19 May 2007

Night at the theatre

One of the best things about having kids is discovering new interests (or new things to do). My kids are both into amateur theatre, so we've found that we go and see a lot more theatre than we otherwise would have.

Last night, we went to see Little shop of horrors, produced by the Williamstown Musical Theatre company. The Gadget Man didn't want to come because he said he hated the movie. I didn't see it, so went along with an open mind. Of course, having recalcitrant kids, I find getting anywhere on time a challenge. Last night, Princess Sleepyhead wouldn't get ready, so I was worried we would be late -- and we were but fortunately the show hadn't started.

Ever since my kids did their first performance in a proper production a few years ago, I've been amazed at the quality that comes out of amateur theatre. (Though since Sir Talkalot was in a more serious performance earlier this year, and just seeing how long the actors had to spend in rehearsals, I'm now convinced that I shouldn't be amazed at the quality, just that any actors can be bothered. It's a big time commitment, done purely for the love of it.)

Anyway, last night's performance was great. I didn't know any of the songs, but still enjoyed the entire show, and it's always a harder sell for me when I don't know the music.

My favourite show has to be Fiddler on the roof. I love that show. Love the music. Find the story very moving. I have the film -- and a picture book (about something completely different) where the artist has obviously just copied a few frames from the movie. It's bizarre when you're familiar with the film. Teyve is there, the rabbi -- it's the same setting, the same people, everything. I wonder about copyright, and whether anyone sought permission. Hopefully so.

Others I love are Evita (and I have to say I was surprised at how right Madonna was in the film) and Starlight express. One I haven't seen, but love the movie of is Phantom of the opera. My brother and my mum are big fans of Les miserables, but this one doesn't speak to my heart in the same way. Is it the music? I don't know. The story is certainly moving enough. Cats is another one that didn't do it for me -- not a strong enough narrative. Well, really, it has no narrative. Mind you, I saw it in my pre-poetry days, and had no idea what to expect. I wonder today, now I have learnt to appreciate poetry, whether I might enjoy it a whole lot more because I think it words more like a suite of poems. (Though, interestingly and perhaps tellingly, my kids were in a show called Kids a few years ago, which was structured in the same way, and yet I absolutely loved it (I was singing the songs for weeks, and sometimes I still find myself singing them). All the same, I couldn't help thinking, this would just be so much better if it had more of a narrative. But maybe that says more about my love of story than anything else.


Snail said...

Are you going to see War of the Worlds? I considered it for about 3 seconds — as soon as I saw the words 'Shannon Noll' I knew it was not for me.

Tracey said...

I hadn't even heard about it till last night, when I saw an ad for it on TV. Will have to take it into consideration. Both kids love Shannon Noll, so maybe... I kinda think that if they're interested in theatre then I should expose them to as much of it as I can, but the big shows especially really stretch the finances! I must say I can't always afford it.

Snail said...

I'm not sure who he's playing. Maybe it's the parson, so he'll get monstered by a Martian and then everyone'll be happy.

No idea what the price will be but I imagine it'd be megabucks for that sort of spectacle. It would be fun though ...

I'm trying to persuade everyone in our group that we should see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean as a bonding thing. Not that we need much bonding because we work well together as a group but I want an excuse to nip out from work one afternoon and watch escapist movies.

heatherf said...

I am envious, Little Shop of Horrors sounds wonderful to me. The closest thing at present is a school drama production. Having said that I am making the most of my stop over in London over the Summer having already booked tickets for Fame and Dirty Dancing. There are so many shows on, especially musicals that it is hard to make a decision. Would also like to see Billy Elliot - will ahve to think about that.

Tracey said...

Snail, yes, who needs an excuse to go see Johnny Depp as Capn Jack? And I must say I'm a bit partial to Orlando Bloom as well. (Though it's still Viggo all the way for me!) I was hoping to take the kids this weekend, but we'll have to wait another week because one has four assignments due next week, and I don't think she's started any of them.

Heather, er, you're heading off to the West end and *you're* jealous? Mmm.