You are hereKris Bell

Kris Bell

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The Musical of Musicals at the Masquers

When you haven’t seen a show in a while, do you sometimes wonder what attracts you to theatre? I do, regularly. I know, fundamentally, I’m happier when I persevere in getting out of my soft couch, but that’s a logical deduction from a memory. Yet, at most performances, I become amazed (again) by the magic of theatre. What’s surprising is the magnitude of the before and after feelings. It’s like forgetting what cherries taste like until this time of year. Unless you have season tickets to the Masquers, then you’ve not resolved this issue either. My job is to try to capture that great wonder into words, so that you too will get off your duff to see this performance.

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).

Little Mary Sunshine at the Masquers

Little Mary Sunshine looks like a tribute to musical entertainment from the past, starting with a pretty damsel lighting the gas footlights which illuminate the stage. This was a time before television, perhaps even before radio, when men were men, ladies were girls, good and bad were easily distinguished, and virtue always triumphed—a time when the hero went off to save the world (or at least Colorado) leaving the heroine behind. Problems arose, trouble ensued, but it all came right in the end.

I’m not absolutely certain of author Rick Besoyan’s intent, but I can tell you the outcome when the wise old hands of Director Robert Love and his crew were done with it.

Ring Round the Moon at the Masquers

Need a laugh or two? There are lots of reasons to go to the theatre—it gets you out of the house, gets you talking to other humans about something non-work-related—but the biggest benefit comes when the play is a hoot, the actors are having a blast, and the whole experience is, well, uplifting and downright silly.

She Loves Me at the Masquers

It’s a toss–up. If you can be bothered to go out for the evening and see the play, write to me and tell me your opinion. Here’s mine: Jacqueline Andersen, Coley Grundman, Alex Shafer, and Peter Budinger are tied for my Actor Most Enjoying Him/HerSelf Award, all for different reasons.

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 .

You're A Good Man Charlie Brown at the Masquers

Unlike Kyle Johnson (who plays Charlie Brown), I have always thought of Charlie Brown as a rather pathetic character. Yet (much to my surprise), I felt warmly towards Charlie early in the show.