Thursday, December 3, 2009

This North Coast Weekend

HSU opens The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher (Sister Mary Ignatius...) Durang, for two weekends beginning Thursday (Dec. 3) in the Gist Hall Theatre. It's directed by Jody Sekas--well-known on the North Coast as scenic designer and consultant for some 80 shows at various local theatres, but this is his first time directing since his student days. There's much more at HSU Stage, but I can't resist quoting once again a little speech that indicates what an antidote this play might be to the usual holiday fare:
Matt, the scholarly son of the unfortunate title couple (and a stand-in for Durang in this obliquely autobiographical play) reads from a mock essay: “Holidays were invented in 1203 by Sir Ethelbert Holiday, a sadistic Englishman. It was Sir Ethelbert’s hope that by setting aside specific days on which to celebrate things...that the population at large would fall into a collective deep depression. Holidays would regulate joy so that anyone who didn’t feel joyful on those days would feel bad. Single people would be sad they were single. Married people would be sad they were married. Everyone would feel disappointment that their lives had fallen so far short of their expectations.”
Beginning Friday (Dec. 4) for two weekends, A Very Playhouse Christmas: A Television Special presents the fabulous Tannenbalm Sisters (Jacqueline Dandeneau, Tinamarie Ivey and Zuzka Sabata) hosting a zany fake Christmas special, with different local guest artists for each performance, including Lynne and Bob Wells, Art Jones, Joan Schirle, Sienna Nelson and the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir. It's all at the Arcata Playhouse (see the site.)
Elsewhere in this Dickens of a Christmas on the North Coast, Ferndale Rep continues Oliver!, North Coast Rep continues A Christmas Carol and Dell'Arte takes A Commedia Christmas Carol on the road. I review that one in the Journal this week, and I'm planning to publish the whole novel here.

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