One of my most favorite activities is walking into a Broadway theater feeling the anticipation of a great show. Here in the heartland, we have occasional opportunities to experience this thrill. Wichita's Music Theatre does a wonderful job of bringing Broadway shows to our area, but their venue does not match the environment of a legitimate Broadway theater.
Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre does match the surroundings of a legitimate Broadway theater and, happily for our community, also provides the anticipation of a great show. I once had the opportunity to show the Hutchinson's Fox Theatre to Broadway's Ben Vereen. This was soon after the Fox's restoration but before the Fox had reached its present stride. As Mr. Vereen and I walked into the Fox's "house," it literally took his breath away. Even in its empty early stage, it had that breath-taking effect! He asked immediately what he could do to help. He realized it was a gem on the prairie not to be lost.
I am very grateful that the surrounding community here in the heartland saved the Fox and continues to support its enriching offerings so that we heartlanders are able to experience the thrill of entering this "other world" with the anticipation of a great show.
The dancers of ArtisTree are presenting one such show in the majestic space of the Fox. It will be ArtisTree's 34th annual production here in Hutchinson. The dancers of ArtisTree have been dancing in the Fox Theatre since it opened in 1999. As their director, I speak for ArtisTree's entire ensemble in thanking the Fox Theatre for the privilege of bringing it to light each Memorial Friday and Saturday and in extending our collective invitation to this community to participate in this upcoming event.
By attending one of ArtisTree's free public shows, one can expect the thrill of entering the Fox Theatre and also expect to experience the excitement of sitting in its "house" anticipating a good show. Upon entering, a guest is greeted and treated as a theater-goer and gifted an entertaining 90-minute "present"-ation. To be clear, this show is not a recital. It is a stage production that moves right along amid the Fox Theatre's magic, "evi-dancing" a passionate love for theater, music and dance. It includes a two-minute stand-and- stretch and a generous 10-minute intermission. Of course, in this gracious setting, theater etiquette applies, for dancers and audience. It is not a circus, it is not church; it is a two-way communication between audience and actors, unplugged from electronic distractions. There is a 12-page free souvenir program for all, which we highly recommend reading in the lobby before the show, before the lights are dimmed, or at home after the show. The show has been created, choreographed, designed and produced by the staff of ArtisTree to be a delight for ages 4 through 104.
Warning: An evening theatrical event of this type is not meant to be a delight for early 3s and younger, nor are arriving guests thrilled when finding their seat close to a wee one not yet ready to sit still. Our highest expectation is that when you leave, you leave delighted and uplifted, and that your expectations for coming will have been exceeded.
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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