I always get a bit sad whenever I drive past a street named Playhouse Circle in Hampton, New Hampshire.

The homes there are lovely, as are the people who live there, I’m sure. But for me, it brings back bittersweet memories of a place I took for granted growing up on the Seacoast: The Hampton Playhouse.

There are several wonderful venues opening up in the area right now, such as The Music Hall Lounge comedy club in downtown Portsmouth, or The Brook in Seabrook. But what I wouldn’t give to still have the Playhouse.

It’s where my dad used to take me to see plays on Saturday morning when I was a kid. It’s the first place I ever saw Grease (especially poignant now). It’s also where I saw someone who was famous…but had no idea how famous he’d go on to be.

To me, he was just one of many stars during the 1980s heyday of broadcast television comedies. He wasn't even the biggest star on his show.

Still, I recognized him when he passed out candy to us after one of those weekend shows (and when he helped direct traffic in that dusty, dirt parking lot that seems like was just there yesterday). But then, he got "Arrested."

And quite famous.

Before he was starring in films such as Horrible Bosses, or shows such as Ozark or Arrested Development, I knew him as David Hogan on The Hogan Family. This was back when you could just drive down to the Hampton Playhouse, and for a small price and some dust on your Dad’s Jeep, grab a few pieces of candy from Jason Bateman.

If only we still had the great Hampton Playhouse. I wonder if on Saturday mornings, Jason would reprise his role as the “Bad Spy.”

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