punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Paint me impressed

If you're local, and ever wanted to see a nice play with Wolftrap-quality acting and peanut gallery prices, I would heartily recommend my son's high school drama department. This is the second play I have seen for this year, and it was stunning. Maybe not the expense that goes into the sets and costuming (at one point a box from the 1920's was labeled "Amazon.com" and had a UPS bar code on it), but the actors and actresses are really shockingly professional for anything I thought a high school was capable of pulling off.

The play was "Auntie Mame," a story I knew literally nothing about. So I didn't go in with any preconceived notions of a Broadway production or movie to cloud my judgement. I left a fan. Wow. Two of the actresses, the ones that played Auntie Mame and Actress Vera in particular, were incredible. Their over-the-top characters completely drew you in to the story without having to overact and mug the audience. They were delivered with complete confidence and expert timing.

Despite the earlier comment I made about the props (I look at high school plays like old Dr. Who episodes: who cares about the effects as long as the acting and writing are good), there was one set of props that was really clever. When the curtain first opened, the usual stage we expected to see was transformed into a 1920s style mansion interior, and holy cow, was it massive. The audience applauded because the illusion was so... you just went "Wow..." And it's not just because my son helped build it, either. The clever design of the set was that it was actually 6 tall (2-story) 4-sided towers on casters. To change a scene, they were separated, rotated, and put back together again. Two sides had stairs, giving the actors balconies and so on. I applaud that engineering.

Last season, they did, "Chicago," and I left thinking I witnessed the real thing.

And again, some of the themes of these plays are rather... mature, for a high school play, and while I am very glad, it makes me wonder if some Republican "Moral Majority" types who live her are concerned that high school students are playing loose women. Well, I hope they never complain.
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