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Tammara Plankers

The Mystery of Irma Vep

Married couples daydream about the oddest stuff together, but I bet the conversation between D.C. and Peter went something like this:
“More coffee? What if we did a play together?”
“Hmm, did you speak? Oh, we often work plays together. Yes please, I’ll have another cup.”
“Yeah, but what if we performed all the parts?”
“Hmm. Seems like we’d be pretty busy.”
“Yes, but think what we could do—and we could use dressers!”
“Hmm. We could, couldn’t we? You know what else we could do?”
“No. Yes. Tell me.”

The Mystery of Irma Vep was written by Charles Ludlum and first performed in 1986. Like the original production, there is a cast of only two: Peter Budinger and D.C. Scarpelli. This show is directed by Robert Love.

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).

Rocky Horror Show at the Masquers

I was a virgin until that night. Assistant Director Michelle Pond told me that’s the label for someone who’s never seen Rocky Horror Show. As always, virgins are rare. For 30+ years, Rocky Horror, written by Richard O'Brien, has drawn a huge cult following; Director G. A. Klein has seen the production upwards of 500 times.

G. A. Klein directs a big show: Rocky Horror has lots of glitter, a copious cast and sweeping, grand music.

Company at the Masquers

I cheated, just so you know. All reviews I have ever read were based on attending one performance. This time I interviewed 11 people, some more than once, went to several auditions and rehearsals, and attended Opening Night.

Company, directed by Gregg A. Klein, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, is playing at the Masquers Theatre ending Dec 16th. See

Relative Values at the Masquers

This rehearsal proved conclusively that I should stop going to rehearsals. Watching this play before it was ready for Opening Night (in order to write this review for you), I can no longer have a pristine reaction to the play when it is ready for prime time. It’s a shame because I bet, in a few days, the play will be even better.

This is going to be an extremely funny play. A play one wants to see many times. Book a seat early in the play’s schedule, so you too can see it again.

Ruthless! at the Masquers

Why on earth I was ever nominated to write theatre reviews is beyond me. I have never liked slapstick humour. Having seen the promo pictures of Ruthless!, I was ready to be irritated at the entire production, but I sat to watch the play regardless. Ruthless! written by Joal Paley with music by Marvin Laird, is directed by Tammara Plankers.

Yes, the story line is appalling; but once you’ve accepted its premise, the plot and characters thereafter steadily improve. It ceases to take patience to watch the stage. You will laugh. It becomes a very funny play. Moreover, the singing is out of this world. Breathtaking. If you like to hear people sing, and sing well, get tickets.