Last night I had one of those most unusual evenings at the theatre. You know the type where you feel as though the entire house are your comrades or family. You weep and laugh and gasp audibly and frequently and when the last word is spoken and the lights go down, you simply want to sit and talk and share your thoughts about this unbelievable experience you’ve shared. It reminds me of the night the ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area, when all my friends and neighbors and the strangers down the street and the people in line at the grocery store we’re suddenly like one big family. Easy to talk, listen, help.
Yes, that is probably the best way to describe my feelings when we attended the Artist’s Repertory Theatre’s Production of ‘Theater District’ by Richard Kramer. The play is spectacularly written taking us on an emotional roller coaster unlike any I’ve experienced in years. One minute your weeping and in the blink of an eye you’re laughing, laughing so hard your falling out of your seat. I swear there were times that I didn’t know if the tears running down my face were from happiness, sadness, anger, disappointment, pride, respect…oh the list goes on and when all was said and done, I was exhausted. Of course then I wanted to talk…as did Mark and our dear neighbors, who insisted we join them at their house afterwards for just that purpose.
Yes, Baird and Karen had seen this show a few weeks earlier being season ticket holders for the past 15 years. Karen swears this is the finest and most heartfelt production she has experienced at ART in those fifteen years and wanted to share this experience with us. Am I ever glad she did. I have to say that I’ve experienced some exceptional moments in the theatre, from both sides of the footlights, and this performance is one I’ll not soon forget.
If you ever have the opportunity to see this play, you should, without exception, pull out the old plastic and purchase yourself a couple of tickets. You won’t be disappointed…unless you go see the local high school production where you’d be hard pressed to find an actor with the knowledge and experience to plumb the depths of these characters. My hat’s off to Mr. Kramer (whom I adored when he was writing ‘thrtysomething’ back in the 80’s) for giving us this beautiful, well written tour de force, but mostly for bringing us ‘George’ who’s always ‘right here’.
Okay, so you’ll have to see the show or read the script to understand that last bit but I still cannot get this piece out of my head. It’s really that good!