Your Home is the Place Where your Heart is - Summer and Smoke at Walterdale

Tonight I was at Walterdale to work FOH for Summer and Smoke and to see the show.  I try to work FOH at least once for each of the shows and because my time this month is so full I did Coffee Bar because I could see the show at the same time.  I am not sure what I will do when my Proserve expires as I actually do not love doing Coffee Bar but that's for the future so I am not thinking about it much now. I worked with Joan Hawkins who co-designed and painted the gorgeous set and I always love a good visit with her so all was good.  It always feels kind of weird to be there working for a show that you didn't work on, but Walterdale has been my theatre home for a few years now so there is also a feeling of home when I am there.

The show was sold out, actually it oversold, so that was great for the theatre and the show.  It's the 6-Pack show and it's Tennessee Williams so it is hard to argue with the extreme saleability of the piece. In that light, I recommend getting your tickets in advance if you plan on going. Otherwise you might be disappointed.

I was quite impressed with Erika Conway who played the lead, Alma - the repressed minister's daughter in love with the wild boy next door.  She was outstanding a few seasons ago as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and this show proves that her talents are not limited to Shakespeare.  She has a vulnerability and an electric quality that is mesmerizing and she handily kept the audience engaged for the entire 3 hours.  She was offset nicely by Justin Deveau as John Buchanan.  Justin is able to play the cad and still make him lovable and sincere. The two of them played their juxtaposed arcs nicely against each other and it was quite easy to believe in their spiritual connection.  The show is also gorgeous to see.  Geri Dittrich's costumes and Joan Hawkins' and Alli Ross' Set are pitch perfect.  I am intent on finding a place to keep the Angel Statue that watches over all. It's amazing.

I was a wee bit disappointed not to hear Oliver in the prologue recording.  He had been asked to come in and record a piece and I guess they tried a few different things and he wasn't in the one they decided to use in the end.  I understand that as a director.  You make choices based on what works and what doesn't work.  As a mom, I was just disappointed not to hear him because I hadn't heard that they'd made a change. I was also a little disappointed that he wasn't in the program as I had planned to bring one home to him, but perhaps because he was cut from the track they decided to use they had felt it might be confusing to acknowledge him. He won't know the difference, it's just the Mama Rose in me that was sad.

#10 in my 2013 Theatre Goal


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