Tuesday, December 09, 2008

fertile crescent of imagination

Farragut High School was the scene of comical murder and mayhem this past weekend. My wife and I were invited to attend a performance of "Broadway Babylon" on Saturday night. We had gotten to know the school's drama teacher, Lea McMahan, when she used to come to see Einstein Simplified shows. Lea directed the play, which starred her talented students. She correctly thought that I would enjoy seeing the partially improvised production.

As the Farragut Press reported last week, I was asked to arrive in a limousine. What they didn't tell you is that my wife and I got into the limo in the loading dock area outside the backstage door. The car only drove us around the building. Students playing paparazzi photographed my wife and me as we got out of the limo and walked the red carpet into the high school.

Radio production whiz Gene Wooten did the sound for the production. He does an incredible job of hiding tiny microphones on the actors. They had flesh-colored mics on their foreheads, with the wire hidden in their hair or under their wig.

The play is an interactive murder mystery that the audience is encouraged to solve. The printed program had spaces to write down the clues uncovered throughout the night. They changed the ending at each performance to make a different character the murderer. The reviewer from the Farragut Press was there the same night as me. While they were changing the endings, I felt that they could have also changed a few outdated '80s references to Oliver North and Fawn Hall. However, the actors were great. Most of them were better than the cast of a college musical I saw recently.

I was surprised to find that they made me and another audience member suspects in the murder. We were brought up on stage and questioned as to our whereabouts during the crime. I said that I was in the fourth row, aisle seat when it happened. Later, the detective character suggested that I had reason to want the victim to be dead. I said, "I may have had motive but I didn't have opportunity." In addition to all the other fun, they had cake at intermission! Mmm... cake.

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Blogger Sandy Weaver Carman said...

Sounds like a fun night, Frank...thanks for shining yet another spotlight on the talented cast and crew. As for that cake...mmmmm, cake.....


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