Sunday, April 1, 2007

55. And Then There Were None

This weekend, Friends of the Arts staged an adaptation of Agatha Christie--the play And Then There Were None. A traditional murder mystery, set on an island, the play featured local talent, a cozy stage set, and special effects of the scary, noisy variety.

Very enjoyable--with a surprise twist at the end.

Here are a few photos:

The entire theatre experience was delightful. The MultiPurpose Center has sufficient, convenient parking and a raised (proscenium) stage with a formal curtain. The air-conditioning this weekend was turned to a comfortable, not too cold, level. At intermission, FOA provided light refreshments and requested donations for "Crimestoppers," an amusing choice given that the play was about murder. All in all, the entire theatre experience was wonderful.
But I'm never sure why these FOA productions don't attract the audiences they deserve. Saturday night's performance was well-attended, and there was an enthusiastic, if small group on Friday night, but today's curtain opened to a very small audience. True, it was a beautiful day and being inside may not be everyone's first choice, but for a few short hours in exchange for live entertainment, well--really, everyone should take in these shows!
We have a fairly constant stream of theatre productions, between FOA and the Thespians and school productions. And the quality is also consistent. You know that the actors will bring forth talents you didn't know they had, with lines well-rehearsed and gestures and movement perfectly fitting their characters. Behind the scenes, our teens who join the tech crew get training in lighting, sound, stage management and the myriad jobs relating to props, scenery and costuming. The productions come from the range of shows on stage in the U.S. and give laughs, insight into past or contemporary life, or food for thought.
I prefer the musicals, which always have a variety of songs that showcase the natural abilities of the actors and actresses who come from our community. Like Scrooge at Christmas and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum this Spring, we can count on being entertained. Both were wonderful. I missed La Cage, but am still hearing raves about it from a variety of people who saw it.
So kudos once again to Hal Easton and Melody Actouka, who directed and produced this charming play (and many of the others we've seen here in Saipan--as volunteers, no less!).
And here's a small voice recommending that you take in the local theatrical efforts at the next opportunity. The price for tickets is small, compared to theatre tickets any where else in the western world. You might be surprised at what is available in Saipan.
And don't ask why this appears as one block of text! I've added paragraph breaks in the original and in edit mode, and they just disappear when I publish. A question for the next blogger meeting!

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