Front Row Center – April 2022

Season 57

front row

This has been an up-and-down season. There have been two historical plays, two strange plays, a musical event, and finally a Canadian comedy. In addition to some unusual choices, we had to deal with the continuing pandemic which required half-empty houses. LLT still carried on with considerable courage and skill.

The two plays based on actual history were remarkably different. The Madres was set in 1978 Argentina during the military dictatorship of President Videla. At this time thousands of his opponents were captured and killed, while also pregnant women were imprisoned and their babies taken to suitable foster parents favorable to the regime. This play was extremely well-performed and I found it to be both real and very moving. On the other hand, Silent Sky was interesting but not exactly a play. This was a biography of Henrietta Leavitt who made some important discoveries in astronomy about one hundred years ago. In spite of being female, and thus denied access to the Harvard Observatory telescope, she was able to publish Leavitt’s Law, which shows a mathematical relationship between the brightness and periodicity of certain variable stars. This gave astronomers a measuring stick for the universe. I appreciated her story, but there was a lack of tension or emotional discovery that makes for a good play.

What about the strange plays? Well, the first play of the season was Everything in the Garden, an Edward Albee adaptation of a British play by Giles Cooper. It’s all about greed and corruption in the suburbs. And probably murder as well. You take what you can get, like all the neighbors, and hope not to be found out. And then there was Random World, which was a really strange play. In fact, it was hardly a play at all. The author threw together some two-person audition scenes and called it a play. Maybe it’s clever in a life’s-like-that kind of way, but I found it disjointed and confusing.

And finally the musical. Unfortunately, the originally planned A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum had to be cancelled, so LLT put on a show of popular songs and dance routines from musicals of the past. And it was really very good. It shows how much talent we have in this little town. I particularly enjoyed the tap dance routine and the “Hey, Big Spender” number from Sweet Charity. But of course there was no story line and it’s difficult to say more than it was very well done. LLT did a great job, and I congratulate the entire team.

The last play of the season will be the comedy Cake Walk, which opens on March 25. It was first produced in 1984 for a Canada Day performance in Blyth, Ontario. I haven’t seen it yet, and it’s the only comedy show of the season, so I hope it’s hilarious.

That was Season 57. I hope that Season 58 will be as good or better. And COVID-free!

April 2022 Issue

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