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  • Writer's pictureBenny Thompson

Laugh-In is a Hit!

Updated: Apr 9

As I sit here this morning writing the following, I feel very conflicting emotions. First, I must say, is relief. It has been an intense few months leading up to the show, culminating in seven shows over a twelve-day period. The magnitude of this type of show is enormous compared to many shows that have fewer moving pieces. The saving grace that I think we all feel is the sense of comradery that developed throughout the lead-up to opening night.

Second, there is a sense of melancholy as we realize that what has become customary for us, rehearsal time, is over. No more rushing to the community center to work on the performance. When you spend as much time as we did together, you develop a deep respect for others around you and what else may be happening in their lives.

And then, “It’s Show Time”! You walk out on stage, the seats are filled with our friends and neighbors, and the magic of theater happens. You hit your mark, and the show takes on a life almost beyond belief. The laughter frees you to enjoy the hours of work that you have put in and feeds your soul. The momentum starts to build, and everyone around you feels the sense of teamwork coming together. That’s when you know the pains you have all gone through are worth it.

Many people shared their feelings about the show as they came through the receiving line. The comments encouraged the cast and crew, which helped replace the energy we had just given toward the performance. More importantly, the audience members took their thoughts on the show into their groups of people and friends and spread the word that this was a show worth seeing. As word spread, ticket sales went up, and we started getting reports of sold-out shows. It doesn’t get better as an actor than playing to a full house.

There are many pieces and people in a production like this. I will not try to name them, as I would probably miss someone, which would never be my intention. There was the production, sound, lighting, music, stage, ticket, concession, makeup, prop, and setup/breakdown crew….well you get the picture. It takes many people to pull off a hit show, and no two pieces are more significant than the other.

But here is where the real crust of this show happens: Gwendolyn Natusch, our director. She had this vision and worked tirelessly to set it up. She spent countless hours on the stage, numerous hours on the costumes, and countless hours on props and set pieces. On top of that, she directed us, the actors, to bring out her vision. This show was twenty-odd years in the making before the time was right for it to happen with her.

I speak for the entire club of Harbour Lights Players when I say, Thank You, Gwendolyn, for allowing us to be that group of people that took your vision and brought this to life. I am honored to have been a small part of this.
Long-time HLP Board member Joy Pikor comments:
"From the fabulous set to the one ringy dingy, two ringy dingy, to the "Here Come the Judge" this seeemingly simple endeavor involved a huge commitment by 13 dedicated and very talented actors and as many plus behind the scenes workers.  Kudos to all involved as Harbour Lights Players presented a different approach to theater in Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.  Goodnight Dick." Joy Pikor, board member HLP

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