A reader wrote with an interesting question. They’re planning on going to see a play this month–Robert Lepage’s “The Blue Dragon”, and wondered “do I go to opening night? I’m sure they had months to rehearse, but maybe there’s jitters?”
And here’s what I said. If you’re looking for the best artistic experience, I wouldn’t go on opening night. There are always jitters among the performers, and that can result in an uneven or less nuanced performance. Also–this is particularly the case with Lepage’s highly-complex work–the risk of a technical issue declines with each performance. Last year, I know somebody who attended an opening night at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria and the lighting basically failed. The very-professional actress had to do her entire one-woman show under house lights.
I’d also avoid the closing night show, for some of the same reasons. The ideal show might be a Friday night in the second-half of the run. There are often matinees on Saturday, and I figure the actors may be pacing themselves to handle the demands of doing the show twice in the same day.
I’m going to see that Lepage play this month as well, and I’m pretty psyched. What night do you like to go to a play?