by Billi Casey
This past Friday I had to go to the Performing Arts Center at ICC to pick up tickets for a bus trip to the Art Institute. While I was waiting I noticed a brochure for the ICC Theatre Program's 2013-2014 Theatre Season. I stuck it in my purse, pulling it out when I got to my car and was searching for my keys. I took a second to glance through it and, even though the four offerings looked like they would be fabulous, I told myself that with work, kids, my schoolwork, their schoolwork, etc. I didn't have time to add attending the theatre to the mix. Then I turned the brochure over and saw that the tickets for each production are only $7 for the general public and $5 for students or $24 for the general public and $16 for students for all four plays that they will be doing this season. Now, not only do I want to attend but I want to write about attending so that other people can hear about and enjoy this opportunity also. I did some time management math as I went back to the center to find out who I'd need to talk to about doing this story and added attending the play and writing it up and subtracted cleaning my kitchen and a twenty minute walk. Sometimes I love math.
The first performance was that night (yes, my timing is impeccable) and I made an evening of it starting with dining out with my nine year old daughter, Zoe, and then off to the theater we went. One reason that I chose to go with her is the fact that one of my favorite memories from childhood is my sister taking me to a Peoria Player's production of Taming of the Shrew. I can clearly remember the sights, sounds and energy of that experience and falling in love with Shakespeare and theater. The play that kicked off the season is Scapin which is an adaptation of Moliere. Do you remember the scene in The Breakfast Club when Brian gets a book thrown at him for proclaiming his love for Moliere's work? Well he was right. This play was fantastic! It is the story of how Scapin, a servant, schemes and plots to help two pairs of lovers be together in spite of their wealthy fathers' objections. The action spills off the stage into the audience and, at times, invites us to participate. Zoe laughed out loud through the entire performance and can't wait to go again. The entire cast was strong and yet the two main characters, Scapin, played by Ryan Groves and Sylvestre played by Logan Henderson, shone. I loved the way they merged classical Italian Commedia with 20th century references and can't wait to see them in many more roles.
Often when I write about something I've done, the opportunity to attend has come and gone for my readers but I'm pleased to tell you that is not the case with Scapin. There will be three more performances: Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5 at 7:30 and Sunday October 6 at 2:30. When I mentioned this to a friend, Zoe overheard and wants to see it again. I totally plan on taking her for a second time this Friday but am using "do your homework well and without complaints this week and I will take you" as incentive so don't tell her!
Scapin has a PG rating for adult innuendo. Zoe is nine and I was fine with her being there. Two of the upcoming plays have R ratings and I will be attending those to prescreen them and decide if they would be appropriate for her to see. Those two are Dead Man's Cell Phone which will run November 8-17 and Humpty Dumpty which runs April 18-27. Working: A Musical, which has a PG rating, runs February 28-March 9.
I can't recommend strongly enough making plans to attend a performance of Scapin the first weekend of October and checking out the future performances in this series and the many other fantastic events at the ICC Performing Arts Center.