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Offering a fresh way of helping you keep up with art and entertainment happenings around the Capital District.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

friends abroad

No matter how much you enjoy yourself when away, it is always comforting to meet a friend from home.

Just as I was completing my second week in London I met fellow RECORD blogger, David Baecker who teaches and directs theater at Sage College. He's here with about 20 Sage students on an Art's Immersion trip. During their stay, the students will experience London theater, museums and art galleries. What a wonderful experience. I'll let him use his blog to speak to the values of such a trip. But I think it's great and valuable.

It might be ironic that on New Year's Day two theater guys meeting at the Leicester Square ticket booth had a tough time deciding what to see. Part of the problem is I've been here for a couple of weeks and already have seen a lot of theater. He's scheduled to take the students to other shows and a lot of the shows available were on his schedule. So we were left with the dregs.
We chose Richard Sheridan's "The Rivals." What the heck, we figured -a genuine classic almost 300 years old, directed by Sir Peter Hall with a distinguished cast. How bad could it be? Too. there's the snob value about all the names we could drop when we returned home.

Wrong choice. It wasn't walk-out terrible, but it sure wasn't worth recommending. It was slowly paced and stodgy. The actors failed to find the potential fun in the characters and the plot. Instead of leaving a show amazed at how brilliant writing can survive over the centuries, we left wondering if the play survived by reputation rather than on the quality of the writing. I still think it is a really good play, but maybe the Brits aren't perfect - even with their own classics.

It was still a good experience. When you love theater you can always find something to enjoy in any production. Besides it was great fun seeing a friend in London.


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