I LOVE THE REGENT THEATRE!!!
What’s so cool about it? Well … everything! The sound is great, there’s not a bad seat in the house, there’s plenty of free parking and great restaurants within steps of the theater. It’s MBTA and handicap accessible.
They do Dinner-Theater deals with some really great restaurants in the neighborhood; there’s a great ice-cream shop right around the corner. There’s a music store just up the street where you can actually buy harp-strings (!!!), a costume shop which I love to browse, and there’s one of the area’s greatest arts-and-crafts stores about 3 blocks in the other direction where I buy all the ribbons for my hair.
I love that the Regent has a big, generous stage, a great history — and while it holds 500 people, it still feels like I can really make contact with everyone in the audience. I love the folks who work at the Regent, I love the big cushy front row seats, I love to sit in the balcony, I also love that I can walk to the theater from my house.
The Regent opened back in the early years of the 19th Century as a Vaudeville house that was “the rival of the best Boston playhouses,” .. well, at least according to the Arlington Advocate. But I believe it! It had an 8-lane bowling alley in the basement and took advantage of traveling Vaudeville performers to fill the stage.
When I moved to Arlington, the theater had recently been bought, after years of neglect. I’ve watched the Regent Team, Leland Stein, Rick Stavros and their staff return the theater, little by little, closer to its original beauty, installing new theater seats, improving the building’s exterior, adding a backstage green room, and a backstage bathroom (ahhhh, that was a highly appreciated addition!), adding new heating and cooling, upgrading the sound and lights and adding two rows of premium cushy seats right in front of the stage.
I’ve done Birthday concerts in this theater, I’ve done benefit concerts, I did a reading of my musical “The Zero Club” here, I filmed all the “Special Features” for my DVD “Invention & Alchemy” right on this stage, and developed the idea for the cross-discipline collaborative project “Inviting Invention” (pdf) with my husband and partner, Jonathan, here. Heck, I even filled in and played a “Family Fun” concert once when my friend Gunnar couldn’t get out from the West Coast to play it.
I watched a naked comedian once from behind on this stage, because I was playing in the band — and I could see the entire audience cracking up at his routine. Once, on my birthday, my husband rented the theatre and a troupe of story-telling performers came to play back my life’s story to me on that stage while my brother and two old family friends sat, watching open-mouthed in the empty theater and laughed and cried, and I was able to connect to my brother in a way I never had before, there on that stage.
There’s magic in every theater. This one holds a lot for me. When I first moved to Arlington, MA – I walked into the Regent and thought, “What a gem! What a great place! I want to make this MY theater – a place where I can develop ideas, where I can create new pieces!”
So come to my theater and share that moment when a new piece first comes to life — when I perform my new piece, “Honey, I Shrunk the Harp!” for the first time during my November 6th concert. And find out why I LOVE the Regent Theatre!