It might surprise you to find that one of the biggest draws of the summer will be community theater.
Stick with me.
Between the blazingly busy Majestic Theatre and our neighbors up the road at the Albany Civic Theatre, there are a ton of artistic ventures worth your eyes. Plays (big and small), a comedy show, and something that can only be described as the craziest theater workshop known to man await you in the months to come.
Albany Civic Theatre
First up, at the Albany Civic Theatre, we have Footlight Frenzy. This play lands somewhere between the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers thank to its slapstick visual comedy and its farcical nature. This play is currently running, and will run weekends through July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students and seniors.
Next up, the Albany Civic Theatre puts the man in green tights on center stage with Peter Pan. A classic beloved by all, Peter Pan has everything you could ask for. Crocodiles, pirates, alarm clocks, enchanted islands, and the aforementioned tights. ACT’s Peter Pan will run three weekends in August at 7:30 p.m., starting Aug. 14 and ending Aug. 29. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students and seniors.
Moving on to more familiar surroundings, the Majestic Theatre is shaking things up with Kiss Me Like You Mean It. A more modern play written by BBC veteran Chris Chibnall, it explores the nature of romantic love with a comedic hand. The show will run two weekends at 7:30 p.m., starting on July 17 and ending on July 25.
For a smaller, more intimate experience, the Majestic Theatre has its Reader’s Theatre. The first of two shows being put on from the Reader’s Theatre this summer is The Lyons. This drama follows a family brought together by tragedy as their patriarch lies dying. Rather than “celebration of life,” the Lyons family resorts to mudslinging and chaos ensues from there. The show will run on July 26 at both 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for members, seniors, and students.
Baby boomers! This is your time to shine! No millennials allowed at this show, as the Baby Boomer Comedy Show comes to town on Aug. 15. Touring comedy veterans Jan McInnis and Kent Rader pride themselves on their ability to make you laugh through their squeaky clean comedy. And they are calling on baby boomers with the promise of material that is “for people born before seat belts, safety helmets, and Facebook.” The show will start at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for members, seniors, and students.
Majestic Madness promises to be just as described. Madness. This experimental artistic showcase is calling on writers and actors for a night of chaotic fun. Writers present 8 to 10 pages based around a basic prompt, actors are chosen randomly from the audience, and short sketches are performed for the audience’s amusement. Majestic Madness is intended to inspire the theater-wary folk by tossing them straight into the fire. The madness begins on Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.
And to close out the Majestic Theatre’s summer schedule is another show from the Reader’s Theatre. On Aug. 30, romantic drama Closer comes to the Majestic for a night of love, betrayal, and back-and-forth heartbreak. Four people become unexplainably tied together through a series of chaotic circumstances, all in an effort to find true love. Closer will run on Aug. 30 at both 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for members, seniors, and students.
The local theater communities are eager to buck the trend of quiet theatrical summers. Over the next two months, Corvallisites have seven shows to look forward to, each touching on something just a little bit different from the last.
By Nathan Hermanson