After a weekend that seemed as if the events, breaking stories and life in general were never going to stop, I really needed a break.
Of course, that was not going to happen on a Monday, when the piles of emails and work from the weekend seem to be an avalanche.
However, as the work day came to a later-than usual end (for most days, but not a Monday), I saw that there may still be some time to get a little relaxation in.
The setup was that the kids were away and it was show night at the Depot Theatre in Westport. We had an idea to go earlier in the week, and events played out that we had the chance and took it.
It was exactly what I needed.
The opening play, Careless Love, which is hitting the stage for the first time ever at the theater/train station, was a musical with a country and bluegrass flair. Having become a fan of groups like Nickle Creek and after interviewing the theater’s new managing director, Angel Wuellner, I was interested.
At intermission, I told her that the play was living up to everything that she said it would be, a toe-tapping musical with a great story and very catchy songs. I really enjoyed it and would encourage anyone who can to go see it.
But what the night really did was re-spark a passion for the theater. It has always been there. I was a member of the drama club and public speaking team in high school, had a nice role in the senior play and enjoyed going to college performances like Into the Woods, which I would say is at the top of my musical list.
However, other than catching some very well produced and acted high school plays at my last job and equally well done performances featuring my children, I had not actually just gone out to the theater since my wife and I went to see Phantom in Salt Lake City for her birthday. This was before kids, and our oldest just turned 12.
As I already said, this was a great night. It was just over two hours of leaving reality at the door and getting lost in a great performance. My mind never wandered from what was happening on the stage as I watched this story play out with numerous plots and some twists, all put to wonderful music. It was the perfect capper to the day and one that I desperately needed.
So, obviously, I am once again hooked and will be back throughout the season, but the Depot Theatre is not the only place where you can get your theater fix.
(This would also be a good time to wish the best of luck to one of the people who got me hooked on drama and theater, Mr. Scott Gibbs, who has retired from Westport Central School and was the commencement speaker last Saturday. Hope retirement brings you all hope for, including more Giants Super Bowl titles.)
Already into its new season, the Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake is gearing up for And a Nightingale Sang. The show opens on July 3 with dates running through Aug. 5.
One town up from Westport, the Essex Theatre Company will be opening their season with Godspell, on Friday, July 6. I had a chance to visit with their director and cast, which includes Dana McLaughlin, a young man who has been acting throughout his high school career (part of several of those high school productions that I covered in my last job) and into college at Plattsburgh State.
There will also be outdoor performances and shows at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Jay Entertainment and Music Society, Bouquet River Theatre Festival and more than I can both mention or remember.
But the moral of the story is, do yourself a favor and take an evening off with your wife — or family, for that matter — and go enjoy one of the many excellent plays and performances taking place around the Champlain Valley and Tri-Lakes region. I know I will be going back.
Keith Lobdell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.