Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Invest in a few hours of "Rent"

Chris and I attended the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players production of "Rent" on Saturday night at the Historic Atlas Theatre.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that this won't be a critical review of the musical due to the fact that I've been a player in CLTP productions. I've served as emcee at the Old-Fashioned Summer Melodrama. Technically, I'm not a member of the cast but I keep the show moving along with witty banter and wry observations. Chris and I also volunteer for various CLTP plays. Chris usually staffs the box office and has to deal with a computer ticketing program, phone calls from lost patrons and, sometimes, complaints from disgruntled customers. I sometimes am house manager engaging in witty banter and wry observations with loitering theatre-goers. I often have to flick the house lights five minutes before show time. Sometimes I go up on stage at intermission to draw the winning ticket for the 50/50 raffle. They only choose the most trusted volunteers for this job.

I have some emotional capital invested in community theatre. I know the time and commitment that goes into each production. The "Rent" cast rehearsed for almost eight weeks. Sets had to be built by John Lyttle and crew; costumes made by Dana and Katie Heying; music rehearsed by Dr. Judy Ransom and the band. A decision was made to go with wireless body microphones on all of the cast. They were expensive, and the cast had less than two weeks to get used to them.

I also must admit that I have never seen "Rent," neither the play nor the movie. Because I work in the arts, people think I've seen every play in the book, possibly on Broadway. I do know people who take yearly trips to The Great White Way. But I've never been. Most of my theatre-going has been of the community variety. I've made the 90-minute trip to Denver for "The Book of Mormon" and other DCPA offerings. After a slow start, I am on a lifetime quest to see every play and concert and art museum exhibit that I can reasonably afford. As a writer, I've spent most of my life buying books and attending literary events. Writing, too -- can't forget that. It's time to branch out.

So, you may ask, should I go see "Rent" during the remainder of its run.


Get tickets here.

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