Just before Christmas, I saw a poignant show (with an extraordinarily long name) that deconstructs Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town in a modern-day high school. On the night before it is scheduled to be torn down, generations of students – both current and former – converge on Ridgefield High School’s gymnatorium, and playwright Augie Praley as the story’s narrator reflects on the many lives that were changed in that multi-purpose space and recollects young love, heartbreaking loss, and frequent productions of Our Town.
January is possibly the dreariest month of the year. Christmas is over, the New Year has begun, and the first few weeks are full of overly optimistic and newly broken resolutions. However, there is one last chance to recapture that holiday cheer and warm, comforting nostalgia, and that is Recent Cutbacks’ KEVIN!!!!!, an on-stage shot-for-shot re-enactment of Home Alone.
2017 has barely begun, but with the looming threat of a Trump presidency and everything that comes with it, it is difficult for many people in the theatre community to feel optimistic about the New Year. In times like this, theatre can serve as a reflection of a world we can aspire to create, a means to see the world through another person’s eyes, or a way to escape our worries for a few hours. Unfortunately, in the New Year, we are losing five terrific shows that were very popular with audiences and also added to the diversity in Broadway’s leading characters. I wish that all of these shows were sticking around, and so here I am with one last plea. Don’t go. We need all of you now, more than ever.