This Friday marks the return of community theater to Livingston, as the musical “The Frogs” opens at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts.
This is the first indoor community theater performance since the spring of 2020, when the global coronavirus pandemic forced the play “Big Fish” to close, said Erika Adams, executive director of the Shane Center.
âWe are really excited. It’s definitely a process since we started six weeks ago hosting auditions on a very cold night outside, âAdams said. “I’m just incredibly proud of the cast and the leap of faith they put into participating and committing to this process, so I really hope the community comes on board with the show.”
“The Frogs” is an adaptation by Stephen Sondheim of a comedy written in 405 BC by Aristophanes. He follows Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and the theater, and his slave, Xanthias, on a journey to Hades to assemble famous critic and playwright George Bernard Shaw so he can enlighten the easily misled masses of Earth, said a press release from Shane.
The musical takes place on the weekends from October 22 to November 14. Performances take place at the Dulcie Theater at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts in Livingston. Show hours are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $ 20 for adults, $ 15 for seniors and $ 10 for youth 17 and under.
Production continues with several steps to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus. The Dulcie Theater has a new UV air filtration system that kills 99.8% of airborne particles and pathogens, Adams said. And the theater will operate at half capacity, with patrons seated every two rows to allow audience distancing, she said. Shane’s press release said other COVID security protocols may be in place, including public mask requirements, depending on the number of local cases.
âI think right now this piece is incredibly relevant,â Adams said Wednesday during a dress rehearsal. âThe idea (Aristophanes) was that in troubled times people would look to the arts for perspective. And while it’s a very romantic and idealistic notion that art matters and can affect people, I think there are a lot of parallels, even now, 2,500 years later. “