Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman

Paul Newman has died at the age of 83. Known
of course for his film roles (my favorites are actually
his later ones, like Absense of Malice, The Verdict
and Nobody's Fool) and his amazing philanthopy,
he was also a stalwart of the American theatre,
notably for taking over the historic Westport Theatre
with his wife, Joanne Woodward. His contributions
to our time in all three areas were exemplary. A life
well lived.

I note also that last month, the English playwright Simon Gray died at the age of 72. Probably best known for Butley,his work was generally so well respected that his frequent director was Harold Pinter.

North Coast Rep's Elizabethan sitcom, The Merry
Wives of Windsor.

This North Coast Weekend

I'm remiss this weekend, what with the drama of the presidential debate, but you still have tonight to see "Elektra" at the Arcata Playhouse. You'll see at minimum some very fine acting by the Ghost Road Company of L.A. I'll be writing about it in my next Journal column, which is scheduled for the week after next. (I'm apparently on a strict every-other-week schedule now, alternating with Art Beat.)

Meanwhile North Coast Rep presents The Merry Wives of Windsor. I review it in the Journal, and both the T-S and ER review it as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Elsewhere: Stoppard by the Bay

ACT in SF has opened their production
of Tom Stoppard's play, "Rock & Roll."
The Chronicle reviews it here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Fire-Bringer

The Fire-Bringer in a staged reading at
HSU, Thursday, Friday and Saturday only.

This North Coast Weekend

North Coast Rep opens Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor tonight. Beti Trauth previews it in Northern Lights. I'll be reviewing it in the next NCJ.

HSU does a staged reading of a new play, The Fire-Bringer, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM in the Gist Hall Theatre. Beti Trauth also previews this in Northern Lights.

I emphasize that this is a staged reading, which basically means the cast will carry scripts as they move around the stage. There's also minimal staging, lighting and costumes. This is usually how plays in development are first presented, and though staged readings are rare hereabouts, some of the best theatre I've seen has been in this form. It really emphasizes the script and the interactions of characters. In my past experiences with staged readings, I've often gotten so absorbed in it that I stopped noticing the actors were carrying scripts.

The play is about characters in a small timber town dealing with a forest fire, set in 1942. (Since the Journal's cover story this week was about the fires, you'd think they'd mention this play, but they didn't. I mentioned it in my column, which is all I'm permitted to do, since I do publicity for HSU theatre.)

I'm actually writing this after the first performance, which I understand was SRO. (I was at NCRT; I'll be at Gist on Friday.) There was a lively talk-back in which audience members told their own stories about forest fires, especially from this year. There's another talk-back Friday, and perhaps Saturday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The North Coast News

Arcata Playhouse hosts its periodic local All-Star show, "Club Shampoo" on Friday at 9pm: lots of comedy, music, various forms of theatricals, including Jeff DeMark. 822-1575.

Then there are the events on Saturday celebrating, or at least marking, the 150th anniversary of Arcata's founding. The 9th annual Storytelling by the Sea happens Saturday at Patrick's Point.

This note comes from Ferndale Rep:
The Ferndale Repertory Theatre will hold auditions for Jean Shepherd’s family favorite A Christmas Story on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 3 pm and Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 pm at the Ferndale Repertory Theatre, 447 Main Street in Ferndale.

Director Vikki Young seeks: 2 men, ages 35-45; 2 women, ages 30-50; 5 boys, ages 6-13; 2 girls, aged 9-13. Prepared auditions pieces are not required. Auditioners will read from the script. Adapted for the stage by Philip Grecian from the popular motion picture, we meet the Parker family and 9-year old Ralphie who receives the ever-present warning, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” when he asks for an official 200-shot Red Ryder Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle for Christmas.

Production dates are November 29 through December 21 and all rehearsals will be held in Ferndale. For further information, call 786-5483 x 203.

North Coast Rep begins its season next Thursday with The Merry Wives of Windsor. and HSU has a staged reading of a new play, Fire-Bringer, Thursday through Saturday. We're going to have quite a Shakespearian year, with HSU doing The Winter's Tale in October and North Coast Prep planning King Lear.

My Journal column on Donald Lacy's show got bumped for space, and is promised for next week's issue. I may post an expanded version here before then.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This North Coast Weekend

Donald Lacy, actor, director and stand-up comedian
from the Bay Area, does his one man show, "Color Struck"this weekend at the Arcata Playhouse, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM. The subject is race, and the show mixes music, comedy and serious reflections, as it ranges over his experiences and race relations in America, especially since the 1960s. Posted by Picasa