Richey Suncoast Theatre will be a busy place this week, as the theater's set designers and builders dismantle the set for My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad shortly after it closes Sunday and the Rotary Club of Trinity brings in a whole new show, the comedy Sylvia, for a one-night fundraiser on Feb. 7.
Right after Sylvia's curtain descends, the Richey Suncoast set builders will start work on the next show, the musical Crazy for You, which would be a challenge even without the delay.
"I think we could have used the set already there," said Ray Ford, whose Rotary Club of Trinity is sponsoring the showing of Sylvia. But theater president/manager Charlie Skelton wanted the set to be just right for the Rotarians, so he and his crew designed a setup of doors and curtains that Skelton describes as avant-garde, but go with Sylvia's script and will look new to anyone who has just seen My Husband's Wild Desires.
In addition, the wife of a Rotary member who owns Kim's Wall Art and Decor — which, among other things, does home stagings — is providing new furniture and art that matches the Sylvia script.
Four other downtown businesses are pitching in to make the Rotary's children's charities fundraiser even more appealing to potential theater-goers.
For those with a ticket to Sylvia, Vincenzo's Italian Ristorante is taking 25 percent off the entire bill; Juan's Black Bean Cafe, 20 percent; Boulevard Beef & Ale, 25 percent off the entree; and the Grand 10 percent off the entree. Two rules: (1) Call ahead for reservations and advise that you have tickets for the play; (2) Show the tickets to your server before you order. That way, there won't be any mix-ups in the restaurants' computers when orders are entered. (The discounts are valid only on the evening of the play.)
The Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse continues its tradition of including classic, but new-to-us shows, with the comedy The Foreigner, showing weekends Feb. 6-15.
Past seasons have seen the spooky The Uninvited, the powerful Death of a Salesman, the horrific and unforgettable Veronica's Room, the melancholy Gin Game and Agnes of God and the awesome Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which many amateur theaters aren't brave enough to tackle.
The Foreigner is a light-hearted comedy with an element of mistaken identity, which is always a hoot. In this one, a shy young man on a weekend getaway with a lodge full of strangers pretends to be a foreigner who can't speak or understand a word of English. That way, he doesn't have to make small or large talk.
Of course, people feel perfectly safe saying anything and everything around him, so he inadvertently becomes everyone's unintentional confidant — and then, he starts talking.
For those who like their comedy quick and easy, a member of the cast tells me that the show is only about two hours long, a contrast to the recent production, The Man Who Came to Dinner, which, at more than three hours, sometimes seemed as interminable as the guest who came for dinner and then stayed for nearly a month.
Eight years ago when I was driving through Europe, I admired the unusual, water-saving toilets in public and private restrooms. Instead of the usual single flush handle, they had two. Push the right lever, and you got a very vigorous mini-flush, ostensibly for minor needs. Push the left lever, and you got a very, very vigorous major flush for, um, more serious times.
I looked for such water-saving devices when I returned to the United States, but I couldn't find them.
Now, they're here, and they're being installed in the restrooms at Richey Suncoast Theatre. Not only will they save water, they'll lessen the time waiting for a tank refill between uses, something always welcome when the waiting line stretches out the door.
Board president Charlie Skelton said he found them at a local home supply store for about $109.
The theater is also installing waterless urinals in the men's room and some time back installed electronically controlled faucets in the sinks to save even more water.
So if you go to Richey Suncoast and you go at intermission, you'll be going green.