Newburyport Local Historic District (LHD) Theater

My lovely young theater friends in NYC hate the TV program “Smash.” (I am secretly addicted to “Smash,” don’t tell them-truly they will be offended!!)

I suppose for them it’s a little like me watching Bravo’s “Next Great Artist,” The TV show reminds me of an advanced art class in college (not even grad school).  But, whatever quality the art may be, or how “unrealistic” the “reality” process may be, the press and the buzz probably helps whoever like crazy in their career, that’s just the nature of the biz, at least in my world.

So my NYC theater friends may be addicted to Bravo’s art stuff, who knows.

But thinking about “Smash,” I kept wondering, too bad someone couldn’t do something with all this Newburyport Local Historic District (LHD) drama. Historic preservation may be boring (this is certainly the first time in the 31 years I’ve been here that it’s gotten this much attention!!), but my, we’ve got a lot of great characters, on both sides, and mucho drama. A LHD sensation!!

On the pro side we have Jerry Mullins who has outed himself recently as the P.Preservationist.  Jerry is dedicated. All that dedication makes some people just uncomfortable, positively squirm.  But through all of this LHD stuff, one of the great gifts is that I’ve gotten to know Jerry Mullins, and he’s my new bff.

On the anti side, we’ve got great characters.  We got one of the leaders, on tape, accusing the mayor and the Local Historic Study Committee of secretly meeting, and implying that they are engaged in illegal acts. You can’t make this stuff up. What a TV writer wouldn’t give for this!

We’ve got the John Birch Society messed up in this LHD stuff.  If you were a fiction writer, no one would believe you.  It’s yummy.

We’ve got a colorful Bossy Gillis character from Plum Island, telling people, on tape again, that LHD (like it’s some sort of terrible medical disease) will control you. The LHD has nothing to do with Plum Island.  It’s not on Plum Island.  Bossy Gillis is alive and well. How cool is this? Wowza!!

And then you have the somewhat deer stuck in the headlights Local Historic District Committee caught in the shit storm. It’s almost like you can hear them saying, “Say what??” (We’ve got a chorus number here in the making.)

And a newspaper person declaring really, really early on that the LHD is already lost in a messy defeat .. Honey, this is at least a 4 part play.  A little speedy on the getting to the conclusion thing, don’t you think??

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

It’s a musical in the making.  We could make preservation history in Newburyport.  Can we ramp it up a little more?  Let’s really go at this full throttle. Let’s make history, let’s make this whole LHD mess worthy of a TV sitcom. I’ll take Broadway. Or it could be a TV drama (I’m not fussy here) about Newburyport’s LHD being a Broadway musical-just like “Smash,” only it’s about historic preservation not Marilyn Monroe. TV and Broadway. Is that fun or what? (And I bet my lovely young NYC theater friends would watch it!) Think casting, Newburyport Blog readers, think casting. (I’m sure everyone’s brains, for or against, are turning on the casting thing… now, don’t be mean.)