Friday, February 14, 2014

This North Coast Weekend

Redwood Curtain opens Making God Laugh, a comedy by Sean Grennan this weekend.  Directed by Kristen Mack, it features Teresa Desch, Randy Wayne, Rigel Schmitt, Sasha Shay and Luke Sikora.  Previews are Thursday and Friday, with official opening and reception on Saturday February 15 at 8 p.m.

This is the final weekend for Oedipus the King and Women in Congress at North Coast Rep.  Last performance is Saturday.

This past week we lost two legendary performers.  Sid Caesar transformed vaudeville comedy for television in the 1950s, linking past and the future he helped to create.  He nurtured an equally influential set of writers, including Neil Simon, whose play about the Caesar team, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, was produced at North Coast Rep in 2012.   Here's the background on Sid Caesar I wrote at the time of that production.

Shirley Temple's reign as the shining child star of the Depression years is known today mostly by reputation, though the boomer generation will remember some of those movies on TV.  Some of her tap-dancing routines with the great Bill Robinson are preserved in video compilations like That's Dancing.  In her autobiography, she noted that when she held his hand after one of their dances, it was the first time a white female and a black male had touched on the silver screen.

As an adult, Shirley Temple produced a series of fairy tale films for television, including Babes in Toyland.  That production influenced the version that Dell'Arte performed this past Christmas.  As I noted, in her introduction to this show she seemed almost a parody of the sweet child she had worked hard to portray.  But in the show itself she was almost unrecognizable in her marvelous performance as a wicked witch.  There was more to Shirley Temple than the image.

May they rest in peace.  Their work lives on.

No comments: