During COVID I worried constantly about our local theatres. Each one is a friend that supplies dreams, laughter, and tears. I would miss them horribly if they disappeared. From serious drama to out and out foolishness, Lakewood Playhouse has been a long-time supplier of mirth and caring.
I recently attended the re-opening/closing of the 2020 season of CenterStage Theatre in Federal Way. The play is an ongoing version of madness via the 1940’s Radio Hour. As I took my seat with my wife Peg and my cousin Lindy, a long time actress and director, I quickly scanned the program to check out the cast for the production. Three of the ten actors had appeared at Lakewood Playhouse. One, Brad Cerenzia, had played Max in the fantastic production of “The Producers.” We had rented a hotel room for four nights and had members of our family join us at various performances. Brad gave an excellent performance each time we saw the musical. Also joining him were Chap Wolff (who replaced Brad with a lower back issue), and Tony L. Williams. Williams had been a standout in “American Idiot,” which I think has been their largest money maker for Lakewood Playhouse, but “The Producers” may have surpassed it. It’s nice to see familiar faces at different theatres in the South sound. Great acting pays off with great theatre.
Lakewood Theatre just announced their new season and it should bring back viewers and lovers of live theatre. “Broadway Bound” starts off the season as the last chapter in Neil Simon’s Eugene trilogy, following “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues.” Peg and I missed Brighton, but enjoyed Biloxi immensely. Drew Bates played the Neil Simon character in “Biloxi Blues.”
The second play, is “A Christmas Carol . . . More or less.” I like to laugh and this play looks like a howler. – “Sarah and Charlie, a married couple, run a small theatre that’s presenting A Christmas Carol — until Charlie shows up backstage to say the cast and crew are snowed out. Charlie is planning to split up with Sarah tonight, but he’s snowed in. Sarah, furious, capitalizes on Charlie’s remarkable memory, and blackmails him into doing the play with her as a duo, relying on scripts when they need to.” – Playscripts
“The Haunting of Hill House” is the third production. – Netflix describes the action: “Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.” Shirley Jackson’s classic gothic horror novel has been a play, a film, and a TV series.
The fourth production is “Head Over Heels.” It’s a juke box musical comedy with the music by The Go-Go’s. – “The plot of the Broadway version of the show is somewhat based on The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia written by Sir Philip Sidney in the 16th century. Head Over Heels opened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June 2015 and enjoyed a sold-out five-month run in the 1100-seat outdoor theater.” – Wikipedia
“Head Over Heels” on Broadway
Number five is “The Diary of Anne Frank.” “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank was published posthumously in 1947. The play is a stage adaptation of the book. The play premiered on Broadway at the Cort Theatre in 1955. I’m curious about the staging and delivery, so am looking forward to the production at Lakewood Playhouse.
The last production on the season is “Ragtime.” I enjoyed the novel, but have not seen the musical. – “Ragtime is a musical with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally. It is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow.” – Wikipedia
Here is a four minute clip of “Ragtime The Musical”
We look forward to the 2021-2022 Season at Lakewood Playhouse. Visit the Playhouse online for more information – lakewoodplayhouse.org/