Fats Waller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've seen a couple of Broadway musicals in my time and more than a few musicals and plays on stages large and small here in the south. There's nothing I enjoy more than a small intimate theatre with a local production. Why? I guess it's recognizing the talent we have in our own midst. Another reason is I sometimes know the performers and am blown away by seeing them transform themselves into someone so different from their normal selves that I start to forget what they're like in real life. That takes a lot of work I'm sure, and when it happens it's both beautiful and inspiring.
The other thing I like about small theatres is that I can see, hear, smell, and sometimes even taste (smoke bombs for instance) what is happening on the stage. All the while with my attention focused on that actor or interaction I'm most interested in. No camera leading me back and forth. I'm in control of the viewpoint.
One such musical that I saw locally which really impressed me is Ain't Misbehavin'. It's a story, almost 99% musical, about Fats Waller, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter and piano player that was popular in the 20's and 30's.