Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I HATE THEATRE - The Matinée

Matinée. I think Matuta meant for our matutinas to be just that. Morning prayers. A time for reflection. To prepare. Not to stomp around, shout, slam doors, sing and dance, throw props, curse, make out or whatever one does at a matinee. We do those things at 8pm.
Who invented the Matinee? Ziegfeld? Who thought here is an activity that I do every day at X o’clock. Now let’s do it 6 hours earlier. At what price? At least movie matinees are usually cheaper.

Churches have a mid week matinee with their Wednesday services. I am sure statistically attendance has increased over the years for the matinee. But why? Cast and crew bring their hangover performance. The audience has slept in and then has eaten a big brunch/lunch before. Then they sit for hours fighting a want for a nap. Then like moles they exit outside to daylight and thirst. There is a big chunk of the day remaining. Hell, you could go see another show at 8pm.

I learned early on that the matinee performance meant actors and crew were hungover and deprived of sleep. First things first. Coffee, smokes and donuts! They hugged, cuddled and sculpted their aches and pains as a group into a 2pm matinée performance. They don’t do that much these days. Then there is the stage manager, who hasn’t slept, that grossly reminds the cast, "Brush your teeth!" And there is always one prop mysteriously missing during matinee performances.

Then matinee times started changing. 2:30pm. 3:00pm. 3:30pm. 5:00pm. Big cities have the stamina and the money to promote, maybe even profit, from matinees. Locally, I don’t think they can afford it, promote it or profit from the matinee. The quality of service has been degraded by all parties. Knock a couple dollars off the matinee price and maybe a round of mimosas for the cast, crew, staff and audience.
Let's get through this together.

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