Front Row Centre, Calgary’s largest community theatre dedicated exclusively to musicals, had its annual fundraiser on Saturday night at the Plaza (Front Row Centre at the Movies). Unfortunately, I missed it, although I had bought a ticket, because I had an ailing dog to attend to (for my sake as much as his, I’m sure).
They took this opportunity to launch their season of next year’s musicals. As I had been led to understand, after disappointing sales for some of their recent fringe choices like Assassins and Chess, they’ve gone to the tried and true, a blend of old and newish blockbusters, based on previously successful movies/TV shows: Singing in the Rain (October), Spamalot (January), and Legally Blonde (May-June).
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that 2005’s Spamalot isn’t on my hit parade (I saw it when it was at the Jubilee in 2008, as did a lot of other Calgarians), although it’s nostalgic fun for Monty Python fans. I haven’t seen Legally Blonde (the 2007 stage show or the 2001 movie on which it’s based), but it’s not the kind of show I would normally seek out (as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t), although I’m told it’s hilarious. I’ve also never seen this 1983 stage version of Singing in the Rain, so that might be kind of interesting, but it’s going to be tough to top the classic 1952 movie with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor (real dancing, and real rain).
I expect these shows, if well done, and they usually are at Front Row Centre, will do well at the box office and help FRC’s subscription base, but all in all, the 2012-2013 season gets a big ho-hum from me. On the other hand, as Galinda/Glinda in Wicked says, “it’s all about popular”, and these shows certainly are that.
What do you think? Are there any of these shows you’re dying to see? Are there any that you’ve seen and loved (or hated)?
Subscriptions and show descriptions are available now from Front Row Centre