CENTERVILLE — As the summer of creative Corona art continues, CenterPoint Legacy Theatre’s offering is a series called Concert int he Park(-ing Lot). This is a creative evening set up much like a drive-in movie, but with live entertainment.
When I arrived, the CenterPoint staff had us wait until the allotted time, and then they helped stage the vehicles to be socially distanced for either sitting in the car or out of the car. They had loud speakers for enjoying the show, and also a radio station that you could tune to for the full drive-in experience. Because I was in a small car with my group, we were placed right in front and chose to roll our windows down and enjoy the live music without use of the radio station. However, I did turn it on for a moment just to listen to the quality and found it to be on par with any drive in movie that I had experienced.
CenterPoint had set up an outdoor stage, and their stage crew (wearing masks) directing everyone efficiently and worked to keep everyone safe and distant. The cast consisted of six seasoned CenterPoint actors performing an evening of love songs selected from various Broadway shows. I was impressed with the variety of selections, everything from the well known (if overdone) Grease, to The Light in the Piazza, Hairspray, My Fair Lady, and more. Old favorites, such as Into the Woods, were mixed in with selections from forgettable shows, such as Xanadu, though it was nice that I didn’t have to sit through the whole roller skating show. Kidding. Mostly.
The poster did not credit performers’ last names, and in the age of Covid there were no printed programs, so I only got the first names of the six performers. Sarah Jane, Bre, Addison, Zach, Hannah, and Daylen, all had their strong points and weaknesses in the show. “It Takes Two” from Into the Woods, “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera, and “How Could I Know?” from The Secret Garden were all numbers that made me wish I could see a full production with the players in the respective roles. Additionally, when Zach sang “On the Street Where You Live,” I was reminded of my forever indignation of the ending of My Fair Lady. However, when Addison, sang “She Loves Me,” he was not coming across as someone who could have just gone from loathing to elation. Addison’s voice was lovely, though, and it was nice to be reminded of a show that I love Finally, either Hannah or Bre sang “Gimme Gimme” from Thoroughly Modern Millie so remarkably, that I’m saying, “Gimme Gimme” that production please.
Yes, Corona is getting to me. I miss live theatre. Yet, this drive-in concert was so much fun and can serve as a substitute for a live show. I enjoyed being able to honk my horn as applause, though I admit it was a bit harder to stay focused and much easier to get distracted by my phone or things in my car or the happenings of those around me. Much like being at a drive-in movie, it is less like being in your seat and surrounded by the sights and sounds as it is inside a venue. Compared to some of the other socially distanced theatrical experiments I have seen this summer, I enjoyed it, but it was not as intimate as some of the others. However, I would go back. It was a fun event for my daughter and her friend and a great way to enjoy strong performances, and I hope that it can continue to be supported by the community until we can return to theatre inside.