by Gail Burns and Roseann Cane
Roseann Cane: I moved to Columbia County in 1998, and it did not take me long to learn that the Mac-Haydn Theatre is beloved here. Over the years I’ve heard so many warm reminiscences from folks who grew up in the area, folks who saw their first show there, and some whose only experience of live theater was in the audience at a Mac-Haydn production.
Gail Burns: Absolutely, I have had many wonderful experiences at the Mac-Haydn over the years. Their quirky, in-the-round performance space allows them to present theatre in an almost cinematic way, and there is no doubt that their big dance numbers are second to none. They have raised up and trained at least two generations of theatre artists. Its a marvelous place.
Roseann: And I was ready to have a good time. Maybe I didn’t have strong feelings about seeing Legally Blonde, but I was eager to experience this cherished theater. And I knew, or knew of, a few actors in the show. I’d been hearing great things about Monica Wemitt. And I knew that Eleah Jayne Peal, who I thought was just wonderful in Urinetown at the Ghent Playhouse last winter, was in the chorus.
Gail: I was ready to experience this 2007 Broadway vehicle which has recently been released for amateur and professional production and is being staged EVERYWHERE this year. I have never seen the film, which is typical of me, and hadn’t heard the score before, which is unusual.
Roseann: But, oh, my ears. As soon as the lights went down and the music erupted I realized I’d be uncomfortable for the duration of Legally Blonde. And when the lovely ladies of the chorus, mic’d to the nines, descended on the stage, I knew I was in trouble. I don’t care for mic’ing in the theater to begin with, but why, oh why, would any performer or musician need amplification in a theater as small as the Mac-Haydn?