We take the grandkids to the theatre.
Having missed the boat when it came to our three boys, we are happy to see that the next generation is ecstatic about plays.
MK and I went to the local Marriott in Lincolnshire with Laura and Samantha (our granddaughter). Laura had expressed to us her interest in the play, Oklahoma, which by the way, I don’t believe I had ever seen, and thus we decided that the four of us would go on a Sunday afternoon.
We are of the belief that although the Marriott’s performances have been more than satisfactory in the past, that they have moved into the wonderful arena.
As I said to Laura, only about two per cent of the people in the theatre were young and she and Samantha were among that group. The actors took care of the rest. I would like to see more young people among the audience.
The stage is one we had already seen, with ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’ It was modified by a projection around the edges of the theatre in the round, showing the prairie at various times of the day. The minute the lights went down, one was immersed in the setting, and it was nothing short of amazing.
The cast was amazing. My only issue was with ‘Aunt Eller,’ played by Susan Moniz. She didn’t have enough of an older person’s persona or physicality. She was way too ‘spry,’ in my estimate. Otherwise, she was wonderful.
The rest were amazing, with incredible voices and choreography, this is a production that must be seen, an American classic, and one that has universality and always the ability to please visually and audibly.
We had a wonderful time, and to put the ‘icing on the cake, Brandon Springman (Curly), originally from Alton, Illinois, came out and did what I would call a ‘Stratford,’ he came out, totally without arrogance or affectation, and spoke to us about the play and his craft. When we mentioned our regrettable faux pas of not having a pen for an autograph, he went inside and got one, signing Samantha’s playbook. Such professionalism is truly heartwarming. He told Samantha that he and she had a commonality as she is soon to play a role in ‘Willie Wonka.’
What a wonderful, Sunday afternoon.