Sunday night traditionally finds me on nestled horizontally and semi-comatose on a couch at home (any home, but normally my home), but last night night found me in Crystal City, where Synetic Theater was back in its performance venue for the first time since the pandemic, staging a production of “The Madness of Poe.”
Ordinarily we in Sun Gazette-land do not review the professional theater troupes, reserving our coverage for community and youth troupes. But I am trying to make the rounds of all local theaters, or as many as possible, as they spring back to life following the COVID shutdown.
(Another reason to appreciate Synetic? It goes with “er” as part of the “Theater” part of its name, rather than the more hoity-toity “re” — never cared for the use of “Theatre” myself, just as a side note, as if anyone cared …)
Synetic’s performances always are unique, and this one was certainly no exception. What was new this time around: the COVID protocols, including mandatory patron vaccinations and masking and, for those who desired socially-distanced seating, special spots reserved on the wings where they could spread out.
(Performers were not masked, a nice change after recent experiences with a number of troupes who use Arlington Public Schools facilities and are not allowed to let their actors, though all vaccinated, go without masks. It is a policy that makes about as much sense as anything during the pandemic era: not much. Fortunately, troupes with their own spaces like Synetic are much more sensible.)
Anyway, good to see Synetic back home where it belongs, having spent much of the last 20 months either in an online venue or, more recently, out-of-doors. Equally good to see their unique take on the unique works of Edgar Allan Poe. Creepy, creepy, creepy!
And at just one act and a brisk 90 minutes, it is a good experience for those of us who want to get back into theater-going from the shallow end of the pool, rather than dive in the deep end with a three-act, three-hour marathon.
“The Madness of Poe” has a quick run (just until the end of the month), so if you want to take a look, book your tickets now.
A COLD WIND IS BLOWING: Speaking of the weekend, yours truly had an interesting dream Saturday night into Sunday.
My nocturnal cranial ramblings found me at home during a freak October snowstorm in the local area, only to learn I needed to drive out to the office because some equipment had been left on.
In the dream, I got into my car, backed out of my snowy condo parking space and, blammo!, hit a parked car behind me.
(Naw, I’d never do something that in real life. Although you may not want to check with GEICO as they might say something different.)
The dream came to an abrupt end when Albert the wonder cat hopped up on the bed to serve notice that his endless buffet was empty and he wanted another midnight snack before going back on mouse patrol. But the dream still served as a reminder that while autumn is fabulous, a cold wind is set to blow in from the north. Maybe not in October, but soon enough.
- Scott McCaffrey
How’d you like to wake up to this face in the middle of the night? Albert the wonder cat interrupted a snowy dream over the weekend. (See above.)