of the Roxy, the God-bless-us-everyones with peace-on-earth-and-good-will-toward-men.

I will try as best I can not to sit in judgment of others — like those who throw cigarette butts out of car windows or flip them onto streets or leave them on sidewalks. I wonder if they would be so cavalier about it if they knew all that gutter trash goes directly into the Cumberland, the river in which they boat, ski, fish and swim.

And I will try not to have bad thoughts for those who haphazardly leave grocery carts on Kroger’s and Publix’s parking lots for someone else to pick up (like me) and for those I see, driving in front of me or at stoplights in my rearview mirror, talking on cellphones or texting. The same goes for those men who, in the dead of night, use the dark corner under the marquee of the theatre as a urinal and for those who leave twelve-pack cartons of empty beer bottles in the gutter, minus the two which are still in cars driving on streets. Have I mentioned those who refuse to use turn signals?

Jacob Johnson, grandson of Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson, is a good-looking, laid-back young lad whom nothing seems to faze and who, as I request of my students, comes to see productions at the Roxy. However, Jacob not only came to see The Secret Garden, but he came back, this time with his uncle. He returned again for a third time with his grandmother. I could only think, “Three strikes, my dear boy, and you’re in like flint.”

If only our devoted regulars engaged two others to come with them to a performance, then we would not be requesting a new center for arts and education but demanding it. Last month’s Red River Breeze concert was sold out — we had to turn people away. Let’s all make our New Year’s resolution to enlighten, enliven and enrich the lives of our friends by bringing them to see what a great opportunity live professional theatre gives to our community.

I saw Jacob and his grandmother dining at my favorite restaurant, Edward’s Steakhouse, and asked if she would be his taxi so he could play Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank for us next fall. She said yes.

The perfect Anne would be Virginia Richardson (who was most recently our Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden) with her sister Margot played by Georgia Smith, Jay Doolittle as Dr. Dussel, and my best friend Leslie Greene as Mrs. van Daan. Yes, I’m often criticized for pre-casting, but I often say, “You’d jolly well better have someone in mind for Hamlet if you are planning to produce it.”

Happy New Year!

[John McDonald]

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