TO DO MONDAY: ANONYMOUS THEATRE!
BEN WATERHOUSE, THE WILLAMETTE WEEK * MARCH 23, 2007
Gee willickers, am I ever excited about this Monday's show at the Gerding Theater. For the sixth year running, Anonymous Theatre will take over another company's space and perform a show in which none of the actors know each other. Allow me to explain:
Two months ago Jim Crino sent out a call for actors for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The actors auditioned individually, and the results of the auditions have been kept secret.
Over the last several weeks, actors have rehearsed songs, dance routines, etc. one-on-one with Crino, but never together. They still don't know each other's identities.
On Monday, the cast will enter the Gerding Main Stage auditorium in street clothes and take their seats with the rest of the audience. The lights will go down and, as their cues come up, the actors will take the stage and try their damndest to make the production work.
It isn't often that you get an opportunity to see professional actors give entirely spontaneous performances. Weeks of rehearsal make all but the finest artists set in their reactions, but Monday's show will have none of that. Some of these folks may never have met before, and they can't help but give a fresh, new and potentially disastrous performance.
Then again, they'll be trying to put on a musical - a Sondheim musical, no less - without a single group rehearsal. Will they be able to sing together? Will dances come together on the spot, or will they fall apart in chaos? Will they remember who's playing who?
I'm predicting one part genius and one part hilarious train wreck. Find out for yourself. Go!