Let me start by saying that after I sneaked a peek at the pre-performance stage, I thought, whoa, this is going to be …?
The stage consisted of four chairs, four music-score-holders and lighting. No dancing, no costumes, no decorative settings, no props, no orchestral notes, just them and us. On the positive side, I didn’t have the tallest lady with the biggest hairdo sitting in front of me, (I’m 5’2 and shrinking), constantly checking her cell phone during the performance because of (thankfully), social distancing. I had a clear, close-up, view of the stage… with my mask on.
Barbara Stein, Miracle Theatre Executive Producing Director, introduced the evening’s sponsors and patrons and thanked everyone for attending and having arrived early, in spite of the torrential rains.
On stage, four award winning actors. Didi Conn (Grease), Donny Most (Happy Days), Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H) and Arian Zmed (TJ Hooker). The two couples start by cautiously remember their past. This might seem useless, but it won’t be. For the next hour and a half, they will each “read” their parts from their individual notebooks. They will remember and share their life experiences, including their first encounters with each other. Slowly, but surely you will be drawn into their memories because (if you are of a certain age, over 40), you’ve experienced those same moments. Everything is shared including childbirth, fights, menopause, erectile disfunction, forgetfulness, taxes, family gathering, losses, etc. Trust me, it’s not sad. If anything, it’s heartwarming, glowing, winking, reflective and so carefully calming.
David Arisco, Artistic Director said, “Middletown” is beautifully interpreted by actors who truly know their craft.”
This amazing theatrical encounter will remind you of you. Young ones might get it, however you and I will REALLY get it, truly enjoy it and feel it.
When each actor closes his or her book and goes to sit at their chair, you know.
My take during this production, not one person in the theatre left. No one coughed. Not one cell phone interruption. Towards the end we heard “smiles” and we heard “sighs” and we heard appreciation. Standing ovations were very well deserved.
Never miss a great show. www.actorsplayhouse.org or call 305.444.9293 for information or for tickets.