Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Sofa Saga: Why I Love Live Theatre

Ever driven two thousand miles in a two-day period, just to pick up a broken couch?  No?  Well, it’s clear to me, my friend, that you haven’t been spending enough time at the theatre.  How else can you explain the incredible amount of sanity you still possess?

There are numerous variables that must be taken into account when one is producing a play.  Most of these variables are fairly predictable and easily solved, but there’s always that one little issue that refuses to work itself out.  And that’s how Matt and Jeff, two of the owners at The Echo, found themselves driving to Midland, Texas, at one in the morning, just days before the opening of An Ideal Husband.

The object of their pursuit?  A sofa.  And not just any sofa, either.  A sofa from the Victorian era that once belonged to Matt’s great grandmother.  And a Victorian sofa is essential when one is performing a Victorian piece.

There’s just a slight problem with a sofa from that era–it’s old.  And old things sometimes break.

This is in no way an attempt at foreshadowing (shifty eyes).

Undaunted, Matt and Jeff made the heroic trek to Midland, stopped for a few hours to say hi to family, and made the trek back to Provo with the beloved sofa in tow.  Sure, it had a crack in the base board.  Sure, the trip was long and the boys were exhausted.  But no matter!  With just a little love, the sofa was fixed up and placed on the stage for its theatrical debut.

And what a debut it was.  No doubt the sofa was beaming with pride underneath the glow of the lights.  What an honor to be a set piece in a show written by the eloquent Oscar Wilde.  Perhaps the sofa was too overcome with happiness, or too overwhelmed with stage fright.  Whatever the case, it only lasted through the first act.

Two lovely ladies were being oh-so-proper and saying oh-so-many witty things when the couch collapsed.  In the middle of the performance.  With a reviewer in the audience.

Luckily for the sofa, the reviewer was amused.  “Perhaps the best example of the actors’ skill, and my favorite moment of the show, was when a sofa collapsed beneath Lady Markby (Jennifer Mustoe) and Mrs. Chevely (Cherie Julander). The two played off the set malfunction without a hitch: Mustoe apologized; the two stood up, shook off their surprise, and continued with the scripted conversation without ever breaking character. All this in the face of uproarious audience laughter.” Julia Shumway, Utah Theater Bloggers.

And that, my friends, is why I love live theatre.  My favorite part of a movie is often the blooper reel, and theatre is its own blooper reel.  Nowhere else can you see such a great creative collaboration happening live, right in front of you.  And that is worth driving two thousand miles.

Want to see the couch in action?  Come see An Ideal Husband.  There are only 5 more performances left!

–Julianna Blake

And the Winner Is….

Thanks to City Weekly for naming us Best New Theater Company in their 7th Arty Awards.  It’s a wonderful 7 month anniversary present for The Echo.

Want to celebrate with us?  Tickets are still available for performances of An Ideal Husband.  Come on over.  We’d love to see you.

Come Find An Ideal Husband at The Echo

Lord Caversham:  “Married yet?”

Lord Goring:  “Ask me again in half an hour.”

Does this sound like a familiar conversation for you?  Are you tired of listening to people hound you about your unmarried status?  Or are you tired of hounding other people about their unmarried status? An Ideal Husband at The Echo Theatre is here to offer you some friendly advice.

An Ideal Husband is regarded by most critics as Oscar Wilde’s dramatic masterpiece, but don’t be fooled.  There’s still plenty of comedy to be had in this fantastic play about love, blackmail, past misdeeds, and forgiveness.

Set in England in the late 1890s, Oscar Wilde’s classic mix of comedy and drama tells the story of Robert Chiltern, a respectable gentleman, well-placed in London society and blessed with a loving wife and excellent fortune.  This is all put in danger when Mrs. Cheveley, a scheming and ambitious woman, threatens Robert with a secret from his past.  In order to save his marriage and his reputation, Robert must confide in his foppish friend Lord Goring, a frivolous bachelor who claims he has no intentions of settling down.  One misunderstanding after another will force Lord Goring to join the fight to preserve Chiltern’s status as a gentleman, and truly illustrate what it means to be An Ideal Husband.

Come to The Echo and meet the cast of characters:

Robert Chiltern–the man with a past.

Lady Chiltern–the woman who loves her husband for his moral righteousness.

Mrs. Cheveley–the scheming woman with plans to ruin everything.

Miss Mabel–the loveable girl with biting wit.

Lady Markby, Mrs Marchmont, and The Countess of Basildon– The frivolous ladies who delightfully showcase the ridiculousness of society.

Lord Caversham–the frustrated father who can’t figure out what’s wrong with the kids these days.

Lord Goring–the loveable bachelor who must find a way to save the day.  Ah yes, and find a wife.

Come join us Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from Sept. 14-Sept. 29 for a delightful show.  Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:00.  Tickets are available at http://www.theechotheatre.com/an-ideal-husband.html.

Questions?  Send as an email at echotheatreprovo@gmail.com, or call (801) 691-0724.