The few people remaining who were born in the 1930s will recall these Art Deco theatres, which gave stage room for live performanes as well as flickers. later termed motion pictures. There were two in Rod's part of the world, The "Imperial" in St. Stephen, N.B., Canada and the "State" in Calais, Maine, U.S.A. Prices for entry to the matinee for children went up from 5¢ to 10¢ during the war years, 1939 to 1946.
Neither theatre was as grand as this one in Vancouver, British Columbia, but they were spectacular in a less Baroque way. The seats were absolute luxury if one kept hands off the parked gum adhering to the underside. During preformances a screen was dropped for viewing silent "flickers" and "talkies." If a play or musical was schedules a painted bakdrop and stage props were introduced. In the case of silent movies Ed Casey, who is fondly remembered, provided appropriate piano music to match on-screen action.
The State Theatre did have a balcony but no this capacity. Community Concerts brough Heifetz, Mildred Dilling and may other classical musicians to our stage In St. Stephen during the World War II period when overseas travel was curtailed. This was a step up from local blackface minstrel shows and crass musicals, but all were much appreciated in those distressing years. Rod was a singer in those days, but then most folk were in those pre-television times.
On the whole it was more fun than being a bad actor than being acted upon by folk who sometimes misidentifed themselves as good actors in later decades. Rod will be publishing on Saturdays, weather permitting. Those were not fun times but they were years less fractious years, when there really was a cause for united effort among the Allied Nations of the world. Today, we see rebels without a cause! Shakespeare's play, "Much Ado About Nothing" is regarded as a comic tour-de-force, combing elements of mistaken identities, love, and robust hilarity. In more serious moments it considers matters of honour, shame, and court politics. It is all about folk who have nothing better to do with their time than engage in interactions involving "masks" to obscure their intentions.
It is interesting that Greek theatre masked actors so that their nature could be immediately perceived. By means of "noting" or "gossip" great confusion was created in this play resulting in angst over gener roles, infidelity, political and social deception and mistaken identity. Much of the action is centred on a critique of others, written messages, spying, and eavesdropping. So this essay can be aptly considered under either title.