Oh, dear. I have been having too much fun this summer, and my checking account is complaining. When will I learn that buying a ticket is only the beginning of the cash outlay? Getting into the city, parking, a meal, a souvenir tee shirt all eat up an entertainment budget. No regrets. Richard III was well done, except for an actress prone to overacting. The Book Of Mormon was delightfully silly good fun. Moulin Rouge was a delicious confection.
So, my checking account is on life support. Do I need to stay home with the two chihuahuas and do Netflix binges until the next paycheck? Of course not. My thirst for live entertainment in lean times led me to find some great options. They are close to home with free or almost free parking and no souvenir tee shirts to tempt me. And they have reasonably priced restaurants nearby for that meal which is part of the fun.
Let’s start with a recent discovery: the Regent Theater in Arlington, right off Massachusetts Avenue. Built as a vaudeville house in 1916, it is true to its roots, featuring an eclectic mix of live music, stand up comics, film specials and more. I recently attended a Yellow Submarine sing along. I sank into my comfortable seat with a bucket of popcorn from the concession stand. The show opened with some live music and a free raffle. Then the film was projected crisply on a movie screen. And before you ask, yes, I did sing along (softly), and, no, I did not know all the words.
Tickets for Regent shows vary but are usually in the $22-$45 range. They also partner with ArtsBoston and Goldstar where you can often snag half-price tickets. Check out upcoming shows at the Regent; maybe I’ll see you there!
A second inexpensive option is tucked into a side street next to the Waltham Public Library. Hovey Players is a community theater with a difference. They eschew the standard fare of community theater and seek out rarely performed and thoughtful pieces. The themes of this season are POETIC, BOLD, RAW, RESIST. First up is Constellations by Nick Payne, a love story played out over space and time. Senior tickets are $17 per show. Passes for the entire season are $70. Even better, they offer a couples season pass for $116. The theater is tiny, so book early. They usually sell out all performances.
A depleted bank account doesn’t mean you can’t get out and see wonderful live performances. Do you have favorites to share? I have Hamilton tickets in October. After parking, meal, and obligatory tee shirt, I will doubtless be broke again. And so it goes in Bolli After Dark.
Donna Johns is a teacher/librarian, writer of unpublished romance novels, sometime director of community theater, and new BOLLI member.