Let's get donkey, people!

by Alicia Anstead

"The Donkey Show" vibe is everywhere these days, including WGBH's Yawkey Theater in Boston where three cast members stormed the house last night after an onstage interview that included their director Diane Paulus of A.R.T. Paulus was grouped with two other local directors -- Peter DuBois of the Huntington Theatre Company and Kate Warner of New Repertory Theatre -- for a discussion with WGBH's theater man Jared Bowen. Bowen called the trio the "new kids on the block" and the "tastemakers of the local stage." He got them talking about the wave of theater love in greater Beantown these days.

Two notes the directors kept hitting throughout the night were "audience" and "engagement." Paulus wants to unlock theater, shake the dust off of the classics. "It's now, it's happening, it's alive. It's not an elite form," she pitched. The others nodded.

The pervasive message of the night was: Boston is the new go-to town for theater. Local, regional, national, global, celestial. The sky's the limit, and that calls for celebratory dancing and drinking. So singers from New Rep's "Hot Mikado" gave a teaser from that upcoming show and then, to disco music of course, "Donkey Show" cast members arrived and led the audience to the bar in the lobby. The mood shifted: C'mon people, this isn't a staid old media event! It's theater! Everybody get donkey tonight!

[Caption: Oberon and this WGBH visitor wore similar suits. That lady may not know how very cool she is. ]