I was raised on Disney movies and musicals, and while my love for the princesses quickly waned (mostly), my adoration for musicals never did. I even broke my nose for the first time while watching a musical, which may be why I still don’t like “The Sound of Music.” But throw me some “Phantom of the Opera” and “Wicked” and I am like the cat that got the cream.
But aside from a poorly-executed school play here and there, I didn’t see a “real” musical until a couple of years ago at the fabulous Fox Theater. My parents didn’t like driving in Atlanta, so to even get to go to a theater was out of the question, and when I became a grown-up the thought of how much tickets cost terrified me so that I never really looked to see if they were affordable. Going to the theater to me seemed like something I couldn’t afford to enjoy – what my mother would call an “expensive hobby.” But everyone has to be wrong at least once, right?
I know that isn’t necessarily true now that I have actually looked at ticket prices for things and can drive myself into Atlanta. I am sure there are plenty of people who think the same way, or whose parents don’t like driving into the city or are just not interested. And that’s why community theater is so important.
The productions might not always be good. They might be down-right bad. But I’ve seen bad at The Fox (shame on you, “Mama Mia!”), and you won’t know how it is until you try it. I know everyone is singing the praises of the recent arts association production of “Les Mis,” but it’s warranted. I will be honest, I only went because one of our interns was in it, but I was so glad I did. The kids were amazing, and even though I had never seen this particular play or movie before, I would be happy to see it again, and that is all because of how awesome those kids were. And you know what else? It was $10. That’s it.
And while I wouldn’t have recommended it for the little ones, there are plenty of shows that are perfect for all ages. I have taken my son, who is 4, to some productions before, and I intend to take him to see “Snow White” next month. If he doesn’t like it, we’ll slip out, but if he does, then imagine how amazing that will be for him? To see ballet for the first time, to see the story he knows only from a Disney movie acted out in front of him? I watch him thrive, right along with me.
We have so much amazing local talent of all ages. Not just in Covington, but in Rockdale County and Walton County as well. So if you’re like my parents and don’t want to drive downtown, or if you don’t want to take a chance of your kids not liking a production in Atlanta and you being out a ton of money, then stay local and give it a try – it’s like training wheels for musical theatre!
If I’m wrong and you don’t enjoy yourself, then I welcome your nasty notes and comments, but I warn you, that rarely happens anyway, and it certainly won’t in this instance. You’ve already missed “Les Mis,” don’t miss out on the other wonderful plays and musicals that we’ve got going on around here.