GCT at the Pizzeria
The event at the MillHouse Pizzeria & Stage was an all- time first for the Garland Civic Theatre, now beginning its 51st season. For fifty years they have been bringing people to the theatre, but beginning this season they will be bringing the theatre to the people.
Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park” will be the GCT’s season opener. On Thursday, August 30th, there was a Sneak Peek live, on-stage at the MillHouse. The ticket price was just $19, which covered food and entertainment. Proceeds from ticket sales benefiting the theatre. The brilliant and personable Josh Hensley, Creative Director for GCT, was in charge of the evening’s entertainment. Music was provided by Kevin Sutton, Music Director for GCT. Kevin provided the accompaniment for three professional guest vocalists and fabulous musical flourishes punctuating on-stage activities.
Josh Hensley treated the audience to an Improv segment, using phrases written on notes he had distributed throughout the audience. It was well done and hilarious, and one got the feeling they might be in aavent garde club somewhere in Chicago, or Manhattan. When the two young stars of “Barefoot in the Park” arrived to act out a scene from the stage play, we were treated to that promised sneak peek and the evening’s grand finale.
“Barefoot in the Park” features Zoe Settle as Corie, and Gabriel Ethridge as Paul. In the scene on stage at the MillHouse, Paul is just getting home from his first day at the office, breathless after climbing six flights of stairs. The newlyweds, married just 6 days, checked out of a hotel earlier and are now about to spend their first night in their new apartment. As most affordable Manhattan apartments go, theirs is definitely lacking in amenities. Corie is viewing it through a romantic haze and can’t see it that way. This love nest was also lacking essentials, like heat and a bathtub, for instance. Paul a young lawyer who is about to try his first case the next morning, views it more realistically…and so the romantic comedy unfolds. Given just this taste of Neil Simon’s always entertaining storytelling, we can’t wait for the show to open at the Granville Arts Center on September 6. There will be 11 performances, so visit the box office or go online to purchase tickets.
The Garland Civic Theatre has dynamic new leadership. The new season will consist of six productions, and a season’s ticket can be purchased for a mere $80. That is less than half the cost of a ticket for a play currently running on Broadway. There are tentative plans to offer a sneak peek for each of the next five productions of the season.
The audience had been treated to an evening of professional entertainment and the restaurant’s wait staff managed to serve everyone their choice of pizza accompanied by a salad. Beverages, however, were a bit hard to come by, as the wait staff seemed mesmerized by the entertainment and thoughts of refilling glasses seemed to have drifted away. Beer and wine are available at the MillHouse, along with soft drinks, as a rule. However, on this night one audience member was overheard to comment: “Never have to worry about getting drunk here”, and maybe that’s what the lack of drink service was all about.
Photo Credit: Anita Goegel