Friday, May 11, 2012

Appreciating the Local

To officially tick something off my 50 List, a blog post about the achievement is necessary.
So here's the post about...
Go to a local (South Auckland) theatre performance.
I took myself to see the Manukau Performing Arts production of "Oliver" tonight. Ordinarily I would not have chosen this show to fulfill my goal - although it is one of the first musicals I remember seeing as a child, and although I loved playing the soundtrack (LP!) growing up, as an adult  (having seen it several times) I find the way the story evolves, especially in Act 2, 'fantastic' (in the fantasy notion of the word, not the amazing).
But late last year a Year 8 student and her Mum told me they were auditioning for this particular show. I voiced my encouragement and wished them luck, and didn't think much more of it. However the Mum then let me know they were both successful in becoming cast members, and later emailed me when tickets went on sale, so it became the 'right way' to achieve my goal.
I would say I appreciated the experience as opposed to enjoyed it. Small group amateur theatre (as opposed to larger amateur organisations with larger budgets and facilities) is a great place for the average person with a yearning for the limelight to get some time in it. I know - I have been there earlier in my life! It's also a great way for kids to gain stage experience and confidence in front of an audience, and Oliver is a great show to accommodate this.
But I am ashamed to say that too many top end professional shows have spoiled me, and warts-and-all small time theatre doesn't quite do it for me as entertainment any more. A bit like not being able to drink instant coffee anymore; only a freshly made espresso will do.
I openly confess that makes me sound like a total snob, but I promise I am not turning my nose up at my experience. I am pleased to have achieved my goal, and I absolutely commend each and every cast member; I was particularly impressed with the young guy who played Oliver, and the woman who portrayed Nancy. Oh, and the young girl who encouraged me to attend - she was a little star too; one of those ensemble members who stands out because of their commitment and believability. I hope she goes far.

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