Donna and I recently purchased season memberships for the Angelo State University Theatre. The season tickets entitle us to attend 5 plays this year, including 2 dinner theaters.
We attended our first play this past Thursday night: Butterflies are Free, a comedy written by Leonard Gershe. This particular play was one of the 2 dinner theaters available throughout the year, so we really enjoyed ourselves.
The play was originally produced in 1969. In 1972, a film version was made starring Edward Albert and Goldie Hawn. In the movie version, the setting was moved from the original Manhattan location to San Francisco.
The plot revolves around a blind man whose controlling mother disapproves of his relationship with a free-spirited hippie. The title was inspired by a passage in Charles Dickens' Bleak House: "I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies.
The set design was good, but the acting left something to be desired. For example, I was never convinced that the leading male was blind, and the female lead had to work too hard to come across as being "free-spirited". I was always aware that the lines were just that -- lines which had been memorized. They never came across as being natural; and that, after all, is the quality that makes acting convincing.
Still, it was an enjoyable evening. And in defense of the cast anbd crew, it was opening night of a two-week run, so there may have been some opening night jitters.