Tread the boards

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

For years, I’ve said that one of my favorite things about living in Reno is that the city is large enough to support a thriving arts scene, but small enough that it’s easy to get involved. But lately, it’s harder to keep up.

I’m willing to admit that’s partly because I’m getting older. I’ve got more responsibilities now than I did when I was 26, when my main source of income was hanging out in the art museum telling people not to touch the paintings. My secondary source of income back then was freelance writing, mostly for this newspaper, and my beat was local arts, so that made it easy. And my tertiary source of income was playing in rock bands, which was a good excuse to stay up late. All of my jobs back then facilitated a lifestyle in which checking out local the arts was my raison d’être.

But I’ve heard similar comments from other people. It’s just a bigger, busier city now. We Reno folks now have to make tough decisions with what to do with our Friday nights.

A positive side to this tyranny of choice is that it’s possible to engage with one sector of the local arts scene, disengage with it, and then come back a few months or even years later to see how it’s changed.

I recently caught a couple of local theater performances—both of which were excellent, and played to packed, enthusiastic houses. The first was Words To Live By, Bruka’s Mary Bennett’s one-woman play exploring the life and work of the great writer Dorothy Parker. It was paired with The Ballad Of Frankee & Matilde, a fun little love story between two clowns.

The second performance was Hand to God over at Good Luck Macbeth Theatre. I think everyone here at the RN&R office was inspired to see it after the rave review by our theater critic, Jessica Santina, a few weeks ago. It was bitingly funny, profound and disturbing.

Both of those of plays have finished their runs, so I can’t exactly recommend them, but if you’ve never followed the local theater scene, or, if, like me, you just haven’t followed it closely the last couple of years, get to it.