Starting with the Chewy Center

I have a friend who always reads the last few pages of a book first.  Then she goes back and reads the whole thing from the beginning.  She says she can more fully enjoy the book if she knows what’s coming. 

I would never do that – and I am not going to spoil anything for you here, either – but I do sometimes go early to the multi-plex movie theater.  While I am waiting for my chosen movie to start, I pop in and out of the other viewing rooms to see if there is anything else I want to see from the beginning.  

It’s a little like crunching down on a new kind of hard candy to see if there is something surprisingly good inside.  Five minutes of boring is not necessarily enough to turn me off of a movie – sometimes you really do need to start at the beginning to fully appreciate a piece – but five minutes of hey! yowza! is enough to make me come back another time for the whole thing.  In other words, to buy a whole bag of the candy and enjoy each piece the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Well, I don’t know if this analogy really works, but maybe you get the idea.

On Sunday afternoon I headed for Franklin to see the Our Town Players’ presentation of “Apt 3A,” by Jeff Daniels.  Unfortunately, I turned left at a point where I should have turned right and I was almost to Shelbyville at showtime.  By the time I found my way back to the theatre, it was too late to go in.

So…I read a book in the lobby until intermission and then I snuck in at the beginning of the second act.

Actor Molly Bellner was on stage.  Actor Jeremy Tuterow entered, and everyone else in the audience laughed appreciatively.  I wondered what had happened right before intermission? 

Pretty soon there was another man on stage, actor Doug Powers.  At first I didn’t have a clue what was going on – some kind of love triangle? – but it was immediately clear that the show was something special:  funny, stimulating, thought-provoking, risky, successful.    It looked good – attractive characters and a pretty set – and the energy between the actors positively throbbed.  I loved being part of the audience that was responding to it, even though I didn’t fully understand the details of the story.

The center of the show tasted not just chewy, but juicy-chewy.   Succulent.  Like a chocolate-covered cherry?   Yum…

I can’t wait to see this show from the beginning next weekend.

(I’ve got my reservation.  If you would like to see “Apartment 3A,” too, please call 317-736-3689.  The show closes on Sunday, March 1.)

Hope Baugh –

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