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Renee Echavez

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The Apple Tree at the Masquers

Feeling at loose ends? Don’t know what to have for dinner? The Apple Tree might solve your itch—it’s three, seemingly unconnected plays in one. Continuity occurs because the same actors play throughout, time travels from long ago to the present, and the stories are about love and innocence. The publicity flyers for the show differ, stating that these plays are about getting what you want and discovering what you really wanted afterward. You’ll have to decide who's right.

Music and lyrics of The Apple Tree were written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The first play was based on the writings of Mark Twain, the second a short story by Frank R. Stockton and the third a story by Jules Feiffer. In the Masquers performances, Robert Love directs, with music direction by Pat King. Music is ably performed by Pat herself, Ted Bigornia, Jo Lusk, Jim Ware and Barbara Kohler. The show plays until May 1.

The first play is The Diary of Adam and Eve, a sweet comedy, especially for those with a Judeo-Christian background—particularly since it answers so many questions. (Photos by Jerry Telfer).

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.

Over the River & Through the Woods at the Masquers

A new twist in my adventures understanding theatre: Over The River And Through The Woods (directed by Renee Echavez) was so successful that I didn’t like it at all when I first saw it.