Our “family sport” is live theater, and how I miss it!
We like basketball (woo, Lakers!), but we really love theater. Of all the many losses we’ve endured since the pandemic, the loss of live theater has left a unique hole in our lives. But that hole is starting to be filled again. Even though it is now on zoom, or in movie format, and I’m watching from my couch in the dark, I’m still transported back to that place of expectation, emotion and delight. Huzzah!
“How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t!” –Wm Shakespeare, The Tempest.
When I see a work of art that is original, fresh, imaginative and “oh wow!”, I always think of this line from the Tempest. I am so grateful to these creative theater folks who bring things to life out of their imaginations.
So thank you to the optimistic producers and directors and actors who have found innovative ways to make “pandemic” theater and share it with us. Thank you to the patrons supporting these new-form productions to keep our theaters alive until they can safely re-open (Spring 2021 for Broadway?).
Zoom theater is not my first choice, but it got the ball rolling. The early attempts were clumsy, and the learning curve was steep for actors and production staff. But the show must go on, and they persevered. And it’s looking better week by week. As we’ve become more educated and resourceful about safety protocols, these productions are enabling performers and staff to both work and stay healthy, and also improve the production values. Of course we need to reopen our theater spaces safely, but until then, this feels pretty good.
One of the last live performances I saw was “What the Constitution Means to Me,” in Los Angeles, at the Mark Taper Forum. It is always a thrill when the house lights darken, the audience becomes alert and quiet, and then the lights come up and we give ourselves over to the unfolding production. I remember getting teary at a few points, and even fishing around for a pen to make a note on my program because I was struck by something and wanted to remember it.
But you’re in luck. “What the Constitution Means to Me” has been filmed (like Hamilton was), and is being released on Amazon. Drama! Real life! Personal stories! Audience participation! This impactful theatrical performance has moved to the screen, and I will watch it again. I want to recapture a bit of that live theater feeling (I can visualize where in the theater we were seated!), and be reminded again of what our Constitution is (and isn’t). With the election on the near horizon and a spot on the Supreme Court up for grabs, it’s a timely choice.
Oh, and yay, Lakers basketball for their 17th championship win, tying the Boston Celtics for the record! Woo!
Auditorium image: MustangJoe from Pixabay, Theater lighting image: bigter choi from Pixabay