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Teachers: The Musical, by
The Original was Better
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Being a teacher at a local school, I saw a flier for the original show at Theatre on Main in the teacher's lounge. Kudos to whoever did the marketing for that production, by the way. I didn't even hear about this production until a friend of a friend mentioned a "new" play called Teachers. I enjoyed the original production immensely, and expected to see the same play over again, so I decided to go and take a couple other teacher friends with me. When I got there I looked at the program and realized that this was not the original cast I was a little disappointed, but I figured maybe the changes were for the better. That thought was quickly refuted. Maybe this was a new director, or maybe a few from the original cast didn't want to return but, the recasting made no sense. Though I did enjoy the original, if there were anyone I would have recast, it would have been Belle. She did the job, but through wooden acting and not quite having the voice for it she was probably the weakest link. However, instead of recasting her, they recast Sammie, Chrissy, and the principal. Both Sammies did equally well in their own respect. The two stand out mistakes as far as recasting went were the principal and Chrissy. This is not to say that either did a bad job, but the original principal was irreplaceable. He was quirky, and crazy, and quite reminiscent of several crazy, slightly jaded principals I've known. The new Chrissy did a pretty good job as well, considering she was too old to play the young, bright eyed teacher. Not the mistake of the actress, but a very blatant miscast by the director. The original Chrissy did a good job of portraying the innocence and naivety of the first year teacher that did not resonate well with the new Chrissy. Also, the new Chrissy's voice wasn't exactly well suited for the role. Maybe that is just me considering I saw the original and had a preconceived notion, but the newer Chrissy just didn't captivate me like the original did. The cookie man did a wonderful job, just as he did the first time. The over the top secretary did great reprise of her role as well. But overall, this was a pretty low-grade rendition of the performance I saw before. I kind of feel sorry for the cookie man, and secretary for being involved in this play which was a mere shadow of its former self.

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