Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Night of Theater

I scored some tickets from, and took the wife to see the play, Sweeney Todd, at the Pocket Sandwich Theater. I'm not much of a theater goer, and I picked this play because I heard the show was a good time.

And it was.

The theater is located in the corner of an L-shaped shopping strip next to a comic book store. It takes up the entire elbow of the L. It seats about 140 people at dining tables and bars in a crescent shape around the stage. They have booths around the back wall (which I don't recommend because you have to look to one side the whole show.)

They serve dinner starting an hour and a half before the show. The food is modestly priced. It's simple fare that is hard to get wrong. My wife had chicken gumbo which she liked a lot, and I had a reuben which was ok.

A few minutes before the show, they distribute popcorn to everyone in the audience. Then someone comes on (an MC?) to encourage you to throw popcorn at the actors, sing a long to the songs, and shout boos and hurrays at the appropriate times. Then they start the play.

The popcorn throwing was a negative to me. I couldn't help feel like the actors were being humiliated and disrespected. But the younger people really seemed to enjoy it; and the actors at least pretended to have fun with it. So, maybe I'm off base.

I'm not a theater buff, so don't weigh my opinion heavily if this matters to you. I thought the acting was decent on the whole. This play was meant to be funny and entertaining, and the characters over-acted in such ways that really fed the humor. The production was low budget but very entertaining. The cast was definitely having fun doing what they do, and they transmitted this enthusiasm to the audience very well.

The whole thing is a cheap date. It's about $60-$70 on a weekend for a couple. On Thursdays, it's $10 cheaper. It's a good date too; because there is plenty of time to talk and get to know the person during dinner and the two intermissions. It's also family friendly - no curse words and only vaguely lewd innuendo.

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