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Play's shocking revelation may not stun today's audiences

The current play at Stage West Community Playhouse, Everything in the Garden, was written in 1967, when sensibilities (and sensitivities) were not the same as today's, to the regret of some and the delight of others.

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The shocking revelation early in the play is that the lovely suburban homemaker/mother Jenny is taking in bundles of cash by working as an "afternoon delight" companion while hubby works as a wonky research chemist downtown.

I was wondering out loud to a friend whether today's audiences would find the situation as shocking as 1960s audiences did, given current attitudes.

"Let's make it personal," I said. "What if we found out that a nice, 35-year-old mom in Beacon Woods East (where I live) or Spring Hill (where my friend lives) is discreetly entertaining fellows for pay right in our own neighborhoods? What do you think would happen?"

She thought a moment.

"It's probably against the law," she said.

"Yeah," I agreed, "Against the law."

"But," she finally concluded, "unless she had a barking dog, a dead lawn or let people park overnight on the street, I think the only thing that would happen is that the homeowners association might send her a letter for running a business out of her house."

Theaters do more

Young people get a lot more from Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey and Stage West in Spring Hill than good plays and musicals and acting workshops.

Both theaters work hard to give college scholarships to ambitious students.

Richey Suncoast recently gave out eight scholarships from the money raised at "Ticket to Broadway," a talent show given by Pasco County high schoolers and put together by the theater and the Pasco Schools Education Foundation. The scholarships went to kids who plan to pursue a degree in the performing arts.

Stage West recently announced the awarding of $7,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors. Incredibly, all that money was raised by the patron 50/50 raffles held at each show.

Congratulations to the theaters and to the kids.

In other theater circles

If you went to see the musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Nature Coast Technical High School, you probably noticed Lucy Werner, the curly-haired girl playing Logaine Schwartzandgrubenierre.

She's a charmer who also did a wonderful job a couple of years ago playing Princess Fred in one of my favorite shows, Once Upon a Mattress.

Last month, Lucy was awarded the Critics' Choice Award for Best in the State in Solo Musical Theatre Performance at the Florida State Thespian Festival in Tampa. Yes, Best in the State.

I first saw Lucy perform in the Christmas show at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in 2004, when she was not yet a teenager, and even then, her voice was clear as a bell and bigger than the room.

I don't know what her plans are, but if they include musical theater, I won't be at all surprised to see her make it to the top.

And still more …

Theater fans in this area have been watching Teddy Toye on various stages (and in various stages) since he was 2 years old, sometimes with his dad, Eddie, who does a mean Paul McCartney tribute, Live and Let Die.

Teddy won a HAMI Award at Stage West for his portrayal of young Colin in A Secret Garden in 2001 and was most recently seen singing and dancing as Jeb in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

He's all grown up now, a graduate of New York's American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and did the national tour of High School Musical.

Proud papa Eddie reports that Teddy will appear on ABC's soap opera One Life to Live on May 14, 17 and 18. He's in the dance troupe that's part of the Starr-Crossed Lovers: The Musical segment on OLTL.

Teddy's also scheduled to sing and dance on the Friday edition of The View, also on ABC, a preview of the OLTL show.

Play's shocking revelation may not stun today's audiences 05/07/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 7, 2010 8:32pm]
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