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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.
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.
This is the stuff of which nightmares are made: bad memories and worse imaginings from childhood, pretending to be funny. The Marriage of Bette and Boo is directed by DC Scarpelli and Peter Budinger. Written by Christopher Durang, the show draws close parallels to his own troubled youth. For many, parts of the story are all too true—an upbringing immersed in Catholicism, eccentric relatives, and friends with crazy families.
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).
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.
If you’ve never seen the Ranjit Bolt translation of Tartuffe you deserve the experience. The original written by Molière was first produced in 1664 at Versailles. In 2002 Ranjit Bolt updated his translation to a modern play with marvelous rhyming couplets. This production is directed by Paul Shepard.
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.
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.
The Fantasticks opened off-Broadway in 1960 and closed in early 2002 after a record-breaking 17,162 performances. It was the longest-running show of any kind in the United States, and the longest-running musical in the world. This production at the Masquers runs June 9 through July 22 on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 8 pm. Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm on June 25 and July 2, 9 & 16. Call (510) 232-4031 or visit www.masquers.org.
I don’t know very much about theatre (but I know what I like). Okay, I only said that to annoy, even if both phrases are true. Pity I wasn’t given the script of Dear World, directed by Pat Nelson, or I could quote more preposterous aphorisms dropped mercilessly from the mouths of the gentry, Lady Constance (played by Theo Collins), Lady Gabrielle (played by Irene Scully) and Aurelia, the Countess of Chaillot (played by Ann Homrighausen). Some of the quips are quite funny.