by Curt Holman
Last night I saw Georgia Ensemble Theatreâs Seasonâs Greetings and thoroughly enjoyed it (my review will go online on Wednesday afternoon). Ironically, possibly the seasonâs best Christmas play will close on Nov. 25. More pressingly, Saturday the 10th marks the final performances of OnStage Atlantaâs The Turn of the Screw, a two-character adaptation of the Henry James work, played by Barbara Cole Uterhardt and John Markowski. I regret that I havenât seen it, because Iâve seen the Actorâs Express production of several years ago, and Barbara Cole Uterhardt
I have seen the drama Rabbit Hole at Theatre in the Square and The Water Coolers: An Office Musical at Horizon Theatre, both closing Sunday, and you could find two more dissimilar shows. Incidentally, the websites for both theaters have online clips as âtrailersâ for sample viewing. Horizon offers "The Great Pretender" number with Brandon O'Dell, while Theatre in the Square presents two scenes and a short interview with Rabbit Holeâs cast. I suspect such clips will become common practice for 21st-century theaters. At Dadâs Garage Top Shelf Theatre, two shows earlier this year featured numbers that would be perfect YouTube clips: an âunpluggedâ performance of Styxâs âMr. Robotoâ at The History of Rock nâ Roll and a musical number to Manfred Mannâs âBlinded by the Light,â with the cast choreographed on rolling chairs that stood in for automobiles.
The Water Coolers and Rabbit Hole clips prove that online theatrical samples remain an inexact science. They can't be easy: Someone with a digital camera has to record a performance directed for a full stage, and capture it so itâll look and sound good on a miniature screen that's smaller than a postcard. Nevertheless, an imperfect sample is better than none.