LCT’s once-in-a-lifetime 70th Anniversary show

Here’s our slide show of Lexington Children’s Theatre’s Celebrity Curtain Call. Mouse over the bottom of the slide show to get controls. Click on the little comment cloud to the left to activate captions (if you want captions on this show, it’s probably best to go to the large version of the show). If you click on a photo, it will take you to a larger version of it at Picasa, and you can click the link at the bottom left of the slide show window for a larger version of the whole show.

Emcee Jim Richardson opened the Lexington Children’s Theatre‘s Celebrity Curtain Call 70th Anniversary show noting Gov. Steve Beshear had sent a letter congratulating the theater for “engaging young people in theater education.”

“That won’t happen tonight,” Richardson quipped.

Then he said U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler (D, Ky.) had sent a letter congratulating the theater for “bringing Central Kentucky youth to the stage” to the stage.

“That won’t happen tonight,” Richardson reiterated.

No. Saturday night was all about adults who had either been in or supported Lexington Children’s Theatre over the decades getting up and having a little fun. (There was an 18-cake party for the kids last weekend at Jospeh-Beth Booksellers.)

The Curtain Call probably didn’t change anyone’s life the way the theater clearly has, judging by some of the comments made during the evening. The event was a testimony to the lasting impact an arts group can have on a young person’s life.

But as unique evenings of theater go . . . well . . . where exactly do you think you’re ever going to see Alan and Kathy Stein play the marriage proposal scene between Tom and Becky from Tom Sawyer again?

There are lots of things that look good on paper, but don’t really work that well in practice. This was not one of those things.

The Steins delivered a really sweet moment, a lot of laughs and one epic smooch during their show-stealing scene.  Big L even demonstrated some theatrical acumen, tossing in stage phrases like “I shouldn’t have stepped on your line” and “back in character,” during the scene, which went so far off script prompter Vivian Snipes, LCT’s artistic director, threw up her hands.

Her husband, LCT producing director Larry Snipes, prominently pointed out the prompter before the show started, and it turned out she was greatly needed. One of the most accomplished actors in the cast, Transylvania University theater director Tim Soulis, gave something of a master class in covering line kerfuffles in his scene and staying in character playing the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

Photographer Larry Neuzel, who was there shooting for LCT, observed that the show got funnier the more lines were dropped. Karyn Czar and Pamela Perlman, both active area performers, helped serve as ringers to hold scenes together.

A performer in no need of a ringer was WVLK radio host Jack Pattie as Bottom from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Pattie had played the role at LCT when he was 15, and he played it Saturday like he’d just turned 16.

Other participants in the show included Business Lexington editor Tom Martin, State Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, Lexington Center director Bill Owen, former Mayor Teresa Isaac, former Major League Baseball Player Doug Flynn, past president of United Way of the Bluegrass Kathy Plomin and chief judge Megan Lake Thornton.

Isaac’s scene From The Goblin’s Goblin — with Owen, Flynn and Czar — had her giving her shoes to Flynn. She said she went into Shoe Carnival and told the sales person she needed something she and big man could wear, and showed off the resulting backless pair of heels Flynn donned at the end of the bit.

Check out our slide show from the Celebrity Curtain Call above or at Picasa.

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