Tuesday, December 27, 2011

R.I.P. 2011

top, l to r: Pete Postlethwaite, Peter Falk, Vaclev Havel, Susannah York.
Harry Morgan, Elisabeth Sladen, Anna Massey, Romulus Linney, Ellen
Stewart, Lanford Wilson.

Among those the international world of theatre lost in 2011 were: Czech playwright and author Vaclev Havel (who later got a day job as the first president of the Czech Republic,) and American playwrights Lanford Wilson and Romulus Linney. 

Also American playwright and dramaturg Max Wilks, British playwright N.F. Simpson. Ellen Stewart (founder of La Mama), Arthur Laurents (playwright, screenwriter, director,) Irene Gilbert (actor and teacher), and Gilbert Cates (founder of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film & Television.)

These days actors are known primarily for film and television. Particularly in the UK but also to some extent in the U.S., the participation of these actors in live theatre is important. So among those lost to UK theatre are Pete Postlethwaite, Susannah York, Anna Massey, Dulcie Gray, Roy Skelton, Donald Hewett, Dulcie Gray, Shelagh Delaney, Elisabeth Sladen. American actors Peter Falk, Paul Michael, Harry Morgan, Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Wynter, Michael Sarrazin, Cliff Roberson, Jackie Cooper.  American actor and critic Leonard Harris, choreographer and actor Tony Stevens, choreographer Roland Petit. May their work be remembered, and may they rest in peace.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This North Coast Weekend--and Beyond

This weekend:  Northcoast Prep presents a musical adaptation of The Odyssey, Wednesday December 7 through Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m. (plus a Saturday matinee at 1:30) in the Studio Theatre at HSU. Adapted and directed by Gretha Omey Stenger. Reservations at brownpapertickets.com or 445-2355.

The Dell’Arte School’s second years present their Character Projects (one act plays) December 8-11 in the Carlo.

It's the final weekend for A Playhouse Recessionary Christmas at the Arcata Playhouse, which I review in this week's NC Journal.  Also the final weekend for Some Assembly Required at HSU, which I do not review in the Journal, but which is a funny show and a worthy play, a kind of askew sequel to A Christmas Story, at Ferndale Rep through Dec. 18.

The Dell'Arte Christmas show, The Nutcaper (which I do review) is at the Eureka Theater on Dec. 10, and the Van Duzer at HSU on Dec. 13 before returning for paid shows at the Carlo Dec. 15-18.

Here's a show I learned of by reading my own column: The Ladies of the Flies, a new play based on William Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies, is a work-in-progress created by an ensemble including Dell’Arte Company member Zuzka Sabata, Synapsis Arts Collective co-founder Leslie Howabauten and Dell’Arte grads Cara McClendon and Elana Levitan. Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. at the Synapsis Warehouse (47 Third St. in Eureka) and on Sunday, Dec 11, also at 8 p.m. at the Arcata Playhouse.

Beyond this weekend (since this is the last This North Coast Weekend of 2011):

On Thursday December 15 at 7:30 p.m., Jeff DeMark and the LaPatina band perform That Train Has Sailed, his new show that’s evolving from recent live performances, at a new performance venue: the Sewell Gallery of Fine Art at 423 F Street in Eureka. The LaPatina's are Paul DeMark, Jim Hatchimonji, Andrew Goff, Neil McLaughlin and Deric Mendes.

For one night only, North Coast Rep presents a mostly musical and entirely family-oriented evening, Christmas at NCRT, with the Redwood Dixie Gators Jazz Band and the Bare-Stage Singers. It’s Saturday December 17, at 7 p.m. 442-6278, www.ncrt.net.

Happy holidays to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This North Coast Weekend

Opening Thursday at HSU was the contemporary holiday comedy, Some Assembly Required by Canadian playwright Eugene Stickland (who will not after all be on campus this weekend, as director Rae Robison had hoped.)  The opening night audience rocked Gist Hall Theatre with laughter, and audience members noted resemblances to their own crazy families at the holidays.

The HSU Theatre, Film & Dance production features Evan Needham (familiar from NCRT roles), Romy Clugston (an exchange student from Australia), and HSU students Kyle Handziak, Karianne Nelson and Shea King.  Stars were born!  The show continues Friday and Saturday this weekend at 7:30, then one more weekend, Thurs-Sat. with a 2 p.m. matinee on December 11.  Much more at HSU Stage & Screen.

Also opening Thursday at the Arcata Playhouse is A Recessionary Christmas, with Jacqueline Dandeneau as an upwardly mobile woman who suffers a foreclosure and must return to her unusual parents, played by Bob and Lynn Wells. A crazy sister (Amy Tetzlaff) and various neighbors popping in (different guests artists for each performance) add to the holiday mayhem.  Live music by Tim Randles, Tim Gray and Marla Joy, written by Tyler Olsen and directed by Lydia Foreman. The Playhouse Recessionary Christmas runs Thursday through Sunday, December 1-10 at 8 p.m..  For more information call (707) 822-1575.

Continuing: A Christmas Story at Ferndale Rep, The Mousetrap at NCRT and Dell Arte's The Nutcaper at various locations.