Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Entertainment: Hale Center Theater's
"Treasure Island"

Salt Lake City's Hale Centre Theater (HCT) is producing Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island on the "West End."

They have flooded their multi-million dollar, rotating, hydraulic stage to do it. Really! When the pirate on the cliff gets shot he falls into a ten foot deep pool and doesn't come up! and gets at least ten seats wet! No kiddin'.

There was so much handwriting on the wall that even the wall fell down.”
Christopher Morley

Once inside the theater you see that most of you have come inside through the mouth of a cave. Their "round" theater was the jungle island leaving the "round" stage to be the masted sailing ship… and did I say all of the stage entrance pits were the OCEAN!

A bit unfortunately, all this water sets the stage for the "Perfect Storm."
You may remember from the book that several storm qualities, in and of themselves more of a problem than a disaster, occurred at the same time causing "resonance" and a major catastrophe.

Those of you who have frequented HTC productions understand that occasionally they have an audio-technician who, perhaps, takes his gang-banger music a bit too seriously and cranks the sound up so you can hear it outside. I've mentioned it before.

And, occasionally they have a director who seems to only understand one method of displaying anger, displeasure, pique, miffed, upset, rage, etc., etc. — and that is to scream! ALL lines are delivered like that, and the constant bombardment wears one down.

Now, Squire Trewlawney and Dr. Livesey were the exceptions to the statement, they showed a good range of emotion and controlled anger in their performance; but they had almost no lines! [We saw the Tue, Thur, Sat performance]

L. John Silver, with his gravelly pirates voice, and Jim Hawkins pretty much shouted their lines the entire performance. Silver trying to project a character dialect and Jim... well, possibly just inexperienced theatricality.

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.”
Mae West

These three issues magnified each other to the point that our ears bled. By the intermission, my head ached and ears rung and I wasn't anxious to see any more. Mom wanted to leave but dad, who wears earphones and can turn down the volume, wasn't anxious to do that.

Mom decided that she would sit on the soft chairs in the lobby and we went back in. I can say, however, that the second act was better than the first … it was shorter! Mom said that despite the hallways, curtains and doors - she could still hear the screaming in the lobby.

Overall- NOT something that we would pay to go see again, or take people we liked; but, did I mention that they filled the stage with water?!


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