Does Bozeman’s Community Theatre Suck?
Open Door Theatre is a local community theatre group in Bozeman. The theatre group started in 2015 because the founders thought their weren't enough theatre opportunities in Bozeman
Over the River and Through the Woods, the comedy about an Italian family, opened last Friday, and the show runs June 9,10,11, 15,16,17 and 18.
As I sat in the theatre last Friday night, I worried, "What if the show sucks? How do I go on my radio show and review the play if it was really bad?"
Now, I have to admit I am a theatre snob. I grew up in New York City, and the best theater in the world is on Broadway. This play, Over the River and Through the Woods, was on Broadway. Bozeman is a small town. How good could this play be?
When I left New York City I tried going to community theaters in each city. It was painful. I attended local theatre in Las Vegas, Beaumont, Denver and Sacramento. Very unimpressed; I would leave the show so angry. The local shows always got standing ovations. Did these people really think the crap we just saw was good theatre?
One of my friends reminded me that we weren't seeing professional actors, we're not on Broadway. These actors do this as a hobby.
I would leave a community play, and the problem was - what do I say about the show? So I tried to say nothing. I would say things like, “Oh the sets were nice” or “What an interesting show."
The actors were people from the community, people I knew. I heard friends and audience members talking after the show:
“My God your show was so good. It should be on Broadway!”
Were audience members lying? This show sucked. I started taking notes, trying to explain how the community director directed the whole show wrong.
I had something like 10 pages of notes. Now what? Who do I give the notes to? They think the play is great. The audience gave them a standing ovation.
Sitting in the Open Door Theatre, waiting for the show to start, I worried, "Please don't let this show stink." A few people came up to me and said they came to this play because we talked about it on Dominick In The Morning.
I studied the program
Over the River and Through the Woods was written by Joe DiPietro, directed by Stephanie Campbell. It stars local actors George DeVries, Lou Morris, Mary Orr, Peggy Jensen, Roerick Sweeney and Liz Preston.
The lights went down, and this small sold-out production of Over the River and Through the Woods began.
Wow, It was really good. I liked it. The acting was first-rate. I laughed sometimes, and even cried at the touching moments in the play.
I grew up in Hollywood. Any one of these community actors could have worked on Broadway or starred in movies.
I had a great night in the theatre. The local Bozeman theatre was better than shows in cities like Los Angeles, Denver, Sacramento. Bozeman beat them all.
This theatre snob had a great night at the theatre.
Congratulations, Bozeman, your local theatre doesn't suck. It's great.
Scene from Over River & Through The Woods