Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh, What an Opening Weekend (CCPT)

I sure did sleep well last night after a wonderful and exhausting opening weekend for the Culver City Public Theatre (CCPT) 2007 season opening weekend. Rehearsals are over and performance time began. Both King Midas and Much Ado About Nothing got off to successful starts and it seemed, as I guess it should, that Sunday's performances were better than Saturday's.

For me, the highlight of the weekend was Sunday audiences. For the Popcorn Children's Theatre performance of King Midas, in addition to the regular audience members, we were blessed with 2 vans full of youth from the Omega program in Downey, CA. These wonderful young people with learning disabilities laughed and hooted all the way through the play. And, as is so often the case, the cast members responded in kind and it was a rollicking performance. Rarely have I felt so turned on by an audience and it was a joy to meet and talk with many of the Omega youths after the show. One of their leaders explained to me that for these kids, what they saw on stage was real and they delighted as the dress of the Princess turned to gold when she was touched by her father, the king with the Midas Touch in Act 1 and when the good king ended up with the ears of an a. . . . donkey in Act 2. I hope they come back and see the show again.

Below, thanks to stage manager extraordinaire Suze Campagna is a handful of pictures from yesterday's performance:

King Midas (The Ancient One) and the Princess (Shannon Pritchard); Fraculous (Sharon Savene) in background.

A dancing (?) King Midas with Friculous (Bethany Hilliard)

Midas and the Princess about to go on stage for Act 2

The great god Apollo playing the lyre for [seated] Tmolus (Teresa Waxer), Midas, the Princess and [standing] Friculous and Fraculous

Midas checking body parts after Apollo rewards him with the ears of a donkey.

Alas, I do not yet have pictures of the Much Ado About Nothing performances but will post some when they are available to me. The whole cast was amazing on this first weekend (with 2 more to go) and I survived my first attempt at Shakespeare. But then, Dogberry is such a wonderful, muddled character there was no way I could fail. And the audiences were great with a somewhat larger (I'm guessing about 100), much louder crowd on Sunday to which the cast (as was the case in the children's show, responded.

And now to get some of my other work done. No more rehearsals although lines do get run at least once a day. How nice to have a week night at home again!


Eric Valentine said...

Thankyou for sharing such an excellent post on your experiencies with the theatre. Very enjoyable reading, supplimented of course with the beautiful pictures of such a worthwhile accomplishment.

I look forward to more reading in a similar vein. :)

Well done my friend.

If it is ok with you I will link to your blog. Thanks again.

Leon said...

Thanks Eric. It certainly ok if you link to this blog. I do note from your links that we follow some of the same bloggers.

- Leon