Monday, February 15, 2010

My Bloody Valentine

One of the perks of moving to the Metro DC area for me was, of course, the close proximity (compared to Orlando) to New York City. I consider myself to be a theatre fan, and certainly go when I can...if not as often as I'd like. I saw this move as an excellent opportunity to make the occasional day-trip or weekend getaway to the Big Apple. I don't consider myself to be a theatre snob but will admit that prior experience has shown a tendency to enjoy Broadway productions more than their traveling counterparts or *gasp* local productions. So it was with great surprise and joy that I found myself completely enthralled by the Arlington, Virginia-based Signature Theatre troupe's presentation of "Sweeney Todd" last night.
Signature Theatre is a Tony Award-winning company, and that badge of honor was well deserved, a fact made evident by every aspect of their Valentine's Day showing of "Sweeney Todd." This troupe successfully accomplished what every live show should strive for: leaving the audience with the impression that the movie was substandard in comparison. Looking back on my past experiences with Broadway, I can hardly say that I thought "The Wedding Singer" was better than its movie predecessor. "Beauty and the Beast," though wonderful, may have been better off in the two dimensional world. Whether the same could be said of traveling versions of either show, I couldn't say. I insisted on seeing them on Broadway. I guess I AM a theatre snob after all. Or was. Todays lesson is to appreciate what is in front of you instead of longing for what can be found four hours down the highway. Washington DC and Northern Virginia both contain a rich layer of arts and entertainment that I have yet to explore. Do I plan to visit NYC? Absolutely. Should it be my primary focus? Absolutely not. I moved here thinking only of what it meant to me in relation to New York's theatre scene. Now, I think it may be wise to schedule the NY trips around what's happening locally.

"Sweeney Todd" is playing at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA from February 9 - April 4.

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