Sunday, August 29, 2010

Off Broadway - My Town Monday

Amarillo, Texas is about as OFF Broadway as you can get, but don't let that fool you. We have a nice community theatre her that puts on an impressive list of shows every years. The Amarillo Little Theatre was established in 1927, making it one of the oldest continuously operating community theatres in the country.

ALT operates two separate venues.  The Mainstage Facility is located at 2019 Civic Circle and is the original theatre facility. Built in 1957, it houses ALT's 453 seat mainstage auditorium, administrative offices, box-office, scene shop, costume storage and two state-of-the-art dance studios. ALT's Adventure Space is located at 2751 Civic Circle. The Adventure Space theatre offers a more intimate environment with its 180 seat facility.

Until this past Thursday it had been years since I attended a play. Matter of fact I hadn't stepped foot in the original place since an elementary school field trip and I'd never been in the smaller venue. But for Christmas this past year I bought my wife season tickets so she could attend with a  group of friends. As part of the package she received 2 extras tickets to any show on the schedule. I decided to go along with Jennifer and our friends the other night to see a play called A Feminine Ending, which was playing in the smaller venue. It was described as a dark comedy and hey, I like dark comedies. Not to mention female ends.

Nevertheless I wasn't expecting much. The cast was comprised of a mere five actors and the opening monologue was all about classical music and the definition of a feminine versus masculine endings regarding musical composition. I'll admit, I thought what the hell have I gotten myself into.

But the production gained legs after that and before intermission I recognized bits of myself in 3 of the 5 characters. The writer in me is always fascinated when it seems as if someone else has reached inside my brain and pulled out tidbits to create their characters. I laughed, especially at the dialogue of the quirky postal employee and of course I'm always happy when the fat hairy dude gets to score with the hot chick.

All in all the actors did a great job, the dialogue was witty, and the story, while not as strong the second half, kept my interest. I enjoyed the play so much that I have already made plans to attend ALT's production of Mark Twain's, Is He Dead?

By Mark Twain
as adapted by David Ives
A new play by Mark Twain? Yes! Written by Twain in 1898 and revised by David Ives in 2003, this hilarious comedy had a successful Broadway run in 2007 and 2008. Combining elements of burlesque, farce and social satire, this fresh story raises questions about greed, fame and the value of art.
Twain? Hilarious comedy? Social satire? Burlesque!

Who's in with me?


Teresa said...

So glad the fat hairy dude scored with the hot chick! Sounds like you had a great time off Broadway!

Phats said...

haha nice post, what play will you be in, in your community theater?

We went and saw Jersey Boys over the summer absolutely loved it

Old Kitty said...

Yay for local theatres!! And yay that they put on proper plays and not just oooh I don't know, musicals!! Much as I love them!

That's brilliant!! And of course the hairy big fella gets the girl every so often too.

Twain and Burlesque?? I'm there!

Take care

the walking man said...

Wait...if the company was formed in 1927 and the "original theatre [sic} facility. Built in 1957"

Is this fuzzy math or am I missing something?

Travis Erwin said...

Mark, I think they first performed in a different facility and then had a new one built.

debra said...

Community theatre gives local folks a chance to participate in the process. It can be great, ok, and/or painful to watch! Thanks for highlighting it.

(my verification word is fleasize.)

Charles Gramlich said...

I've almost always liked the plays I've seen. I don't know why I don't go more often.

Kathryn Magendie said...

GMR acts in our local theater in Waynesville and in Asheville- so that gets my arse out of the little log house and to more shows - those and the shows of theater friends we've made! And, I'm always amazed at the talent here - and how much I enjoy the shows. Even musicals! I thought I detested musicals *laugh* . . .

I even acted in one play - few years back "Bat Boy the Musical" - lawd have mercy it was exhausting, but one of the fun and adverterous things I've done :-)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wherever I go, I try to see a local play. I have seen some of the best plays done in little theaters across the country. They do things Broadway steers away from.

Barrie said...

I love community theatre. I wouldn't mind a review of the Mark Twain play after you've seen it