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  • June 24, 2017, 11:12:55 PM

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Author Topic: S/O Theater experiences  (Read 900 times)

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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2017, 06:40:50 AM »
I have worked in a lot of community theater productions, and have seen a lot of them too, but the only time I got even close to Broadway was some very very off-Broadway production when I went to NYC as a teen with my school choir.  We did see the Rockettes in Radio City Music Hall as well.  It was a one-day trip.

Since then, I've stuck with community theater, doing everything but directing.  And I'll be going to NYC next month with friends, to see Bette Midler in Hello Dolly.  I am beyond excited.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2017, 09:09:24 AM »
In the 1970s I had a friend who was a member of Actor's Equity.  We were able to buy super cheap theater tickets and went to plays often.

We saw Anne Bancroft as Golda Meir.   

We saw the Edward Gorey staging of 'Dracula' twice... Once with Frank Langella and once with Raul Julia.  Both were excellent in the role but their interpretations were very different.

One especially memorable performance was James Earl Jones as Lennie in 'Of Mice and Men'.  Even today, thinking about it makes the hairs on the back of my head stand up.   


songbird

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2017, 09:28:27 AM »
My first live theater experience?  I was 12.  My grandmother took me and my sister to see "Fiddler on the Roof" at The Broadway Theater in NYC.  That was during the original Broadway run (yes, I'm showing my age).  My grandmother had grown up in a little village just like Anatevka.

My second experience was a few years later, when my junior high honor society went to see "Shenandoah" starring John Cullum.  After the show, he came back out onto the stage to talk to the school groups about the importance of live theater.

Molina was a very interesting Tevye.  I wanted to see Harvey in the role after Molina left, but we never got around to buying the tickets. 

I am jealous. I saw Fiddler at Lincoln Center, hmmm. late 70's/early 80s? Wow - i just googled it since I wasn't quite sure who the cast was, and i was close! 1981 with Herschel Bernardi. Wow, and also with Fyvush Finkel!  I then saw it sometime in the last 10 years or so with Alfred Molina as Teyve.

My first one though was Annie, with my dad. I still remember taking the bus into NYC, walking all over, having lunch and seeing the show. I can't remember who played Annie, but it was whoever took over for Andrea McArdle.

songbird

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2017, 09:31:27 AM »
My first show was Hello Dolly with Carol Channing at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles probably around 1962. I was twelve, and my parents took me as a special treat. We all dressed up. The Forum is gorgeous and it was my first formal experience. I can still see her in my mind's eye as she twirled around the stage.

That must have been something. 

We just saw Bette Midler in the revival, she was wonderful, but I wish I could have seen Carol Channing in the role.

songbird

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2017, 09:33:01 AM »
My first experience of live theater was 'Peter Pan' starring Mary Martin at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. 

I loved the show and probably drove my parents crazy with my tone-deaf versions of 'I Gotta Crow' for weeks afterwards. 

I was bothered by the theater itself.  In my five year-old mind I expected the Winter Garden Theater to be filled with flowers.  It was only a little nicer than our local movie theater.

I saw Mary Martin on TV.  Took my kids to see the Cathy Rigby revival.  Some shows are eternal.

songbird

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2017, 09:34:01 AM »
My first experience of live theater was 'Peter Pan' starring Mary Martin at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. 

I grew up in New York City, and I remember this production - Mary Martin made her entrance flying on a wire from the upper balcony to the stage - total magic!  It also starred Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook, and I was enchanted.

My aunt took me to see many plays on Broadway: Oklahoma, Cactus Flower (with Lauren Bacall), South Pacific, etc.  My parents took us to see Gilbert and Sullivan. 

When I was older, in the 1970s, my DH's family introduced me to their favorite live theater - the fabulous and free Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park, which offered performances of 2-3 different plays each summer.  I got to see a young Raul Julia and Meryl Streep in Taming of the Shrew, Dustin Hoffman, James Earl Jones, and many other very fine actors.  During the 70s one of the best shows I ever saw on Broadway was Dracula staring a exceedingly handsome Frank Langella. (sigh)

Loved Langella as Dracula.  Great show.

songbird

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2017, 09:35:16 AM »
I remember my first Broadway show was Hello, Dolly! with Ginger Rogers as Dolly. I was impressed that the actors were right there, since I'd only seen them on a movie screen previously.

Do shows at Radio City Music Hall count as theater experiences? I remember when they did movies plus stage shows year round.

In high school I saw 1776 with William Daniels as John Adams and John Cullum as Edward Rutledge. That was the first time I saw the Founding Fathers as real people instead of the overly idealized bunch they were in the schoolbooks and history lessons of the time.

