by Kelly Lazenby
My husband and I took an anniversary trip to Paris this winter and it was a lovely visit. We felt a part of things in the City of Lights after only a day or two. Perhaps it was the fact that it was the off-season and there were not many tourists roaming the streets.
We did get a chance to see Moliere’s grave, as well as the centuries-old Comédie Francaise, which has been an active working theater since the eighteenth century. We were also amazed by Garnier’s Opera House, of The Phantom of the Opera fame, which is a jewelbox of a theater but now hosts ballet productions. It was interesting to note that we could not visit the inside of the building because a production was in rehearsal. I find it so amazing that some lucky performers get to have their productions in these absolutely breathtaking theaters. It also made me happy to see that there were sixty working theater companies in Paris alone.
Yes, Paris was wonderful, but this was not meant to be a travel column. I was simply in awe (or envy) of the huge audiences for theater that Europe can still command; it made me realize that there are theater fans everywhere in the world and it gives me hope that live theater here at home will continue to build an audience, too.
East County has so much to offer art and culture lovers, if only you would take the time to seek it out! You will not be disappointed.
In April, a variety of artistic pursuits is on the calendar: Readers Theatre, Gresham, will present Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April on the 16th. Four very different English women decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak lives. There, among the wisteria blossoms and Mediterranean sunshine, all four bloom again—rediscovering themselves in ways they never expected. The one-night performance will take place on Monday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m., at the Gresham Chapel and Evening Event Center, 257 SE Roberts Ave. Tickets are $8.00 nd will be available at the door. For more information, contact (971) 678-2474.
Mt. Hood Community College theater arts students will be performing the Tennessee Williams family ensemble drama The Glass Menagerie, directed by Jennifer Hunter. Shows are April 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. at the College Theater. Box office information line is 503-491-7154.
“Menagerie” should be this month’s theme, as the comedy by John Patrick, A Barrel Full of Pennies will be the spring play produced by Sandy Actors Theatre. Instead of animals made of glass, the animals in this show are stray dogs, ducks, birds, and people. Shows are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m. from April 6 to April 29. Tickets can be purchased by calling Sandy Actors Theatre at (503) 668-6834 The theater is located behind Ace Hardware in Sandy, and is now handicap accessible.
In addition to the theater productions, there is a third menagerie, this time as an art show in the lobby of Sandy Actors Theatre. Art work by members of the Wy’east Artisans Guild will focus on animals, people, and collections and is appropriately titled: Menagerie.
Local area middle schools and high schools have several upcoming productions in May! I can’t wait to report more on our local youth theater next month.