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Joseph Ponder

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The Real Inspector Hound & 15 Minute Hamlet

Someone has been terribly clever. That’s what you’ll think moments after the show begins. The Real Inspector Hound, a farce written by Tom Stoppard and directed by Steve Hill, asserts that fiction is make believe and anything goes. There’s a double-meaning to most parts, like a drawing which is both a representation of a real thing as well as a pattern on the page.

Other People's Money at the Masquers


Oh, for the good old days! It’s been some years since I’ve needed to see Masquers productions in rehearsal in order to meet the deadline for TPIT magazine. I’d forgotten how rehearsals change one’s perception of a play; although less tidy, in some ways they’re a much richer experience.

Other People’s Money, written in 1989 by Jerry Sterner, is directed by Robert Estes and plays until October 2. The show takes place in a small manufacturing town where New England Wire & Cable, a publicly traded firm, employs most of the town’s inhabitants.

Lady Windermere's Fan at the Masquers

With Oscar Wilde’s writing style as lure, I expected to completely enjoy Lady Windermere’s Fan but my actual reaction was quite different.

In part, I had the incorrect assumption the play was a comedy, so my expectations were upset—though there are many funny aspects. More importantly, much dialogue was difficult—some nearly incomprehensible. Bay Area community theatre management (not limited to Masquers) would do well to reconsider having actors speak in accents which are not their own, as few community theatre actors perform accents well. I’ve discussed this at http://tinyurl.com/pf8vzr

The screenplay of Lady Windermere’s Fan, originally written in 1892, has been reset to the 1950s. Directed by Patricia Inabnet.

Absent Friends at the Masquers

Awkward, what? A few delicate difficulties exacerbate a rare gathering of old friends in Absent Friends, written by Alan Ayckbourn and directed by Angela Mason. The situation is ripe for the kind of tragic comedy for which British playwrights, especially Ayckbourn, are well known.