Reviewed by Frank West
The play is constantly entertaining because it is rich with comedy and optimistic in spirit. It is filled with characters based on sharply accurate observations, often humorous, of people Moss Hart knew.
He created characters that seem so current, even though the play was written in 1948. this is because Hart's plays reflect human nature.
About this, he has a character say: "Theatre gives the chance to say what is in our hearts." That makes Light Up the Sky able to transcend where it was written and not just become a period piece.
We need humor in life to help us put up with the many things we can't change. It is especially needed today when there are so many grim things happening in our world.
This is a summary of the play. The play's producer, director and actors assemble back stage on opening night, they are "effusively loving toward one another." But when they think the play will flop, they "quickly turn on each other." The next day, they see the reviews and "It's clear the play will be a hit - then they frantically try to repair the damage they did to each other.
Moss Hart was born in 1904 in Brooklyn, New York. He passed away in 1961, after a career of writing and directing musicals that brought hours of laughter, pleasure and life-affirming joy to millions of people. He was one of the first persons inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Hart wrote his first play at age 12, and produced his play at the Young Men's Hebrew Association.
He worked with George Kaufman to create plays. His musicals contained songs by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Kurt Weil and Irish Gershwin.
"By far his biggest directorial his was My Fair Lady in 1956. It ran for over seven years and won a Tony for Best Musical and a Tony for him as Best Director.
The ensemble of actors is dynamic and enthusiastic. I particularly enjoyed the powerful performances of Rob Frankel, Jordan Golding and Geoff Isaac.
The Citadel Production of Light Up the Sky shows the play to be joyful, positive and hilarious. It deepens our appreciation of life.
The play runs through October 29th. The theatre is located at 300 S Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL. Tickets are $37.50 to $40, and discounts are available for seniors.
Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm.
847-735-8554, or citadeltheatre.org.
photo by North Shore Camera Club