Posted by Bruce Miller
September is a ‘comin, which means the opening of Richmond’s newest theatre, Henley Street Theatre Company, named, we’re told by founder Alex Previtera (pictured), for the street address of Shakespeare’s birthplace. Alex seems like a dedicated and serious young man, and we wish him all the success in the world.
Henley Street’s first production is The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, which hasn’t been seen in Richmond, to the best of my knowledge, since the 70s, when it was produced by both TheatreVirginia and the University of Richmond. Thoreau is by the late playwriting team of Lawrence and Lee, the same guys who wrote Mame and Inherit the Wind, two Barksdale hits of seasons recently passed.
Everyone I know is wishing the new company well, but we need to put our wallets where our wishes are. I remember what it was like to start a theatre—it’s only been 32 years. Those of you who think the words “only” and “32 years” should never be in close proximity of each other can stop laughing now. Bottom line—it’s next to impossible to start and maintain a new theatre. So everyone who’s wishing Henley Street success needs to buy at least two full-price tickets to their first production. It’s as simple as that.
Theatre people are notorious for not going to theatre, and for demanding heavily discounted tickets when they do. Let’s all give Alex Privitera a break. He’s shelling out more than you’ll ever know to get his show on the road. The least we can do, and should do, is buy a pair of tickets.