Theatre Is Dark, But “Phantasms” of Performances Still Linger

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 4, 2013

The theatre is dark, no performances at present, in a sleeplike state of quiet. “Phantasms” of performances linger like the scent of fine cologne, well after the players have left the stage:

• Clark Young, Ryan Bell and Kris McCarthy — wonderful Peter Pans all, but Clark’s fall unforgettable;

• Marge Lillard’s taps from Funny Girl, and later some of hers in another’s shoes;

• Jill Whittinghill’s tears on cue at each and every performance of The Noble Heart;

• Cinders Murdock Vaughn prancing with a stage-long boa in Nine;

• Diane Farris’s Anne Frank (for a moment I, too, was in that attic);

• Tommy Winters’ terrible and tender Sweeney Todd;

• Amber Wallace, sweet as Sweet Charity;

• Brandon Meeks’ Horatio making a choice to drink or not to drink the poisoned cup as the lights slowly faded to black;

• Alicia Kelly’s ridiculous Airie in The Robber Bridegroom to her sublime Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire;

• Justin Barnum exuding sex as Stanley Kowalski;

• Kerby Joe Grubb’s Hamlet, beautiful and haunting;

• Leslie Greene in everything, especially as Nora Witzel and Dorothy Dix and all the times we’ve been wed on stage;

• Tom Thayer singing and dancing in the rain;

Jesus Christ Superstar — so emotional that people had to leave, Kathy Sitton being one;

• The stage-handsome Dick Bunting — like a song from Showboat, “you would meet him on the street and never notice him,” but on the stage as Billy Flynn in Chicago … wow!

• Joylene Taylor as Liza the maid in Peter Pan (because she wanted to get involved in any way), then Liza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and, recently, Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music;

• Ted Jones as The Baker and Ryan Bowie as The Baker in Into the Woods; but always Debby Dowlen-Noyes as The Baker’s Wife — amazing!

• Linda Ellis in The Rink, which brought tears to my eyes;

• Matt DuMont, so dear in Spring Awakening and during rehearsal, doing reverse chin-ups as he sang;

• Kendall Anne Thompson as The Green Girl in Shout (nothing green about her performances);

• Mary Harpel’s funny Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, and Miss Daisy, playing at what she would ultimately become;

• Evy Gildrie making her debut in my first play and returning afterward for Jessica, Amelia, Hermione and Lady Macbeth, descending in madness down twenty feet of stairs;

• Jason Kaye, the gentlemen’s gentleman caller who made me understand Tennessee Williams like no one had before;

• Jay Doolittle, who brings, brought and will again, expertise to each and every role;

• Jaime Kirchner’s unwritten fairy spirit in Camelot, then moving on up to Rent on Broadway and finding herself in three television dramas;

• Stacy Turner-Olson starting with us as a child in Barnum, then second lead in She Loves Me, and on to Funny Girl and Sally Bowles;

The memories need not be conjured, for they are ever-present.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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