Turn off the TV and Go See Live Theatre

Trish Befus

I am probably in the minority, but I sure wish TV stations would stop butchering what they like to call “Live”.

I was told it gets people interested in musical theatre. Does it? I think it gets people interested in not leaving their homes. In this technical social media day and age, actually going to the theatre to see a show, is “Live.”

From the time I was four, my mom took me to the theatre. It was a local kids theatre company. Two shows still stand out for me. ‘Wanda the Littlest Wizard” made me want to be a wizard so bad. The second show is one I can’t remember the name. But there was a man playing a spider kind of hanging in a web. More than forty years later, that image is still in my head.

From Fringe shows to community theatre, Broadway Across Canada to professional shows locally and Broadway shows on Broadway, here are live moments that still fascinate me.

I stage managed a Fringe show with one woman in it. She was describing a vat that Nuns made food in. She said it appears it was from the Inquisition. An older gentleman went “Ewww”. She replied with “I know” and continued. She was not one to break the fourth wall, but that moment was incredible. He was so captivated by her storytelling, that he became a part of it.

Then there’s The Wedding Singer. If ever there was a brilliant ending to Act One, this was it. A water drop. Precisely timed and a new audience every night. The cost to us was $12.00. Even as I type this, the audience reaction still makes me smile.

Don’t get me wrong, mistakes happen in live theatre. Flash Dance saw the lead actor not remembering his lines, but the show continued. Do I even need to bring up Spiderman?

For the Great Comet, I sat in the back row. Three rows in front of me, the row was made into a long but not very wide stage. A man then Russian danced on it. He was freaking incredible. The audience member in me drowned out the stage manager in me. I stopped wondering how safe was this and enjoyed how mind-blowing this was.

Seeing a show live and feeling the energy of the cast is something you don’t get from a TV. Aaron Tveit driving a golf cart in Grease live isn’t even close to watching him in a small theatre singing “I’m Alive” in Next to Normal.

It doesn’t need to be a huge Broadway show. I have seen high school shows that blew my mind! Recently, I went back to my junior high school to see a show. It was fantastic!

Feeling the energy of the audience is equally important to the cast. To all be in the same room, whether you are telling the story or being captivated by it, is a feeling unlike anything else.

Maybe the smell of pie will entice you!

Whatever you fancy: dramas, musicals, plays, comedy or a combination of them all, there’s something for you.

Turn off your TVs, phones, and laptops and leave your house. Go see a real live show!