11 December 2011


A word about community theater.

I am about as big of a Broadway snob as they come. (I'm sorry, it's true.) But even I make a point to see all kinds of productions, from Off-Broadway to Fringe to local productions of both established works and originals. Sometimes it's because I know the people putting on the production, sometimes it's because I love the show, and sometimes it's just to support local theater. My favorite community theater moments have been when I am delivered a huge dose of humility about my Broadway-centered-ness. Nothing is better than a killer production with local talent that exceeds your every expectation.

Luckily for me and my community, that has happened twice in the past month.

Photo: Nick Berard
Forward Theater Company's The Farnsworth Invention was a masterpiece. The intricacy of Aaron Sorkin's language and the depth of plot detail would have stumped almost any other group of actors and creative staff, but this incredible ensemble staged a gripping, intelligent, moving piece of theater. I was enthralled and left in a state which is incredibly rare for me: speechless.

Photo: Greg Anderson
Four Seasons Theatre's RENT was the regional theater premiere of Jonathan Larson's bohemian rock opera. It is a personal favorite of mine - a staple in my all-time top three musicals - and this particular production was honestly one of the best I've ever seen. This cast was awe-inspiring, their habitation of their characters so complete I forgot the familiar faces and simply fell into their story. I can't stop thinking about how excellent it was, and I can rarely say that - even about Broadway shows.