With tomorrow's matinee being the last performance of Tommy: the Concert, I am extremely happy to say a little about the 'other' family who have three members involved with this production, the Waltermires.
(rehearsal shots courtesy of Tom Eisenhauer)
From Caitlyn's entrance as the Nurse who sings It's A Boy, Mrs. Walker, It's A Boy, to Kelsey's very strong and impetuous Sally Simpson, the Waltermire girls seem to fit right in with the setting of the rock classic that was most likely written when their grandparents were in high school.
Kelsey's work in Studio Players' Wait Until Dark a few months ago was spot-on, gutsy and impressive such for a young girl, so I wasn't surprised to see her do well, but both of them help put the musical icing on the cake.
The girls' father, Greg, (Gold Bearded Man/Mr. Simpson) who also appeared in Wait Until Dark, also lends his professional presence to the show, and it's easy to see that the apples didn't fall far from the tree as he, like they, is as well mannered and pleasant as they are. I met Mom Waltermire after Thursday night's triumphant opening, and she was also a smiling, shining and supportive example of all that is good in our community of stage and music.
Even though she seems like a veteran, Caitlyn explained to me that this is only her second show ever and second musical. "I was in Woodford Theatre's Once Upon A Mattress as Lady Genevieve (which wrapped up a few weeks ago). I've always loved theatre in general, but musicals are a blast and a half. They've got that extra burst of energy, when acting meets singing, making that this-is-why-we-do-this moment. Tommy has a lot of those."
Both Caitlyn and Kelsey are home-schooled, but she says she has "done a little of everything (public, private) but always end up coming back."
When I asked her if it was fun working with her sis and father, she agreed, "Yes, it is. Kelsey and I have a connection personality-wise and with theatre, so I knew that'd be great, but I wondered about working with Dad... He's been surprisingly cool though. Absolutely the best about finding us auditions and shuttling us back and forth."
She, too, has nothing but wonderful words to say about the venue. "Buster's. Wow. I love the contrast to a theatre where everything is spic-and-span and controlled and perfect. It's edgy and raw and is really the best venue for Tommy I can think of."
I'm sure I among the scores of others who will see Tommy: The Concert this weekend who will be keeping my eye for upcoming productions involving this talented family.
Again, congratulations to acting artistic director Eric Seale for the success of this musical extravaganza. I'm proud of him for keeping the theatre going, for assembling such a fine cast and crew and my very biggest and best wishes go to him in his herculean effort to keep AGL alive and vibrant.
rock on ;-)