I’m sure many of us have found ourselves attracted to the hobbies of our children with a fervor we never felt until they began their involvement in them. I watch baseball games with much more intensity, have finally learned what “offside” means, and have found an appreciation for theater — though I never really engaged in or cared about any of these things for the first 40 years of my life. (Of course, it doesn’t always happen this way. At one point a few years ago, I’m pretty sure I would have sold a small organ if it meant I never had to attend another basketball game…but I digress.)
A few years ago, one of my four boys began acting in community theater productions. We thoroughly enjoyed watching him perform. As I sat there in the middle of the audience, I felt a bit bad that I had never attended this theater until my child was a performer there. How long had this theater been here? I drove past it all the time and never thought to go. Why not? There are always those weekends when you are trying to find something to do. When bowling has been shot down in the family vote, there is nothing good playing at the movie theater, last weekend was the museum, and it’s raining outside so a bike ride is out of the question.
One such weekend a year prior that was our dilemma. What can we do? How about a play? Hey, it’s something different if nothing else. The boys were not convinced. Nevertheless, tickets were purchased and we went. The play I selected was “Oliver” presented by Adventure Theater and played at the Round House Theater in Bethesda. When the play was over, the boys all told me how much they enjoyed it. They were enthralled from the moment the curtain went up. They appreciated the talent of the actors, the set design, the special effects…and of course the concession stand.
The experience brought a new love of theater to the house. Alexandria has a wonderful community theater called The Little Theater of Alexandria. The theater puts on roughly eight shows a year, with the cost of a ticket around $20, and the shows they produce get great reviews. It is a wonderful asset to our community to have this theater. So the next time you find yourself asking “what should we do this weekend?” keep the Little Theater of Alexandria in mind. You might surprise yourself at how much you enjoy it.
Susan Rome and Cole Sitilides. Photo by Teresa Wood
Now for the shameless plug. My son has since graduated from community theater into professional productions. His latest role is that of Eugene in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” at Theater J in Washington, D.C. It is a coming-of-age story for young Eugene, who thinks of nothing but the New York Yankees and girls. It has received rave reviews from The Washington Post, Broadway World, DC Theater Scene, and the Maryland Theater Guide, and recently it was bestowed a Helen Hayes Award Recommendation.
Should you indeed decide to give theater a go, might I recommend “Brighton Beach Memoirs”? It plays through the 14th of May and hey…there is a lot of rain in our forecast.