Sunday, February 26, 2012

Styles: CH-UH Main Public Library


I live here. This stop is very important to me. If I write a play and I cannot fill up the Cleveland Heights University Heights Main Public Library on Lee Road, I take that very personally.

First, let me say that the folks at CH-UH Main were dynamite, very helpful in preparing the space and making our access to the space extremely easy and hassle-free. Normally we arrive ninety minutes prior to performance, take an hour to set up and spend a half-hour getting ourselves dress and mentally prepared. Thanks to Sammy and Josh, we had the set knocked up in 30 minutes ... and then had an hour to relax.

This was good, because people were arriving as soon as the library opened at 1 PM, a full hour prior to curtain. Once more, thanks to Dame Christie, we did not have an available seat in the house, and I spotted many of our generous young men who had surrendered seats to those more elderly and female then they standing in the back.

Perhaps as a result of this full house and our chance to get our heads together prior to performance that this was the cleanest show we had presented to date. Everyone was on top of their game, we were confident enough to have stop slamming the doors (thanks guys!) and even slight bobbles in line delivery were so confidently moved through no one even noticed we had messed up ... and I think everyone did today, except Anne, she was miraculous today. She even tried to convinced us that her Evie accent had at one point crept into her Dorcas, but no one believes her.

The talkback was what you might expect from a Cleveland Heights crowd, very wise and critical. We started talking about literature in the public domain, and a fight broke out in the aisle. This nice old ethnic lady even threw a chair.

You can ignore that last paragraph. I jest. Seriously, however, a great discussion about the adaptation, some serious, professional praise for the set design (that's for you, Terry) and a lot of admiration for the speed and polish of our fast-paced performance. Michael, Anne and Emily really deserve all the compliments they got to day for their numerous characters, and the professional way they tackle them. Also, James' aunt was inna house.

I want to thank to folks at CH-UH Main, and our audience, for giving us a really enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow night we will appear at Workshop Players in Amherst. However, if you have not made reservations, do not bother. It is a free performance, but this community theater powerhouse has such a devoted following and such a small space that they must take reservations in order to make sure they do not have to turn people into the cold, and they filled their quota for this show weeks ago.

We will next appear on Tuesday at 1 PM at the Northwest/Shatto Avenue Branch of the Akron Public Library. It is always a great time there, a big space, plenty of room, though when we are lucky, students from Firestone High walk to the space to join us, making for a big, full house. Hope to see you there.

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