more about that in my last NCJ column), and the latest in Dell’Arte’s outrageously epic working class soap opera that has seen death, a wedding, a birth and a fateful accident amidst much local color and family angst over the years. This summer’s story finds the surly and unemployed Tommy Dugan living in a ramshackle trailer, eventually confronting the Korbel Timber Company as it evicts workers’ families from company housing.
It’s written and directed by Lauren Wilson, who wrote the memorable 2010 summer show, Blue Lake: The Opera. Returning to Korbel are Michael Fields as Tommy and Joan Schirle as his mother Dorothy, who despite having died in the first play has appeared in all the sequels, plus the traditionally large cast. Music is provided by Marla Joy, Tim Randles and Mike LaBolle.
In a TV commercial for the festival, Fields as Tommy Dugan describes the show: “They say it’s a comedy but my life ain’t so funny to me.” That nails the mood of this series. It’s been satirical, melodramatic, over the top, but with heart and eyes open to the Humboldt of the moment. “It is pure ‘theatre of place’, Dell’Arte style,” Fields said (off-camera). “I don’t know of another theatre that follows characters over decades with keen attention to the times, looking at it all through the lens of place.”
Dell’Arte is offering a festival pass to any four shows plus some extra benefits. (707) 668-5663, www.dellarte.com.
Dixie Swim Club continues at Ferndale Rep and Les Miserables completes its run at North Coast Rep.