Horrors of Local Theater

September 18th, 2011 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

A universe of two does not lend itself to science and analysis, unless perhaps it’s two galaxies. Instead consider the pair of local plays fraught with physical anguish and disappointment.

Our neighborhood group, the Riverside Theatre Works, has staged Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The Central Square has a lively, comedic version of The House of the Baskervilles. One was delayed and one postponed in process for emergencies. Is this a trend?

We have tickets to Cat, but were not there on opening night. A neighbor involved in the RTW told me yesterday that she was there as usual and for the first time ever, the production halted while an audience member was hauled away. She had some sort of episode that required an ambulance. The show stopped for about 40 minutes. One wonders how much sultriness made the transition.

Today, we were at Hound when we returned from intermission, I with a cup of coffee. The first hour was a surprise delight. It was vaudevillian in its physical comedy and great fun with the too-familiar Conan Doyle lines. Three actors play 16 characters, generally with the one off-stage suddenly reemerging with a wig and dress or cloak to add another part. There was a lot of running around, climbing on sets and what we’d call zaniness in earlier TV sit-coms.

Right before the break, one actor flipped the stage lights on and came out yelling that there really was something back there that bit him, and calling the other actors by their real names. Such switching clearly set us up for the second hour.

Yet, 15 minutes later we returned to blinking lights and the stage manager telling us that one of the actors hurt his ankle so badly that he could not continue. They’d take him to the emergency room. We’d get an email offering us a choice of another performance or a refund. Really.

She had to convince us. Given the parody on stage, this seemed like just another gimmick, like the ones that had worked so well for the first hour.

So there you have it. Two plays in September interrupted by physical crisis. What’s the odds? Do you suppose we’ll ever see the second half of Hound?

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