Performances at the Encore Theater are always exceptional, but this past Sunday afternoon (2/24) they went above and beyond. A power outage blackening the stage stopped the performance mid-song at the beginning of Act II in the last performance of Next to Normal. Encore took only 15 minutes to make a decision. If the audience wanted, we could be escorted safely by flashlight to the window-lit lobby where the cast would “sing-through” the rest of the songs from the musical. 

Chairs were moved, the younger plopped onto the lobby floor, the orchestra crowded into doorways of the darker far wall, with flashlights to see their music. We readied for the “sing-through”. But with only a few feet to move within this makeshift crowded new space, the cast not only sang but extemporaneously resumed acting creating a “felt stage” that was emotively powerful. 

An incredibly intimate and moving performance, which left nary a dry eye in the house on the grand finale musical number named (of all things!) “LIGHT”. 

Though it was an amazing last half, Encore Theater still offered a refund or exchange of tickets for their next play. The audience called out — “no need, no need!” We had already received more than what we’d paid for. Thanks Encore – you are the best! Dexter should be proud that we have a theater of such high quality in our small city. 

Janis Miller 



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