Ok, a disclaimer. I'm not, and never have been, a really big Dr. Seuss fan. Just not my thing, nor Beatrix's.
But the Children's Theatre Company hols a very special place in my heart, for any number of reasons. We can't afford season tickets (which was my big desire as a child Beatrix's age), but we try to get there as often as we can. Last night, Beatrix and I (and her new Baby Alive doll Maia) and I had a date to see The Sneetches: The Musical, and had a fantastic evening in second row seats!
Due to friends who went to school there and some part-time work as an usher (a million years ago), I'm very familiar with the CTC space. Still, I always am impressed by how smoothly the from of house runs there. It's easy, it's enjoyable, it's comfortable. Getting there, parking, sometimes stopping briefly at the MIA, hanging out in the lobby, getting to our seats — all extraordinarily convenient. It seems like an odd thing to comment on, but when that part of the night goes well, it makes everything else a lot more enjoyable.
I have several friends in the cast (shout out to Bradley and Max especially!), so that was fun. But I have to say that the high point for both of us was seeing our friends' daughter, Maia, in the lead role of Standee. Maia had been cast in the ensemble, and was understudying Standee, when she first got called on to play the role about a week ago. Though I hope the originally cast actor gets better soon, I'm secretly THRILLED we got to see Maia in the part, because she was OUTSTANDING. That girl, not much older than Beatrix, carried the whole show with strong singing and acting skills but mostly a comfort not he stage and an attention to other cast members that was phenomenal to see. Beatrix is still talking about it, and rightfully so.
The cast as a whole actually got me thinking a lot. It was a large cast, and effortlessly diverse, the kind of color-blind casting that might have been made a big deal about earlier in my career and now is just...done...as a matter of course. And I think that the show was much stronger for it.
Tomorrow, we'll all see King Lear at the Guthrie, so it's certainly a weekend full of different kinds of theater. We're so lucky to have these kinds of opportunities here, so if nothing else, this is my question to you — if you are not out seeing performances, what's holding you back? Rethink it if you can, because times like last night are pure magic.