FRONT ROW CENTER – February 2011


By Michael Warren

The Lakeside Little Theatre
– A Historical Note


front-rowDue to the timing of the plays and the submission requirements of El Ojo del Lago, my review of the January play Tribute will appear in March. Then we will be back on track for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, here are some notes on the history and current set-up of the Lakeside Little Theatre. I hope you find these notes useful and interesting.

Lakeside boasts the oldest English-speaking theater in Mexico. Back in 1965, people interested in the theater got together and said “Gee, let’s put on a show!” They started out in the Chula Vista clubhouse, with an original production of “The Saddlebag Saloon” written and directed by the first president Betty Kuzell.

Then, a few years later, some alumni from the famous Pasadena Playhouse in California retired to this area, and set to work gathering funds for a permanent theatrical home. The current building – the Lakeside Little Theatre – opened in 1986 with a production of “Don’t Drink The Water” directed by Rocky Karns. It’s a splendid place that seats 112 people, a theater that any community group in any country would be proud to have.

Currently there are six shows every winter season. Each show has nine performances, mostly evenings at 7.30 pm except for two Sunday matinee shows with curtain time at 3 pm. Frequently, a musical show requires one or two extra performances, due to popular demand. Season tickets (currently 900 pesos) are reserved seats for all six shows, which run from October through April. A season ticket also includes membership of the LLT, and allows you to attend the Kick-Off party at the beginning of the season. But be sure to arrive on time – if you turn up late, your seat may be sold by the theater just before curtain time. The LLT does not want empty seats!

Usually the six shows for each season are a mixture of different genres of play – comedy, farce, murder mystery, drama and there is always one musical. In the drama category, the occasional serious play is included to stimulate the mind – in my opinion this does not happen sufficiently often. Here is my vote for the best shows in each category over the past ten years, the “Snoop Awards”:

Best comedy: Blithe Spirit

Best farce: Caught In the Net

Best murder mystery: The Hollow

Best drama: Doubt

Best musical: Cabaret

Just one person’s opinion! See you next month.

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