Last Thursday, I attended the opening of “A Man of No Importance,” by Pandora Productions. What I had thought was a simple story of love, friendship and learning to accept one’s identity turned out to have quite an unexpected twist.
When it comes to plays, I usually like to know a little about the storyline, and when it comes to musicals, I usually like to know a few of the songs beforehand. But this time, I allowed myself to be completely surprised – and was I ever.
“A Man of No Importance” is set in Dublin in 1964. The musical tells the story of Alfie Byrne, a middle-aged bus conductor who lives with his sister and dreams of life on the stage. As the artistic director of the St. Imelda’s Players – an amateur theater group at a local church – Alfie chooses to forgo the theater group’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and instead opts for Oscar Wilde’s controversial play, “Salome,” which angers the local church authorities.
In the beginning of the musical, Alfie discovers a woman, Adele, who seems the epitome of the virgin princess he is looking to cast in his show. Turns out, the woman Alfie finds isn’t that innocent after all – but that’s not the biggest surprise of the show.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will tell you I was shocked by the twist in the plot while enjoying every bit of it, particularly the universal lesson woven within.
Whether you’re straight, gay or bisexual, “A Man of No Importance” will still appeal to you. Pandora Productions’ plays often explore themes of sexual orientation, but their productions aren’t just for the LGBT community; they identify with everyone.
As the lead, Michael J. Drury, said after the show, “This show is not threatening. Anybody can come and watch this show and enjoy it because we can all identify with Alfie. We all have something that we haven’t expressed about ourselves. It’s a universal theme.”
It’s not just Alfie who struggles with his identity. Adele also battles an inner conflict over her secret pregnancy out of wedlock with someone who doesn’t love her back. The song “Love Who You Love” speaks exactly to the theme of her unspoken and unrequited love.
From Alfie and Adele’s conflicts, “A Man of No Importance” teaches the audience the importance of staying true to yourself, and accepting who you are and who you love – even if it’s not accepted by others.
“The show kind of transcends the specific plot details and it’s really about being that person that you want to be inside, whether you want to be an actress or astronaut, or whatever goal you have,” said Jason Brent Button, who plays Robbie in the show. “It’s all about seizing the day. That whole carpe diem mentality.”
After seeing “A Man of No Importance,” I felt inspired by the show’s key lesson about believing in yourself and chasing after your dreams or the one you love. While I don’t have a secret like Alfie’s locked away, I, like everyone else, know a thing or two about the struggles of love. But as the song in the musical says, “love who you love who you love,” and that’s the greatest lesson I took away.
For information, visit PandoraProds.org or search for Pandora Productions on Facebook.
$18 in advance; $20 day of show
Tickets for the entire five show season subscription package are available for $75.
Victor Jory Theatre at Actors Theatre, 316 W. Main St.
7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 17, and 18.
Matinee on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.
Run time – approximately two hours with intermission.
“The Rocky Horror Show” at The Connection Theatre – October 27-30
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Out & About
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).