In continuation with my posts on Life in America, today I am posting about Plays in the Park. Plays in the Park is a Theatrical organization in Roosevelt Park, Edison. Initially I was of the impression they stage plays in different parks on different dates. But now I realized it happens only in Roosevelt Park at Edison and people from distances as far as 40 miles or more come here to watch the plays. I am so lucky that I live at a distance as near as not even half mile from the Park.
Last Friday we watched the Play Oklahoma. Music by Richard Rodgers, Written by Oscar Hammerstein and Play was directed by Margaret Davis. It has been many years since I watched any play. In India we could not attend any play even though we wanted to because of distance and time constraints. So my idea of a Play or Drama as we used to call it in childhood dates back to 80’s. I remember I had seen a kannada play with my parents and siblings by name ‘Mudukana maduve’ which translates to ‘Old man’s wedding’. It was a comedy. Then the actors had to come near the mic and speak aloud. There would not be more scenes as arranging background would be difficult or the different scenes were differentiated mainly by changing background curtains. Next one was my own participation in a play during my high school days at Jaganmohana Palace in Mysore. But looks like the Theatre has advanced to much more professional, interesting and enchanting stage with the help of technology.
I went to this play Oklahoma with my husband and daughter. We were spell bound by the splendid performance of the team, the music played by around 50 musicians in front of the stage, the ability of the actors to Sing, dance and act so effortlessly, the moving houses, moving fences, moving wind mill and so on. With so much of ease stage was set for the next scenes.
We sat at the center row exactly facing the center stage and could get clear view of everything on stage. When curly (Andy Martinez) started singing ‘oh what a beautiful morning..’ with such a melancholic voice I felt the whole audience felt it was really a beautiful day to be sitting there and watching them sing and perform.
I really doubted whether the artists are singing the songs or somebody with the music team is singing, we could not even find mic any where near their head or ears. May be I did not observe all those things as I was immersed in their story. Every dance was splendid, there was humor, comedy, fight, anger, dream, innocence, cruely, love and affection. All possible feelings came and went. I could observe that each and every actor did their best. At any point of the time you could not see them appear like as if they are acting, they were all part of that story and it was as if its really happening and they are experiencing it.
We met another senior person who was very friendly and told us more about shown in US. He told this troupe is at par with the Broadway of Newyork or sometimes better and they are charging so less compared to them. He shifted to Edison 19 years back and is watching these plays without missing every year.
The Ticket charges for 7$ for adults and free for children. They took 3$ rent for chairs. The show was for 2 hours, but we felt as if it was over within an hour. Because it was so interesting. I really loved to sit under the clouds and watch the splendid performance. I felt I was in the seventh heaven.
I should have seen the show on day 1 and should have posted so that you all could have joined me, but dont worry they will be playing “Jesus christ superstar” from July 29th.. See you then..