Riverwalk opened their season this year with Little Shop of Horrors, which I went to see last Friday night. It easily had the largest audience of the shows I saw this weekend--with rain possibly keeping away some of the crowds at other locales.
I have an audio interview with Stephanie Banghart that I'm going to try to post later this week. I promised I would go through it first and take out anywhere that we got sidetracked into non-show related stuff. Stephanie was in the very first show that I ever acted in in this area--a show called To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday out at Bath Community Theatre Guild. She was still in high school then and I had just found out I was pregnant with my now 10-year-old son. She was wonderful to work with then, and I have to imagine that her cast has also discovered the joys of working with her.
One of the things that stood out the most about the show (other than the knock-your-socks-off voices of the two leads) was the great time that the audience was having. The energy created on stage rippled through the seats and everyone was audibly enjoying themselves. It's exciting to attend a show that goes from being a mere performance to creating an experience for everyone who was there. The musical was very much a two-way conversation between performers and audience members, the kind of thing that draws people to the theater and keeps them coming back.