This archived article was written by: Zak Konakis
Cold long nights in the theatre are status quo once again for theatre majors as they are piously working on their latest production The Seven Keys To Baldpate by George M. Cohen, a well-known songwriter known for works such as You’re a Grand Old Flag and Give My Regards to Broadway and a movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy based on his life awarding James Kagney his Academy Award.
The nights, although, have been a little colder with the rupturing of a hot water intake and all sorts of follies while the old building has had its run and the temperature has had no effect on the actors as, “They have dealt with it really well and understand that there are a lot of things going on in the campus and are just moving with it,” says director Corey Ewan, Ph.D. Though Kylie Bird sharply objects, “I think that it is the burden of CEU to keep their students healthy, even prison inmates have heat in their cells.”
The Seven Keys to Baldpate is a story about (spoiler-free) a novelist who writes popular-thrilling books, who makes a bet that he cannot write a novel in 24 hours. The friend accepts and they decide to find a place of seclusion at a summer resort in the middle of winter. While he thinks that he has the only key to Baldpate, it turns out there are many keys to Baldpate and shenanigans soon to follow. Ewan says, “It’s an interesting thing, sometimes I get caught up in the feeling that we are not doing the literary masterpieces or the ‘hot ticket’ shows. Also, taking into account what the students would be in the mood for while last season was a little depressing with plays like, Macbeth and Postmortem, finally the comedy The Movie Game at the end of the year, but it took us a little while to get there. This season is a much lighter one it’s a farce and very light hearted.” As Ewan studiously cleans his costume shop while berating Bird, a prop was broken in the process he reflects, “I chose this because it is a big cast and I want to ensure that the students that are here have a lot of opportunities to get on stage and work with the sophomores one last time before they left, but that didn’t quite work out, because the freshmen did pretty darn well. I just want to do something that was more fun and not too heavy, because we kind of beat the depressing horse to death last year.”
Light-hearted in a cold atmosphere would probably be the best way to sum up the entire experience so far, but we will have the heat fixed in time for the opening of the show on Feb. 8-13 with no show on Sunday. CEU student’s admissionis $2, even cheaper than the dollar theatre on Main Street which, coincidentally is now $2.50 for admission.
While the cynic that is known as the director, Ewan is, “thankful to have a cast that is willing to go along with my sarcasm and cynicism, we’ve been looking at Marx brother comedies to draw inspiration and if they’ve never been to a theatre they should not feel trepidation. We do what we do to entertain; I’ve enjoyed doing it for many many years, ever since Sophocles was a little boy.”