Theater without Studying

Call me strange, but I’ve loved musicals since I was a kid. I would pretend I was a character from a show and sing without fear of how bad I sounded — of course, I had no real audience. My parents took me to many shows at Casa Manana, a theater in my hometown of Fort Worth. Casa has a colorful history with Billy Rose who brought famed stripper Sally Rand to perform.

Casa has a round stage — which made it difficult to have a bad seat in the house. Sure, the audience faced the stars’ backs at times, but the direction was well done so it was hardly noticed. I learned many of the songs by heart and became familiar with the storylines, so I could fully enjoy each show.

I even spent two summers working at Casa changing the scenery. I still have my shiny black jacket with Casa’s famous domed building on the back of it and my name on front. I had the honor of working with Ruta Lee, Peter Palmer, and Jason Byce in Hello, Dolly! and Paint Your Wagon.

I had the pleasure of seeing many wonderful shows at The Kennedy Center in Washington. We had season tickets there a couple of times. We’ve also seen shows at Arena Stage (has a round stage, but not the one we saw), National Theater, and the famed Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was shot.

What does all this have to do with studying? I got carried away with memories. Anyway, we’ve had tickets to see Wicked at Dallas Music Hall for over year for April 2007. I bought the book and the CD so I could familiarize myself with the show and completely enjoy it.

When I went to the theater’s web site to try to buy a third ticket for my daughter, the OC (open captions) caught my attention. Can you imagine how excited I was when I read that the theater gives laptops that have the script? I can’t wait to try it out. It’ll be interesting to see how well I can read the screen and watch the action on the stage. One suggestion: Why not use tablets instead? They’re lighter and less bulky.

Dallas Summer Musicals has a great line up this year. We were tempted to get season tickets, but it’s too difficult for us to try to make a show every two weeks especially with our kids’ schedules.

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