This week in Theater
Theater by the Blind
Review by Rose Desena
I rarely see a performance that makes me tear up, not the kind of tears from sadness, the kind that come from sheer joy. The endearing stage production of Yesterday’s with its all blind cast did just that.
This inspirational performance of an original script by Colin Simson and Lindsay Nyman is heartfelt and creative with hopeful but not maudlin messages.
Cookie (Candy) is trying desperately to hang on to her failing night club. Her staff of dedicated misfits find solace in her historic club, but times are changing and her location has been selected by a sharp real estate agent who is pretty convinced she won’t make the rent. Sean Gorecki’s beautiful singing voice along with a three piece combo (Bert Grose, Laywood Blocker and Willie Robinson) pleasantly holds your attention and adds a little bit of magic to this tale.
Directing has challenges in itself. I can’t imagine the difficulties in blocking movement and set changes around a cast lacking sight. (Personally I have trouble remembering my own blocking and I can see what’s around me.) Greg Shane and Lindsay Nyman have found an ingenious way to allow confident motion among his performers (most without the use of canes) by supplementing their navigational skills with a sort of floor braille.
The performances were uniformly good with some real standouts. Considering most of the cast did not set out in life to be actors, it astonishes the genuineness, freshness and charm they bring to their characters. There is a lesson here in which many working actors could use a refresher course.
I highly suggest you put this on your “must see” list. It’s wonderful. The show is a short run so get your tickets now. The night I was there they were sold out. Log on to get tickets in advance.
Greg Shane is not only the director/producer of the show he is also the Artistic Director as well as the co-founder of CRE Outreach, a community organization to enhance the lives of those with sight impairment through theater arts. After the show I spoke with some of the actors who praised the organization not only for enhancing their lives but profoundly changing them as well, giving them confidence and courage. In these hard economic times with social programs being cut organizations like CRE are lifesavers. Please log on to www.creoutreach.org for more information. There are also some nice gifts you can purchase; I bought a lovely pendent with the words “Believe” written in braille. They will have them at the show as well.
(Theater by the Blind)
Written by Colin Simson and Lindsay Nyman
Directed by Greg Shane and Lindsay Nyman
Cast: Cookie, Arnette Coates, Sean Gorecki, Melanie Hernandez, Leela Kazerouni, Maria Perez, Ernest Pipoly, Robert Smith and Sheila Walker
Musicians: Laywood Blocker (piano), Bert Grose (saxophone) and Willie Robinson (drums)
Presented by CRE Outreach and Theatre by the Blind
Performances: April 19 – May 5th
Friday and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm
1404 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401