By Kathy Carpenter
September 14, 2021 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre presents "The Front Porch," written and directed by local talent Geoge Bailey. Watching a video back in the winter of 2011 on Martin Luther King Jr, triggered a memory for Bailey. Growing up in Baltimore Maryland, Bailey was too young to recall the riots in 1968. But what he does remember is going with his father when things were safe to visit another family. He was shocked to see tanks and soldiers with guns in their arms—a vivid childhood memory that inspired the play.
Bailey researched everything in the play thoroughly, bringing authenticity to the platform. Even the cookies onstage are only found in Baltimore and he had then delivered them here. With that kind of dedication and passion for his work, you know he only let the best version be shown.
In this compelling, insightful historical tale, neighbors come together to trust each other despite their differences in races, fighting their fears of the unknown and newness amid a changing and difficult time in 1968 Baltimore, Maryland. The play takes us through Marrtin Luther King's assassination and the riots that followed. People matter.
Four dedicated actors include three who performed the show together three years ago. The newcomer shone like a bright star: Januari Simpson playing Mama Johnson fit perfectly into the mix. Jo-Darlene Reardon plays Clara Bains a veteran at her craft. Michelle Burkhart plays Virginia Bains, with an uncanny ability at showing apprehension. Javon Clark plays Jerome and was a much acclaimed master of facial expression.
The set is two side-by-side identical brick house fronts, except for the curtains and the front porches, the types of homes found back then. The production has well-researched clothes of the era. Music set the tone, video screens show important historic newsreels and we are transported to another era.
Don't be afraid to come out to the theatre, they need you! The theatre has safety practices in place.You must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test upon entering, You enter one by one and masks must be worn the entire time in theatre. All actors and volunteers are vaccinated.
The small audience loved the show, with most remaining for an after-show talk back which allowed us to see how different the actors are from the characters and to appreciate their acting further.
Come to explore an era you didn't know—or remember your past experiences.
The Front Porch
Sept. 3 - Sept. 28, 2021
Lamplighters Community Theatre
Severin Dr. La Mesa
Dial M For Murder