When I was fourteen in 1970 my mother took me to see Harvey because she thought I should see Helen Hayes and Jimmy Stewart. I appreciate it in retrospect, but at the time I thought the play was stupid and I didn't see what was so amazing about Helen Hayes other than being still alive and performing. Stewart didn't make any particular impression (I've since come to enjoy him via the movies). I saw a revival of the play a few years ago with Jim Parsons. I still think the play is stupid--I can't believe it beat out The Glass Menagerie for the Pulitzer Prize--but it was nice to see Elwood P. Dowd played by someone still young.

Daniels as Adams?  I'm jealous.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2017, 10:49:19 AM »
This thread is so much fun!  It brings back so many happy memories. 

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a favorite place was the Tappan Zee Playhouse in Nyack, NY.  Helen Hayes was a resident of the town and this theater was one of her pet projects.  Production budgets may have been low but the quality was very high.  I remember seeing 'The Fantasticks' with Liza Minelli and Eliot Gould.

The TZ once made it into the national press because of an odd incident.  One July, the theater had to be evacuated because of a fire in the air conditioning system. The play being performed was 'Summer and Smoke'. 

iridaceae

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #23 on: Today at 06:02:43 AM »
I've been to the American Player's Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin several times. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Players_Theatre    We saw Two Gentlemen of Verona there in high school.

Nothing to see here.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #24 on: Today at 04:35:37 PM »
There was a very different sort of theater experience that I had in the 1970s that I doubt would be allowed today.

At that time you could go to historic theaters in London late in the morning or early in the afternoon on a day when the theater did not have a matinee performance.  With a polite request at the box office it was often possible for a custodian to come out and give you a private backstage tour for a half-hour or so.  You would certainly expect to pay a few pounds for the privilege but the cost was well worth it.

These theaters often had early and middle 19th century stage machinery in place. They weren't used but they were there to be seen and appreciated.  These tours were both fun and very educational. 

 

zyrs

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #25 on: Today at 05:38:45 PM »
Saw 'Dracula' with Martin Landau in the title role.

Saw 'Hairspray' at the 5th Avenue in Seattle before the play went to Broadway.  John Waters was there and had recommended to them that they add a rat to 'Good Morning, Baltimore'.  He was mobbed so I didn't get an autograph.

L

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #26 on: Today at 08:08:24 PM »
Saw 'Dracula' with Martin Landau in the title role.

Saw 'Hairspray' at the 5th Avenue in Seattle before the play went to Broadway.  John Waters was there and had recommended to them that they add a rat to 'Good Morning, Baltimore'.  He was mobbed so I didn't get an autograph.

Oh, Martin Landau would be perfect as Dracula. He just has that look! Was he good?

Katana_Geldar

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #27 on: Today at 08:41:08 PM »
Saw Julie Caesar at the Sydney Opera House, it was a Bell Shakespeare production with a female Cassius and it was quite good. Also saw the Yes, Prime Minister play at the Opera House. While it doesn't compare to the original it was still good.

DH and I went to see the Lion King which I'd been wanting to see for ages. Loved it, want to take DS one day when he's old enough. And the kids around us for the evening show were very well-behaved!

And we went to see the Rocky Horror Show with Bert Newton as the narrator and Craig McLachlan as Frankenfurter. Was an amazing show, I shouted out "Moonface!" To Bert (it is one of his nicknames) and saw him in fishnets, garters and high heels. Craig McLachlan was brilliant too, he had a lot of fun playing off the audience.

magician5

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #28 on: Today at 09:13:00 PM »
1966, Senior HS trip to NYC - Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes Easter Show (or was it Christmas?) lots of bowing and worshiping in dance/mime, followed by Debbie Reynolds in THE SINGING NUN. Awful! If we could have gotten away with it we would have gone over to Times Square for some loose joints and a three-movie porn show just to feel cleansed.

But earlier, in Junior High, there was a school assembly where visiting HS students told us a little about career choices. Their drama students gave us a little example and my eyes lit up - I could do that! Yeah, that could be me up there! Majored in dramatic arts in college and spent the next 30 years performing for pay (mostly small-time, but it was performing!)
« Last Edit: Today at 09:17:07 PM by magician5 »
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

oz diva

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Re: S/O Theater experiences
« Reply #29 on: Today at 10:21:20 PM »
I've never been to Broadway, but my daughter is besotted with it right now.

Memorable plays include:
A production of The Yeoman of the Guard performed in the (dry) moat of the Tower of London
Sylvia starring Rachel Griffiths
Aladdin which I saw earlier this month, such a sumptuous production
An amateur production of The Little Mermaid starring my 14 yr old daughter
The Play that went Wrong
North by Northwest
The 39 Steps
1984
Matilda which we've seen twice, once in London and once in Melbourne.
One of the Storey Treehouse plays (I forget which one) written by my cousin (he's the playwright, not the author of the books).
And many many more...

Off to see Macbeth this week.

Victoria