One of the nice things about being in between rehearsal periods is getting to see other shows! In the past few days, I saw three productions that could not be more different.
Last Wednesday I attended the tale of NC Summer Rep‘s Sweeney Todd. It was much larger than our Sunday in the Park with George in the number of both actors and instrumentalists and packed a huge artistic punch.
Like people said about Sunday, it was easy to forget that this was a “staged concert”. There wasn’t a phoned-in performance in the bunch, and the staging was creative and beautiful. The actors passed through the orchestra and interacted with them, and the director took full advantage of Triad Stage’s three-quarter mezzanine to house the percussionists and stage actors.
It was especially fun to see so many of my Sunday castmates in vastly different roles. Alex May was a delight as Johanna, a role that can be wasted on a lesser ingenue. Alex’s performance was thoughtful and nuanced, and she sang like a green finch herself! Keep an eye on this one; she’s going far!
Bonus: I was able to have dinner first with a bunch of TA folks, including one of the Sweeney cast members! It was great to visit with those lovely people outside of a rehearsal.
Thursday was Hampton’s day off, and we checked out Spirit Gum Theatre‘s production of Adam Szymkowicz’s Clown Bar. In an actual bar. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was terrified of having to interact with the actors. Not because coulrophobia, but because people looking at me when I don’t have a script.
Luckily, interaction was minimal and non-invasive. Even luckier that we didn’t miss this one! All of the performers were quite talented [not just saying that because we know most of them (; ] and avoided playing “I’m a clown” as their sole motivation. The immersive atmosphere was exactly what it should be: intimate and compelling. Using an actual bar was a great idea, and I’m so glad Gatsby’s let them do it.
Clown Bar runs for one more weekend. Don’t wait to get tickets, as seating is limited!
Sunday I had the opportunity to usher the closing matinee of Ghost at Theatre Alliance. Amber Engel and Brian Ford are two of my favorite local performers, and they did not disappoint. They’re both beautiful to listen to and look at, and they were absolutely charming together. It’s almost as if this music was written for Amber with her pure and clear mezzo voice.
John C. Wilson’s portrayal of Carl felt like a throwback to when he was Glenn Guglia in The Wedding Singer, especially with his opening song about New York, which made me giggle a lot.
Of course, you can’t have Ghost without “You in danger, girl!”, and the actress playing Oda Mae was a scene-stealing delight with a voice to cash that $10 million check. I hope she comes back to play with us soon!
And these are just the shows I got to see! Sadly, you can’t see them all, even when ushering to enhance your entertainment budget (: There is so much talent and creativity in the Triad and people making art in all its various forms. What a great place to live!