For all of the students from the Waterbury Arts& Magnet School who made up the cast of their spring play, Steel Pier, it was easy to see how dedicated they were in trying to make it a memorable play…and it was.
Ann and I were not real surprised that he had landed such a nice part(Happy McGuire) and, of course, we were very proud of him.
I managed to see three of the four shows this past weekend at the Palace Theater in Waterbury and each one was as good if not better than the previous days'(or nights’) shows. I guess those results were a given considering how many hours of rehearsal time the students had sacrificed to be sure that they were ready.
The plays’ title is that of an amusement pier in Atlantic City, set back in 1933, where dance contests were the norm and that’s exactly what Steel Pier’s story revolves around: a dance marathon and different romantic developments that develop.
Like I mentioned a little earlier, Eric played Happy and his was one of the most interesting stories to me because, after initially being wed to a woman closer to his (play) age named Precious, he soon stole the heart of another one, a seemingly older woman named Shelby.
After feigning injury to get himself out of the contest, Happy wanted to head back home to Utah but Precious chose to stay behind so she could keep dancing. Now Shelby offered to take Precious’s place, but Happy wasn’t interested and went back to Utah alone.
There was another reason why I wanted to see this particular play: it was a chance to see Eric play a more general character, where singing wasn’t his character’s main job or goal. Even so, he accepted the part and ran with it. And he did just fine. Playing Happy was a great chance for Eric to expand(or lengthen) his already impressive theater resume.
Knowing that he was already quite tired from having such a hectic rehearsal schedule while also working hard at home to maintain his already impressive GPA, I was a bit worried that he might fade just a bit when the shows began.
Fortunately, though not surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. He didn’t fade at all. Instead, Eric and the rest of the cast performed a real smooth, well-done show each time that I saw it. Though he sang no solos, Eric had a gang of lines and his character spoke with a slight, Southwestern accent. As usual, our boy still played his part with the same passion that he had in previous shows when his character was usually belting out songs.
Seeing this did not surprise me one bit because theater has always been his first love, and he works very hard to better or perfect each role he is chosen to play no matter whether he has songs to sing or not. I was proud as hell of him for being a team player and working with his cast mates to try and perform flawlessly And they nearly were(perfect). Well done all!