During COVID, I was constantly worried about our local theaters. Everyone is a friend who provides dreams, laughter and tears. I would miss them horribly if they disappeared. From serious drama to outright madness, Lakewood Playhouse has long been a provider of mirth and benevolence.
I recently attended the CenterStage Theater 2020 season reopening / closing at Federal Way. The play is a continuing version of the 1940s Radio Hour Madness. As I sat down with my wife Peg and cousin Lindy, a longtime actress and director, I quickly scanned the program to find the cast of the production. Three of the ten actors had appeared at the 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 members of our family joined us for various shows. Brad gave a great performance every time we saw the musical. He was also joined by Chap Wolff (who replaced Brad with a lower back problem) and Tony L. Williams. Williams had made a name for himself in “American Idiot,” which I think was their biggest money maker for Lakewood Playhouse, but “The Producers” may have passed him. It’s nice to see familiar faces in different theaters in South Sound. Good acting pays off with good theater.
Lakewood Theater has just announced its new season and it is expected to bring viewers and theater lovers back live. “Broadway Bound” begins the season as the final chapter in Neil Simon’s Eugene trilogy, following “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues”. Peg and I missed Brighton, but we really enjoyed Biloxi. Drew Bates played the character of Neil Simon in “Biloxi Blues”.
The second piece is “A Christmas Carol. . . More or less. “I love to laugh and this play looks like a howler. -” Sarah and Charlie, a married couple, run a small theater that features A Christmas Carol – until Charlie shows up backstage to say that the cast and crew are running out of snow. Charlie plans to part ways with Sarah tonight, but he fell into it. An enraged Sarah capitalizes on Charlie’s remarkable memory and blackmails him to perform the piece with her as a duet, relying on scripts when they need to. – Game scripts
“The Haunting of Hill House” is the third production. – Netflix describes the action: “Between the past and the present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them away. Shirley Jackson’s classic gothic horror novel has been a play, film, and television series.
The fourth production is “Head Over Heels”. It’s a jukebox musical with music from The Go-Go’s. – “The plot of the Broadway version of the show is somewhat based on the Arcadia of The Countess of Pembroke written by Sir Philip Sidney in the 16th century. Head Over Heels opened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June 2015 and enjoyed a five-month sell-out tour of the 1,100-seat open-air theater. – Wikipedia
“Head Over Heels” on Broadway
Number five is “The Diary of Anne Frank”. Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl” was published posthumously in 1947. The play is a theatrical adaptation of the book. The play premiered on Broadway at the Cort Theater in 1955. I’m curious about the directing and delivery, so I’m looking forward to the production at the Lakewood Playhouse.
The last production of the season is “Ragtime”. I liked the novel, but I haven’t 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 EL Doctorow. – Wikipedia
Here is a four minute clip from “Ragtime The Musical”
We look forward to the 2021-2022 season at Lakewood Playhouse. Visit the Online Playhouse for more information – lakewoodplayhouse.org/