Congratulations, we have made it through the most depressing day of the year - the second Monday in January. So they say. And "they" are rarely wrong.
Actually, I like Mondays because I have dance classes on that day of the week - holiday or no - and there is nothing like a lot of social recreation combined with intense physical activity to brighten up the day. Seriously.
So now that we have the winter doldrums solved, let's move on to the next problem: antipathy. This second Monday of January saw a prolonged and well attended debate at Surrey city council meeting regarding a South Surrey casino. To be or not to be. Wow!
I wish we could get that kind of turnout and interest for community arts events. Surrey and White Rock do have a vibrant arts community, but theatre events especially have suffered from lack of support from the general population. So this is (yet again), another rally cry to support the arts in your city. It won't cost you much to go see a play, dance or musical performance, and, with all due respect to Surrey's mayor and council, it'll probably be more interesting than any casino debate.
Government funding to the arts has been critically curtailed over the last few years. Gaming revenue used to be partially allocated to the arts. Gone - or at least very difficult to acquire.
So putting a new casino in Surrey may not help the arts, but someday perhaps gaming funds will once again be generously allocated to the arts.
Right now, it is a matter of survival. Many community theatre groups are suffering financially. Ticket sales are down, revenue is weakening and there is little assistance from government sources. For now, keeping community theatre alive and financially healthy is up to us. Pick a play (or concert or whatever) and buy a ticket. It's a really easy thing to do. Now, if we wait too long to come to the rescue, it may be too late. You may get a casino in your neighborhood, or you may not. That has yet to be decided. But for sure, we will lose some of our community theatre clubs if we don't act now. Small investment, big return.
Surrey Little Theatre is a good place for you to begin - or continue - your live community theatre experience. Their next production, Bermuda Avenue Triangle opens next Thursday, Jan. 24 and runs to Feb. 16, with performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees are on Feb. 3 and Feb. 10. This is an adult comedy and not suitable for children, so please keep that in mind.
Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling 604-5768451, or email reservations@ surreylittletheatre. com. Tickets can also be purchased online at www. surreylittletheatre.com.
There are special half-price performances on Thursday, Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 25.
Here's the storyline (I think you'll like it): Two elderly widows, one Jewish (Fanny) and the other Italian-Catholic (Tess) are set up in an upscale Las Vegas retirement condo by their career-oriented daughters. Trapped by years of unhappiness, Fanny weeps and Tess does nothing but complain. But everything changes when these two ladies cross paths with a charming scoundrel named Johnny Paolucci, who rocks both of their worlds. Fanny and Tess undergo a grand metamorphosis from being two, baggy grey-haired old biddies into a pair of glam-rock golden girls.
The play, directed by Rita Price (a Langley resident), features a cast that includes Kate Major (Langley), Dr. Laurie Kortschak (Surrey), Terry Ford (Surrey), Lisa Beaulieu (Abbotsford), Peter Cowhig (Abbotsford) and Michael Powell (Langley). That represents a lot of different communities, and I include the names of the cast because it's likely you know, or have heard of, someone on the list. That's the fun of community theatre, after all. Surrey Little Theatre, at 7027 184th St., has been operating as a community theatre since 1962. More details can be found at www. surreylittletheatre.com.
Surrey Little Theatre owns the building and is responsible for maintaining and operating the site. Renovations have given the building a fresh look and functionality while maintaining the heritage of the former church. There are only 76 seats, so the term "little" is appropriate. Parking is on-street, but don't block residents' driveways or get too close to Fraser Highway. Parking tickets have been known to be issued. We want to keep the theatre operating. It is part of our history, our heritage, and should darn well be part of our future.