Community Theater In CNY Is Pretty Good
After some cajoling and trickeration (not sure if that’s a real word, but I hear it all the time on sports shows) from my friend Steve Borek on Twitter, I finally broke down and went to see this musical he’d been talking about called Urinetown. It was being put on by the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild, which he’s a part of.
The truth is that I really didn’t want to go. The name certainly didn’t appeal to me and I just couldn’t imagine that there could be anything in a show with that name that would appeal to me. Then I learned that my friend Sunny Hernandez was in it, and I decided I’d go to support it. Lucky for me I went on a Wednesday, which was pre-production since the show didn’t officially open until Friday night, so it cost me nothing.
I was expecting even less once I was in the theater, which didn’t quite look like a theater. There weren’t many seats either, which makes sense in retrospect because it’s in essence a dress rehearsal for a live audience. That and the weather and I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much. Then the show began and I wasn’t overly crazy about the first song, although I could tell the singers seemed to have a lot of talent.
After that, though, everything was just fantastic. I have to admit that, though I love theater, I just haven’t been to all that many shows in the last bunch of years. These people could sing; they could dance. And they were funny. I mean, the timing was excellent, and everything they did seemed to work perfectly. The piano player was magnificent also. I wasn’t quite that sure about the brass section, then I realized that, as close as everyone was and facing each other at the same time, if they’d played normally ears would have been busting out.
I knew there was some talent in central New York, but I hadn’t realized there was this much talent. I’m a music major and I’ve seen talent, and often you have a few very good people, some passable, and then the rest who, well, they needed bodies to fill out the show. I can honestly say not this time.
And, as I thought about it later on, I had to realize that the two shows I have actually seen live in the last 3 or 4 years weren’t all that bad either. I went with my friend Scott’s daughter Krystal to see the community theater production of Pippin in Cazenovia. I also went to Jordan-Elbridge to see my friend Bob perform in the musical South Pacific, one of the few older musicals I’d never even seen the movie for, and those people were great as well.
And last year Bob also showed me a video production of Rocky Horror Picture Show that he was a part of that was performed in Utica by the Players of Utica, with the lead being a guy named Jason Jaquays-Tarbox whom I’d only met a couple of weeks beforehand trying to do men’s roller derby. And he was fantastic in it as well.
I guess I could say it’s amazing that we have this kind of talent in central New York, but I can’t. We had this kind of talent back in the days when I would go to a lot of shows. I saw a lot of talent in college, and I saw a lot of talent otherwise. I’ve also seen some bad productions, but that happens. I know I now have to have a more open mind when it comes to things like this, especially musicals, as I’ve always enjoyed musicals. And if you get a chance to go, I think you should, especially Urinetown since it opened this weekend, and I bet you’ll have a great time as well.