Posted by Bruce Miller
Everyone seems to have had a grand time last night at the RTCC Awards presentation at the historic Empire.
For me it was a little like hosting a party for 500 people in my home. We almost immediately had to restock the toilet paper and paper towels in the ladies room. (Thanks Erin and Jackie for the heads up.) I sat through the entire evening praying that no one would fall into the pit. (Note to self: next year, make sure that railings are on BOTH sides of the stairs leading to the stage.)
The mics seemed to work almost perfectly (give or take about 2 seconds of feedback), which was a miracle considering there was virtually no rehearsal. The stars twinkled with maybe a little too much enthusiasm. (Was it just me or did they start twinkling even faster whenever Audra Honaker came onstage?)
Many thanks to all who helped to make it happen without a major hitch.
Prior to the Artsies, I headed out west for The New Century and the Triangle Players. Here’s what I liked:
* Getting to see HATTheatre for the first time. I know, I should be embarrassed and I am. HATTheatre has occupied its intimate headquarters since sometime in the 90s. I’m ashamed this is the first time I’ve made it to the western border of Henrico County to enjoy the space. I love seeing new theatrical digs in Greater Richmond—even if they’re “new” only to me.
* Experiencing first hand and for the first time the expert comic timing of Annie Zannetti. This woman is a pro at delivering a punch line for maximum effect. She absolutely knows what she’s doing. I look forward to the honor of working with Annie sometime in the future, should I be so lucky.
* Every word that came out of Jackie Jones’s beautiful mouth. Not only do I love Jackie Jones, I also preferred her section of the play, entitled Crafty. It was sweet, and warm, and funny. This says more about me than it does about the rest of the play or the performances.
To be honest, I didn’t “get” about 25% of the rest of the play. I know; I’m old and unusually un-hip. Every time I trick myself into believing I’m “with it,” I discover I’m not. I sort of hate to admit it, but with the exception of Crafty, the playlets in The New Century are more “insider” and “New York” than I am. I didn’t really understand about a quarter of what they were talking about. All right—maybe a fifth.
A catchphrase much bandied about at Richmond Triangle Players is “if we didn’t do it, who would?” In the case of The New Century, and many other Triangle productions as well, I think they’re right. And that's all to the good.
Other theatres in town have produced more “mainstream” theatre with gay themes. Barksdale and Theatre IV have presented The Boys in the Band, The Normal Heart, The Fifth of July, Love Valour Compassion, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Laramie Project (co-produced, Phil Crosby reminds me, with RTP), and The Little Dog Laughed. The Firehouse has done Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The New Century, in my opinion, is a little more “niche” than any of those plays. If Triangle Players didn’t do it, I expect no other theatre in Richmond would.
I also loved the exuberance of my buddies Michael Hawke and Matt Hackman, who threw caution to the wind and gave everything they’ve got to their two roles.
If you love gay comedies, don’t miss The New Century. It’s loaded with laughs, leather and lasciviousness. It's not for everybody, but what theatre is? I applaud Richmond Triangle Players for making professional theatre in Richmond broader and more inclusive.