Movies are great, but theater is even better |

Movies are great, but theater is even better

Usually when people say they have a favorite book, movie or CD they can say why. I can’t define why “The Sound of Music” is my favorite musical.

I saw a live production of it for the second time on Saturday. I attended the matinee performance with my parents at the regional theater in Walnut Creek. I had seen it live several years ago when I lived in Las Vegas and Marie Osmond was starring in it. She was good, but no Julie Andrews.

There were no big-name performers this time, but still it was a wonderful show. The acting was good and the voices strong. I don’t know what draws me to this musical. I’m not sure if it’s that I know almost every song by heart. I don’t know if as I child I felt some connection to one of the von Trapp children. Certainly our childhoods had nothing in common. Maybe it’s the love story that makes me never get tired of this musical.

It’s one of those shows that most men just roll their eyes at. In Vegas I had to drag my boyfriend to the show. I’m not even sure my dad was asked if he wanted to go — I told my mom I wanted to go and she got the tickets for the three of us.

In college it was the first videocassette I bought after I bought my VCR. My college roommates in the dorm at San Francisco State were into show tunes. It was unbelievable how many songs we could sing by heart. We did this instead of studying, not instead of going on dates — honestly!

The enjoyment of live theater is something my parents instilled in me at an early age. Of course it took being an adult to appreciate it. Sometimes it felt like they were forcing me to see community productions. And then I had to go see my oldest sister perform in high school plays.

But somewhere along the line I grew to appreciate the stage. In high school I took a drama class. I was horrible. The instructor encouraged us all to try out for the upcoming play. I did a reading from “The Glass Menagerie.” Again, I was horrible.

Even though I cannot act, I love the theater. When I was in New York last year I went to see “The Producers” starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick with my sister, Pam, and our mom. Mom describes it as “the most irreverent” show she has ever seen. I can’t wait for it to come to San Francisco so I can see it again.

Movies are great, but theater is even better. The audience has something to do with it. There isn’t a real interaction, but just the laughter, applause and occasional tear brings the audience together. Then to think that these actors must perform practically every night, sometimes more than once a day, it’s mind boggling. It makes you appreciate their craft so much more than the basic movie actor.

Broadway is miles away and San Francisco can be cumbersome to get to, but we have local theater here on the South Shore. The Lake Tahoe Community College has a wonderful performing arts center where local actors practice their craft several times a year. It is an art form worth seeing.

— Kathryn Reed is managing editor of the Tahoe Tribune. She may be reached at (530) 541-3880, ext. 251 or

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