Stephen Weitz (Stage Manager)
You can understand why people often leave Our Town speaking of what a sweet play it is. And it is. There's a first act celebrating American small town values: friendliness, family, good neighbors, etc. All values worth celebrating too, and Wilder manages to do with ease and gentle irony. About the worst thing that happens is a son forgets to do his chores---all families should be so lucky. It's a nice play, presided over by a benign rather laid back stage manager (Stephen Weitz) who makes a point of not preaching too much.
But Our Town IS something else too. First thing we learn about the characters we meet is they are no longer with us. Doc Gibbs coming down Main Street now, he died in 1930--hospital is named after him. His wife, Julia Gibbs, she died before her husband. Newspaperboy, Joe Crowell there, the very bight kid, he got killed in the first world war. Almost as soon as you meet someone in this show you are reminded of their mortality. P.S.: they're dead. You hardly notice these postscripts, but they are everywhere. The play is all the time telling us to get life while we can, even as we just smile and let it go by. And then, in the last act, when we stop smiling, we learn you can't go back, even if you could.
There's your sweet show for you. It's just like like the morning star, "wonderful bright before it has to go." Sweet show--but it' has to go. It's outta here--and so are we.