Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Hate Great Potential

Went to the opening of Girl's Room on Saturday night. I have seen this show in various forms of development and it has consistently improved each time. It has reached the point now that with the performances given by Carol Lawrence, Donna McKechnie and direction by Lynne Taylor-Corbett it provides an enjoyable night in the theater. But it does make me want for more. The word that comes to mind is POTENTIAL. While I've always believed this show has great potential, I now believe it will never achieve the status of, "this show provides an exceptional theater experience." It has all the makings, but when you stir it all up and put it in the oven, you get a pie that tastes good, but won't win the coveted blue ribbon. And that is the struggle.

Over the past several years, the thing that keeps me intrigued about this business is that it is so difficult. It is so difficult to get everyone on the same page and somehow make that great script on the page become the award winning show on the boards. So many things can go wrong. Actors can help or hurt. Doug Sills' performance in Scarlet Pimpernel took an average show at best and made it fun to watch (and be in), while a new independent movie I saw recently had some of the best actors out there giving some of their worst performances ever! Same thing with designers and directors - they can help or hurt but ultimately, all the planets have to line up perfectly to hit it out of the park. But when they all do line up, it makes you want to stay in the business just from the goose bumps you get watching it all unfold before you. The last time I saw this happen was when I saw Wicked out here at the Pantages. Every part of that production lined up. The sets told the same story as the costumes and the orchestrations helped the amazing performers soar to new heights, and the story made sense from beginning to end. And I have to ask, "How did they do that?" And I guarantee any of the creators or producers involved probably don't have a clue. But somehow they were able to make that show with great potential, become "an exceptional theatrical experience."

Off to see 9 to 5 and The Women this weekend. Curious to see if the planets are lining up in those theaters.

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