Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stage Matters Special: Humboldt Staged Marathon

The Humboldt Tourism Bureau hosts a 24-hour marathon of theatre in its first annual Staged Humboldt extravaganza, beginning at midnight (right now!)Thursday at the Arcata Theatre.

Expanding the concept of David Ferney’s solo show, The Misunderstood Badger, Arcata Playhouse presents Roob, a new Ferney work about a hick professor in the Australian outback obsessed with kangaroos, performed entirely on a trampoline. Jackie Dandeneau adds an a cappella rendition of the Van Halen classic, “Jump.”

Dell’Arte contributes California Faust, a commedia version of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, starring Joan Schirle as Ahnold the Magician and Michael Fields as his tempter, Robus Arklius. The Tyler Olson-penned tunes include “If I Only Had a Soul.”

Former members of Shake the Bard and Shakespeare in the Park combine for two shows: a new version of Othello set in the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers locker room, called Shaqthello, and a time travel mash-up of authors too dead to sue in Antony and Cleopatra and Jane Austen, and Vampires, Dude.

The Bard is also represented in NCRT’s Macbeth, set among burl sculptors in Orick in the 1980s, with music by Devo, Cyndi Lauper and the Cars.

Dan Stone combines elements of plays by Beckett and Eugene O’Neill with Neil Simon and the Firesign Theatre in the Santuary Stage production of Waiting for the Iceman or Someone Like Him, starring Tinamarie Ivey as Tina Fey playing the Virgin Mary, and Bob Wells as Father Time. “It’s even more obscure than usual,” Stone promises.

Redwood Curtain presents the postmodern Small Cast Sex Melodrama by contemporary playwright Tabitha Overly-Werkshopt. Graduates of HSU’s dramatic writing program return to perform Sixteen Playwrights in Search of a Production.
The Very Precious Players of Northcoast Prep combine music from Threepenny Opera and Oklahoma in a socially conscious dinner theatre presentation, Oklahoodie. Director Jean Bazemore warns sensitive Arcatans not to be alarmed if they see Klingons in the parking lot—it’s all part of the show.

Ferndale Rep presents a stage version of Hitchcock’s Psycho. Director Jasper Anderton confirms that Kimberly Haile’s shower scene will be “realistic, taking place offstage in a real motel room shower, probably in Garberville.”

Humboldt Light Opera continues its tradition of adaptations from classic novels with lots of parts for women with the operatic version of The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, with Brad Curtis in the role of Troy Aiken. However, the College of the Redwoods rendition of Richard III, set on a contemporary community college campus in northern Ca---no, that's southern Oregon--has been suddenly cancelled.

And what would a Humboldt theatre marathon be without live radio drama? KHSU brings back its all-star cast in the first of a series of underwriter-specific radio dramas, The Wildberries Mysteries: The Case of the Mislabeled Organic Banana. One innovative feature announced by co-organizer Jeff DeMark: “Special glasses will be available for those in the audience who want to watch this radio show in 3-D.”

This column--minus a few web-only additions--appears in the current Arcata Eye.

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