Centerstage has started back up for its 2008-2009 season and the first show on their line-up is Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker.” The basis for the more famous “Hello Dolly”, this old school romantic comedy will keep you thoroughly entertained and remind you why it is we love romantic comedies so much.
Housed in The Pearlstone Theater, the smaller of the two theaters in Centerstage, the Matchmaker combined great acting and a great script to produce a story that actually had the audience roaring with laughter and applause. The actors were cast perfectly, and there were even a few songs (only sung to distract from the crew changing the scene) to satisfy all those “Hello Dolly” fans. Our personal favorite was the actress playing Flora – a scene-stealer with great comedy. But, all the actors did a wonderful job and were so believeable in their parts that it made for a perfect show. Our only complaint was the distracting scenery – a stark black, white, and red pattern was harsh on our eyes. But when you’re laughing so much, even that is a minor flaw.
Another great part of the night was the venue itself. Centerstage is a great little theater tucked into the Mount Vernon section of town. With an expansive lobby area, and two bars that refresh patrons with beverages for the performance, Centerstage provides theater-goers with an upscale arts experience, at a lower cost, and with less of the stuffyness that often comes with high-end theater. The Pearlstone Theater, the smaller theater where The Matchmaker was being shown, is a great amphitheater-style venue, with even the upper balcony level seating providing a full view of the stage.
After the show we got to experience College Night at Centerstage, which was a perfect way to end a great show! They had free pizza and drinks for any student with a college ID, plus there was great music as well. The actors even came up to join in on the action and it was cool to get to mingle with the people who had just made you laugh so hard. Then Centerstage raffled off some great prizes for the students in attendance, including tickets to Alanis Morisette at the Lyric and Legally Blonde at the Hippodrome!
Overall the night was a great experience. Though we definitely need to allot more time to arrive before curtain (what with Baltimore traffic and all) we know we will brave the crazy highways once again to hit another show at Centerstage!