Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mad River Fest: Of Rain and the Times

 In the previous 21 years of the Mad River Festival, the outdoor show was rained out only twice. But that number was equaled opening weekend with a complete rainout Friday and a move indoors Saturday for Mary Jane: The Musical. Producing director Michael Fields says he makes the decision to cancel by 6:30 p.m. and it gets posted on the Dell’Arte website. If it rains during a performance, he’ll likely end it then--because of all the electrical equipment necessary for this show it can’t be quickly moved inside (as a 2008 performance of Tartuffe was—one which Fields remembers as the best of the run). If the show is cancelled, ticketholders get a raincheck.  Since the climate it's a-changin,' this may happen a bit more frequently.

Fortunately, the show got through opening night Thursday, resulting in an article in the Los Angeles Times, datelined Saturday. (That's the photo from the Times piece--it's from the first few minutes of the show.)  It also meant I could review it for next week's NC Journal, with probably an expanded version here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mad River Festival 2012

In case you've been out of range of the hype, Dell'Arte opens take two of Mary Jane: The Musical on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the amphitheatre out back. There are four new songs along with the old favorites of last summer, and some new story, directed by Michael Fields and again starring Joan Schirle in fabulous mode, along with nearly all of last year's cast.  It kicks off this year's Mad River Festival and runs for three weekends, Thursdays through Sundays.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday (June 26, 27), an evening derived from Dell'Arte School third-years Pratik Motwani and Meghan Frank's Community Based Project, Exit 101: " performance, storytelling and discussion" about how we "as a community speak to each other about...death and dying."   It features songs and stories (music by Jeff DeMark), and is produced in cooperation with the Humboldt Coalition for Compassionate Care.  It starts at the un-Dell'Arte time of 7 p.m. in the Carlo.

On Saturday (June 30) this year's Prize of Hope will be presented to the father and son theatrical duo of Geoff and Dan Hoyle. Geoff Hoyle's career will be celebrated, from the Pickle Family Circus to his latest San Francisco solo show Geezer, and including his work with Cirque de Soleil and The Lion King on Broadway, as well as his stint teaching at the Dell'Arte School.  Dan Hoyle began his solo career at Dell'Arte, which continues in solo touring shows like his current The Real Americans, along with performances with his father.  The Prize presentation is at 4 p.m. followed by drinks, dinner and of course, Mary Jane.

The annual Red Light in Blue Lake late night cabaret--this year with special guest stars Bada Bling! Burlesque of Southern Humboldt-- is Friday July 6 starting at 10:30 p.m. in the Carlo.

For families who aren't sure about taking the kids to this year's main show there's a totally family friendly romp outdoors, The Fish in My Head, featuring all the traditional physical theatre, masks, circus skills and music--and stilt-walking--for three nights, Thursday through Saturday July 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday show at 4 p.m., all in the outdoor Rooney Amphitheatre.  It's directed by Ronlin Foreman.