Theater is back – alive and well at the Gladstone Theater. After eighteen months of silence, Gladstone reopens with a musical production about lost art and wasted chances – a show that makes lost performances reappear. The musical act, No Show: Songs from Lost Gigs, is an immersive experience of the lost songs from 2020 – ten concerts from one stage.
Going up to the old community theater feels like stepping back in time to a live concert in the fifties. “Gladstone” shines in Rialto-like light, greetings welcome you inside, and a bar offers drinks before you sit down.
The theater is draped in ruby red curtains, laid with a matching rug and complimented by emerald green seats. It may be a modest community theater, but it feels like luxury.
Two acoustic guitars are waiting on a wooden stage while the light on the wall is dimmed. Tickets fall from the top of a refrigerator standing to the right – tickets to the lost shows in 2020.
It’s the first opening night in eighteen months, and Gladstone embraces their guests with a warm welcome. The house is not packed, but the effect is a private concert.
During the first months of the pandemic, Robin Guy and Scott Richardson began a personal challenge of recording and posting one song a day by the artists for their canceled concerts. The pandemic hobby became the inspiration for the show.
The performers are life partners who lend their chemistry to the action. The couple transforms the stage and transports our theater seats to the sofas in their living room. As we listen to their songs from the heart of the pandemic, we struggle with disruptions and process changes.
Through cover songs, they mourn the ghosts of lost concerts that are like “lost friends”. But with each performance, the couple’s eyes shine in a way that sings, “I love what I do!”
The duo rotates between the instruments, builds atmosphere with an acoustic base, makes melodies on the piano and maintains a folk beat on the tambourine. Across the stage, they sing songs from Sarah Slean to Judy Collins, John Prine and the New Pornographers, to Sloan and the Blue Rodeo. From country to folk music to Broadway musicals, it takes a lot of talent to play these songs in one hour with just three instruments and two voices.
Guy and Richardson are gifted artists who use song to process last year’s grief that the rest of us suppressed. Still, the concert is not sad – it’s a party. There are songs to be sung, and life is to live yet, and the theater is open!
Among the audience, a woman hums along on “Goodmorning America, How are ya?” And once again the light is dimmed while a guest shouts, “Bravo!”
The show ends, the duo bow, and Guy thanks the audience with a tear in his eye:
“Welcome back, we missed you!”
“No Show: Songs from Lost Gigs” runs until November 13, 2021. To purchase tickets, visit Gladstone online ticket office.