As delighted as I was to see the recent showing of the fantastic stage show Hamilton, I was equally disappointed that it was not in person. I had tickets to the current production showing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood when we all shut down. Not only were all the disappointments of this time making me a bit stir crazy, I have been anxiously waiting a long time to see this show. I guess I waited too long.
When a good friend told me that the original stage production with the creative and talented, Lin-Manuel Miranda will air on Disney+, I was excited and apprehensive. How could I see this wonderful production on the screen when it was meant for a live and breathing audience? Television is great for certain stories and tall tales, but live theater is the epitome of energy for the theater patron. Accepting this new reality, I soon came to believe that it was one of the best decisions I have made in these last four months. Purchasing a subscription for the month would indeed be a lot less than my original tickets, so I took the dive to Disney + for a month.
Not wishing to repeat the obvious complements for “Hamilton”; its actors, staging, music, originality and numerous other accolades, I still fell under its spell. With this in mind, I turned to the often over looked NoHo Arts District theaters. Closed due to our collective nightmare of Covid19, I wondered how or if they will return. The Road Theater, The Actors Forum, the Group Rep and many, many more. Twenty-two in all and all not open. How sad and how heartbroken the owners, directors, producers and actors must be. Maybe, just maybe, an opportunity to showcase their talents could be seen virtually as Disney did with “Hamilton.” It could be an opportunity to reinvigorate the energy of these sadly idle places. Would virtual work and could it be done? I’m not sure but I wish theater owners, directors and actors would give it a shot.
The reality of this situation like many others is unfortunately out of our hands. When, how, or if any NoHo Arts District theaters will re-open is a guess. I hope it is soon. As an avid theater goer, it is not just for the artists, it is for us, the audience. Being in total or semi-total isolation for so long, we need you and miss you dearly. Yes, there is some comfort being at home. Watching in your ‘jammies’, or in your birthday suit with your choice of libations is fun, for a while. It isn’t all a disaster, but not the same feeling as being inside a live theater feeling the energy of the full production. Hopefully, we will all be there soon, in person, together. Until that moment returns a new way to experience this art would be welcomed.
In the meantime, take a look at the virtual shows from our NoHo theaters. Check back often as we add more shows.
Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest – the largest solo theater festival on the West Coast – goes online. Stay tuned for their newest solo series, Black Voices
You can help #SaveNoHoTheatres>>
For “Hamilton” newbies and purists, put the original soundtrack on your playlist.
Here’s the fun “Hamilton Mixed Tape!”