‘Vote Smart’ receives raving review

By Mary Thacker
November 12, 2004

I think it was when I sat down at my seat and began to look over the sketch on the cover of the “playbill” that I knew it was going to be a good show. I was thoroughly impressed at how much content and depth had been achieved considering the short time given to prepare. It seemed a wise choice by somebody, the director, writer or whoever, to only have two main lead vocalists, especially ones with such diversity and talent. Each took on several different characters with challenging accents that seemed to have been mastered perfectly.

The rest of the cast was equally talented and exuded the sense of humor necessary to put on such a show. My personal favorite in the cast was the little boy who, obviously wasn’t a student at Cabrini, but showed the adult humor everyone else in the room seemed to get. Whether or not he really understood the significance of the show or not is debatable, but his roles in it were priceless and appreciated nonetheless.

I had never been in the Cabrini Theatre before that night, and it really did have a homey feel to it. That closeness is what makes the most intimate shows for both audience and performers. I think it is these shows, where the setting is interactive and silly, which makes the biggest impression. Seeing shows on Broadway or in bigger theatres is extravagant and professional, but it is the “little guys” of theatre that seem to put in the more passionate effort since there are many places where they are lacking, usually financially and in their casting selection. That passion is what rouses admiration from the audience and leaves the lasting thoughts.

It’s good that the aim of the performance was not to sway votes because there is nothing more irritating than people who think they can make a difference. That’s a point of view that has been enhanced by this experience. With an issue like the election, once people have made up their minds they are set and not going to budge.

Putting in your two cents at the last minute isn’t going to do any good for anyone; especially since nobody will care. I went to this with a real edge because I thought that maybe this performance was going to be headed in that direction and I was very pleased that it didn’t.

I think it was a wise idea to add the comments in the director’s notes regarding content: “Oh…and if we take a few more pot shots at President Bush than the other guy, remember what Aristophanes said, ‘That is the burden of the man who has the power. Everyone else are but gnats buzzing about his feet.'” There’s no doubt that taking shallow jabs at President Bush is easier than for Kerry.

Being from the south myself I know Northerners take pleasure in criticizing slow talking, down on the ranch behavior, and so on and so forth. It’s nothing new. However, the writers did a more than decent job of mastering the balancing act and getting every angle possible into a satirical state (although the degree of difficulty for these feats was probably easier at times than others).

I didn’t really understand the point of the performer who wasn’t even a part of the play, but maybe there was no point and rather just an intermission filler. I wasn’t sure, but it didn’t matter because I really liked it. The segue was just poor, or I just didn’t get it, or maybe I was distracted by a pretty light.

All I know is all of a sudden there was a guy playing the guitar and another singing and when I listened to the words it had nothing to do with the play. I won’t complain. From an audience’s point of view, overall the night seemed a complete success. I will always be amazed at how a person can memorize enough words to fill over an hour’s worth of time without fumbling or losing their composure. Every time I watch a live performance it never ceases to amaze me. How do you guys memorize all those words?

Posted to the web by Paul Nasella

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Mary Thacker

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