Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Return to Stone's Throw

Attending the Christmas program at Stone's Throw Theater in Carthage Friday night brought back fond memories of one of my early assignments after I left the Lamar Democrat to take a job as a reporter at The Carthage Press.
Lifestyles Editor Nancy Prater normally reviewed the plays at Stone's Throw, but she was unavailable for the first performance of the Noel Coward play, "Blithe Spirit."
"Blithe Spirit" had always been one of my favorite plays and I vividly remembered the 1945 movie starring Rex Harrison. So I was looking forward to the play. Unfortunately, the "Blithe Spirit" I saw at Stones' Throw only vaguely resembled the play and movie I remembered. For some unknown reason, someone had updated the play to the 1990s and as I pointed out in my review, the play was great, the acting was great, but the efforts to update the play were misguided to say the least.
I didn't think anything about it, until I discovered later that Henry Heckart, the director, had been the one responsible for the updating. He was not thrilled with my review, but I called it the way I saw it.
I attended the performance Friday night because one of my eighth grade students at South, Cheyla Navarre, was one of several talented area middle school students, including some from Carthage and Neosho, who performed. Cheyla's performance of "Oh, Holy Night, was one of the highlights of the show. It was a pleasure to be back at Stone's Throw after so many years. I won't wait so long before my next visit.

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