Front Row Center
By Michael Warren
Lakeside Little Theatre
The first play of the season, “Lunenburg” by Norm Foster, due to open on November 8, has been cancelled. Evidently, a cast member had a job opportunity in Mexico City and decided to leave the show. Subsequently, another cast member stood down for personal reasons. Thus, two of the three actors were unavailable, only three weeks before opening. LLT found replacements who were prepared to do a staged reading of the play with props, set, lights and sound. However, the director was uncomfortable with continuing in this mode and so the LLT Board reluctantly decided to cancel the show. There will be some benefit or future discount for season ticket holders.
This is unprecedented in the entire history of Lakeside Little Theatre. There have been crises in the past, but somehow a show has been put on. A few years ago, a planned show could not be presented because another theater in Mexico had purchased the copyright, and would not allow our performance. With only three weeks to go, Norm Foster’s “Bedtime
Stories” was learned, rehearsed and successfully performed. I remember it well - I was in the cast! On another occasion, I recall the director (Peggy Lord Chilton) having to perform an important role because a cast member was unavoidably absent. Peggy carried the script on stage, but hardly seemed to need it.
This is sad and unexpected news. Now there will only be three plays and a musical in a shortened season. Opening on December 6, we’ll get to see a couple of hilarious one-act plays The Real Inspector Hound and After Magritte by Tom Stoppard. The first play is a crazy parody of a typical whodunit murder mystery, set in a weird country house Muldoon Manor. It also takes a dig at the pomposity of theater critics, as “Moon” and “Birdboot” arrive to critique a performance and somehow get involved in the action. The second play involves an eccentric family who are placed under arrest for illegal parking and other strange offences. Confusion and misunderstandings abound – if you enjoy absurd British farces, you will have a great time watching these two plays.
On a personal note, I had underwritten “Lunenburg” in memory of my late wife Joan who passed away almost a year ago in November 2018. Collette Clavadetscher (President of LLT) has kindly arranged for me to underwrite the Stoppard plays, and has deferred her own memorial for Mark Boyer to the following 2020/1 season. Thank you, Collette - much appreciated.
Column: Front Row Center
Michael Warren grew up in London, England and lived on Baker Street very close to where Sherlock Holmes hung out his shingle. He graduated with an Honors degree in Mathematics from King’s College, Cambridge, which no doubt helps him to balance his check book. While a student, he edited a humorous magazine entitled “ffobia” which was widely circulated amongst his friends.