Wednesday night, I saw a production of Alan Bennett's The History Boys at ArtsWest. It's one of my favourite plays, but I've only every read it and seen the movie, so it was incredibly exciting to actually see a stage production of it. It was quite excellent, though I'm having a hard time separating the fabulousness of the script from the actual production. I didn't like some of the casting (Posner, mostly, and Irwin a little bit), and some I thought was great (Mrs. Lintott, the Headmaster, Scripps, Timms). I will say that it's a play that is very settled in a particular production of it (the movie version and the production with the same cast), and ArtsWest did a good job of making it their own.
I love what this play says about history, literature, and life. When Hector says he's trying to teach the boys not to speak, in their middle age, about their love of Words, said in that stuffy reverential tone, and that's what the Gracie Fields was for, I always think that Alan Bennett knows that the people who really do love words aren't reverential about them--they jump up and down and flail about, and they love them whether they're in Hardy or in Brief Encounter. Alan Bennett is a very sharp fellow, I think. I keep meaning to read more of his writing, but there are so many things I keep meaning to read.
And, if I kept getting distracted staring at the lighting during the show, it's because I'm a theatre geek, and not because the show was not absorbing.