Musicals Thread (Special Edition: Plays)

Hello! If you’re reading this you’ve decided that you love musicals so much that you want to go back and read the old Musicals Threads. That’s great! Feel free to comment and join us each Tuesday to discuss all things musical!

This week I’d like to shine some light on the less musical side of theatre. You can, of course, still talk about musicals, but if you’ve seen a play lately, I’d love to hear about it! Considering we don’t talk about plays every week, I thought perhaps people could discuss a memorable theatre-going experience and/or your favorite play/playwright. If that’s too broad, consider this prompt: do you enjoy seeing plays at your local community theatre?

The short answer for me is yes, I do! However, the longer answer is that until this past weekend I wasn’t sure. The reason for my uncertainty is pretty simple: I hadn’t been to a community theatre in a very long time, not since high school. There’s no good reason for this. I love all things theatre, so it’s kind of absurd that I don’t get out and see more shows. I guess I’m just lazy. But that’s changing this year. A few weeks ago I decided that this season I would try to see as many productions as I could, and I started this past weekend with an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. As I mentioned last week, I’m a huge Miss Marple fan. I’ve read all the Marple stories and watched several of the BBC adaptations. Part of my love of these stories is the mystery, but I’m also particularly fond of Miss Marple herself. I’ve read a handful of Christie’s short stories, and a couple of Poirot stories, but for the most part my experience is with Marple. This is important to know because it means I had no idea what to expect going into this play. I haven’t read the book, and I didn’t know anything about the story. Overall, I had a great time. It was fun to get dressed up and spend the night out with my husband, and the production as a whole was pretty good. The set design was particularly impressive, and a few of the actors were fantastic. There were, of course, a couple who weren’t so great, but it kind of added to the charm of the show. To add to the overall experience, it was pouring by the time we left, so the whole night was appropriately spooky. I was a little worried that a murder mystery wouldn’t have the same charm for me in the form of a play, but I thoroughly enjoyed it…until the end.

I don’t know how the book ends, but I have a feeling the play went in a different direction. Last week there was some discussion about how individual productions often change the endings. This is something that BBC adaptations have also done, and usually I love this because it allows me to watch different versions and be confused all over again. But, I really didn’t care for the ending that this production chose, assuming it’s different from the novel (because I think I’ll actually be watching the BBC adaptation soon, I haven’t looked up anything about the various endings just in case). If anyone is curious, I will be discussing the ending in more detail in the comments below (with spoiler tags).

Anyway, tell us about some of your thoughts on plays! Seen any good ones lately? Do you visit your local community theatre often? If not, you should!