Reviewing Theatre For Over 40 Years
Theaters and the Great Windstorm
For those keeping tabs of the theaters in the western San Gabriel Valley, word has it that most are up and running. The one exception I have heard of so far is The Sierra Madre Playhouse. The entire foothill community of Sierra Madre is still in the dark – the only businesses fully open being those few restaurants, etc. who can afford generators. The theater, smack in the middle of their quaint downtown, faces the same fate. Local electric companies are dealing with overwhelming numbers of downed power lines, some entangled in fallen trees, fences, walls and even house parts. There is no definite answer as to when they will restore Sierra Madre or any of the other areas affected.
Sadly, the recorded message at Sierra Madre Playhouse, though still operational, makes no mention of this. If you have tickets for “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the weekend following the great windstorm, you may just have to cross your fingers. It does appear at this point that Friday’s performance (12/2/11) is cancelled. We’ll just have to wait to see about the rest.
Update, Sunday 12/4
As of today, Sierra Madre Playhouse is still, literally, dark. Since there are no shows until next weekend, there is a reasonable amount of time for the restoration of power, so this may be the length of their down-time. It is hard for any production to be out this long: muscle memory begins to fade for the actors, and the initial enthusiasm which colors a production’s cast and crew can be diluted. If you can, go see this show. Give them full houses and a sense that the community hasn’t abandoned them. This is a community theater. Such groups deserve a break now and then.
Update, Tuesday, 12/6
Sierra Madre Playhouse, and indeed all of Sierra Madre, is now gifted with power.
Update, Friday, 12/9
According to the folks at SMP, not only is power up but the roof is sound (though the cover over the green room had to be restored), and shows can continue even in the rain. Look for my posted review of their “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which I was finally able to see.