Saturday, June 9, 2007

An Afternoon at the Theatre

Mom had to get a doctor's appointment taken care of this morning, and I got Gram all settled for the day as I do most weekends, to give Mom a break from all the eye drops, puffers, nitro patch, tea and toast.

Soon Gram was all set for the day in her rocking chair, TV turned to PBS to watch the cooks, her wireless headphones on so she can hear without making us all deaf. Oh, how we love those headphones!

Mom got back from her appointment, I took my dog for a walk, then we set off for an afternoon at the theatre. My husband was home with one ear out for anything Gram might need. I drove us down to the ferry, which we took across the harbour to Halifax. It was another beautiful day. We walked up from the ferry to Neptune Theatre, Halifax's professional live theatre venue. At only 479 seats, it's small and intimate.

We met up with my sister and her boyfriend, plus two of his sisters, their spouses and children. My cousin's husband and their daughter were also there. Settling into our seats, it never crossed my mind to regret not being outside on this gorgeous sunny day. When the houselights go down and the orchestra or band starts up, the rush of joy that goes through me is one of my favorite things about being alive.

We saw "Beauty and the Beast", a scaled-down version of the Broadway/Disney adaptation. Because of the small size of the theatre, there is only room for three dancing couples, whereas I assume the Broadway version might have eight or ten. The set manages to give a sense of spectacle while not overpowering the physical space.

Standout performances belonged to Julie Martell as Belle, whose voice was wonderful; Rejean Cournoyer as Gaston, who really lit up the stage and had a marvellous booming dramatic baritone, as well as great comic timing; and Tory Doctor as Lumiere, very charismatic, great body language and wonderful comic acting. His throw-away of "Let me give you a candle with that" (his hands were candles that he could light from inside the costume) was priceless.

For eight years I was insanely lucky to work as an usher at the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto, and I miss the feeling of being inside the house during a show. Whenever I get a chance like today to enjoy that wonderful charge of energy, I'm there! That theatre is very large - 3200 seats. Too large, in many ways. So I'm used to seeing productions stretched over the large scale of that venue. The creative solutions the different teams have come up with for the shows I've seen at Neptune really impress me.

After the show, my sister and her boyfriend drove us over the bridge to Mom's car, and Mom and I headed home. A beautiful day, a wonderful show, lots of rose imagery in the set design. Very happy today!

11 comments:

Kailana said...

I really want to see that. I keep seeing ads for it. And it was held over. Now, if I could just find someone to go with me. :(

RUTH said...

I haven't been to a theatre and seen a "live" performnce or years. Sounds a woderful show and glad you had a good day.

Akelamalu said...

Gosh it's so long since I've been to the theatre you've made me jealous now! :0

Christine said...

I wanted to see that as well, but then just forgot to get tickets. I need to be more on the ball...

Anne M said...

Sounds like a wonderful production and I've heard lots of rave reviews about it.

julia said...

Christine, there are still tickets - my cousin's husband just got his yesterday, same day of the show. The audience was full, though. I love a full house!

Kailana, there's got to be someone you can snag to see the show! If not, don't let that stop you.

Ava Rose said...

That sounds so great, I love Beauty and the Beast, possibly my favorite fairytale.

Kelly said...

I so wish I could have gone to see Beauty & The Beast but I spent my budget money on Hip tickets in September! One of these days I'm going to be able to afford the season pass and go to every show!!

Devon Ellington said...

I love smaller, more intimate theatres. You really get the feel of the show.

Is there a good repertory company near you? Or does the theatre in Halifax only bring in touring shows?

Toni. said...

Sounds divine. My first venture to the theatre was to see Tartuffe. How wonderful it was.

We are "small scale" right now, due to the ages of our children. We take them to local highschool performances. Fortunately, our district highschool is directly next to our development. And because the tax base is good, the facility is top notch. We're able to drive a whopping 90 seconds away and enjoy small scale theatre. It's so much fun.
Blessings,
~Toni~

Anonymous said...

Julia...

My name is Tory and I am currently playing Lumiere in Neptune Theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast. I have to thank you for your kind words about the show. My wife "googled" my name because there was to be a writeup in the paper, that has yet to surface... and your blog popped up. She told me about it and I had a quick read. You are so very kind with your praise of the show. I will pass on the kind words to the rest of the cast (in particular the ones you have mentioned). And good news!!! We have been extended until July 29th! So perhaps we shall see you agian. Thank you again, you have made going into work his afternoon so very easy.

Warmest wishes,

Tory Doctor
"Lumiere"

P.S. The line, "let me give you a candle with that", was an adlib the director liked... he told me to keep it and so I did.... but he forgot to tell the stage manager... she told me to cut it. We compromised by agreeing that I wouldn't say it too loud. (just a little inside scoop!)