Having spent some time in both the visual and performing arts, few appreciate the work and energy that goes into a live performance as much as I. I think I enjoy most sitting in a darkening theatre as the house lights go down, the stage lights bloom to life, and the performers take the stage. When the music begins my heart races in anticipation. As the lyrics waft out over the audience, I am in heaven....and trying with all my might not to sing along.
During what has been an awful winter, we were looking for a way to have some fun and checked out the Cotuit Center for the Arts website to see what was currently available in the gallery and the theatre. We were pleased to see that the current production is Rogers and Hammerstein's A Grand Night for Singing. Little did we know just what a treat we were in for. Our anticipation was such that we arrived an hour early so that we were insured the perfect seats, and we got them without too much pushing and shoving. A real stroke of luck was that we were also able to spend the waiting time viewing their current art exhibit, Making Waves.
One of the wonderful things about small, community theaters is the intimacy between audience and performers. The main performance space at the Cotuit Center for the Art is magical. Patrons sit in comfortable seats at bistro tables. The fact that wine and treats are available is a real plus for oenophiles like us.
The talented cast was led by veteran performers Maria Marisco and Stephan Colella and rounded out by Laura Shea, Elisabeth Moore, and Anthony Teixeira. The four-person orchestra was the perfect balance for the singers, never overpowering nor underwhelming; of particular importance as the singers were not using microphones.
From the opening number, The Carousel Waltz, to the closing medley of Impossible and I Have Dreamed, and with only a couple of missteps, the performances of all five singers were captivating. The missteps were handled so well and with such humor that one would think they were planed.
All five cast members presented their individual numbers wonderfully and with great emotion. I particularly enjoyed the ensemble pieces as these five voices blended so well and, at times, produced a vibration that was exhilarating.
I am sure everyone in the audience had their favorites, as did I. While I thought all five cast members gave terrific performances, Maria Marasco dazzled. The consummate actor, her stunning soprano voice and perfect phrasing, as well as her obvious love of performing, were a joy to experience. Another stand out performance was Anthony Teixeira. This young performer has an abundance of talent. The performance we attended was first rate. The night seemed to fly by leaving the audience wanting more.
I am thrilled that we will have the opportunity to see this production again as A Grand Night For Singing will be performed on the stage or our newly renovated Sandwich Town Hall, conveniently located just across the street from our bed and breakfast inn, on Saturday, March 9, 2013.