|NCPA Cast of Spring Awakening|
Juniors and seniors at Northcoast Prep wanted to do Spring’s Awakening, a play by Frank Wedekind that has been controversial for a century but has also been made into films, television and a musical.
With the most graphic scenes softened or eliminated, the version they performed last weekend in Gist Hall Theatre emphasized universal adolescent experience within a repressive late 19th century German context: awakening bodies and minds, compelling feelings, parental pressures and the onrushing of adulthood amidst keenly felt golden woodland days and brilliant spring nights.
Yet especially for today’s audience, the play may organize itself around the topic of teen suicide. Director Jean Bazemore and designer Jerry Beck developed a poetic stagecraft that imbued this evening with an efficient beauty. The play ended with unexpectedly powerful emotion.
Actors of roughly the same age as the adolescent characters provided this play with a unique immediacy, while their characterizations of adult characters was revelatory in other ways. That these actors were also skilled and committed made this a memorable production.
The acting company was uniformly believable: Jesse Mackinney, Lily Drabkin, Nico Krell, Ellen Thompson, Chris McIltraith, Annajane Murphy, Danny Davis, Ethan Frank and Myel Gilkerson. But an extra word must be said about Nico Krell, whose performance and stage presence were more assured and compelling than that of any young actor I can remember.
The comic duo Third Base (Nick Trotter and Jerry Lee Wallace) present their latest sequel, Son of Myths of the Plastic Age II at the Arcata Playhouse on Friday and Saturday, January 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. Their combination of word play and physical comedy also includes original music in collaboration with the New York group Bonejesters. www.arcataplayhouse.org.
Redwood Curtain presents its seventh annual radio variety show fundraiser, The Seven Deadly Zounds! on Saturday January 25 at Blue Lake Casino’s Sapphire Palace. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the show combining comedy sketches and music starts at 8. It features Pamela Lyall, James Floss, Randy Wayne, Lynne Wells, Bob Wells, Terry Desch and Christina Jioras. It’s also broadcast live on KHUM. Tickets and information for this popular event: www.redwoodcurtain.com.