Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My cup runneth over

Last night and this morning I was reviewing the spreadsheet I've set up of all the shows I've seen this year. It was rather pleasant to reflect on all the wonderful things I've gotten to see this year.

And make no mistake--this year's season was filled with many delights. Sure, there were some shows that were subpar, but they still beat out a night in front of the television watching anything at all.

All told, I've seen more than 80 shows in the past 11 months. A dozen of those were from out-of-town, but all the rest were here in Lansing. That includes two operas, but does not include the high school shows, ballets, or concerts that I went to. Nor does it count the shows I saw more than once, though I must confess that's happening a lot less in my life these days. It's one of the things that I miss: seeing the same show multiple times.

I really do feel blessed and fortunate to be able to attend so much theater and to live in a town where the theater community is so incredibly vibrant. There will always be people who complain about what is not happening or what is wrong, but I am so frequently overwhelmed by the magnitude of what is going right and what is interesting and compelling, that I often find the complaints unworthy.

There is a survey being offered at many of the local theaters that is trying to get a view of the overall theatrical community and audiences. I've filled it out several times now. One of the questions that I steadfastly refuse to answer is the one asking which company is my favorite. I don't have one. If I were told that for the next two years I could go to only one theater, I don't know which I'd choose. Each group has something different about it to love. Each company is important for a different reason. Local theater truly is an ecosystem, not a hierarchy.


Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree on the blessing. Would there possibly be a Send Me No Flowers review on the horizon?

Bridgette Redman said...

To be perfectly honest, I had such a negative reaction to the script that I felt it would be unfair to review the show.

At some point I should blog about the different approaches I have to a review written for the LSJ vs. one for Epinions vs. something written here at the blog which I don't consider a review at all, merely ramblings or reactions to something I've seen. There can be a lot of overlap, but one thing that I'll tend to do is shy away from writing here things that I would feel obligated to write in a formal review.

I recognize that my reaction to the script colored my impression of the entire play--and if I blogged about it, I'd end up talking about that rather than some of the very nice work done by the actors in the play.

Anonymous said...

Aha! Your reaction to the script is perfectly understandable. There is an aspect of deciding which shows to do that is quite difficult, in that sometimes ya get yourself into something without adding up all pros and cons. By the time you figure it out, it's too late to back out. Lately, it seems I've acquired the knack for doing shows I've regretted later. To that end, I'm striving to be more discerning regarding future ventures.

Bridgette Redman said...

I think it is often the case that aspects of a show that are offensive or dated might not come out on an initial reading of the script. In fact, sometimes I think they may come out only during the rehearsal and performance of it when it is too late to do much about it.

I remember that was the case with a show I was involved in some years back. As the rehearsals progressed, I became more and more concerned about the relationships of the characters and the violent and offensive nature of them in what was supposed to be a light comedy. By that time, there was little that could be done about it.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! I leave a lot to trusting the people I work for, the directors. Sometimes that works, but that's how I get burned once in awhile! It's also easy to get caught up in wanting to work with good people, which is yet another "judgment clouder."