The THEATER Marathon 2010 --- 22 May '10

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The THEATER Marathon

22 May 2011

12:00 - 1:00

SHARE THIS WORLD

By Ronan Noone
Sponsored by Emerson Stage
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

How surprising, and refreshing, to start this year's Marathon with a vest-pocket -- no a watch-pocket musical About Theater! Braden Joyce-Schleimer sang the part of a playwright/enthusiast eagerly trying to give theater to the world, with Abigail Vega as his muse. The ensemble who mimed multiple roles acting out the playwright's images were Gabriel Graetz, Kirin McCrory, theresa Masse, Sam Eckmann, Patrick Comeau, Brenna Fitzgerald, and Carly Barnette.
Director Rebecca Bradshaw moved everyone around the space as they flitted from quick detail to detail. Surprising, refreshing --- and fun!

By Lynne Cullen
Sponsored by 11:11 Theatre Company
Directed by Melanie Garber

This looked to me like a condensation from a larger play. Two men stood, waiting for a bus to work. Tony Dangerfield played a harried, nervous elderly man worried that his punctuality-obsessed boss could downsize him, while his colleague (Sean Cote) joked about it, and even joined a drunken pair of revellers left over from the same-day funerals of their respective spouses. As he left, the cynic implied that everyone in the world outside was dead --- and the dedicated worker left cell-phone messages for everyone he called.
It looked like a slice of a lrger play...

THE MOUSE

By Colleen Highes
Sponsored by Firehouse Center for The Arts
Directed by Tim Diering

The Mouse (M-I-C, K-E-Y; remember) here was the spirit of the Disney universe --- actually a doll in the arms of James Manclark who mouthed reproving platitudes repremanding an internet programmer for too little sparkle in her web pages. Derided as a "duck-up" avatar of Donald, Tracy Bickel took up that doll and fought the mouse to a standstill. Droll!

THE FUDGICLE THIEF

By Bill Doncaster
Sponsored by Boston Children's Theatre
Directed by Jay Pension

This was one of a few plays involving separating or divorcing couples. He (Kevin Paquette) was hawking fudgicles at Fenway Park when his ex came by to talk of the fates of players and suggest reunion, and to take a popsicle. His demand that she pay for it signalled his bitter awareness that their relationship was over.

ONE MORE TO GO IN BEANTOWN

By Debbie Wiess
Sponsored by New Repertory Theatre
Directed by Kate Warner

This was a neat slice of Sou-Boston underworld life. One of a trio of so-far successful thieves to visit another needing cash, even though the 20-year "statue of limitations" has one year to run, and their partner in the crime has already died. Dan Roach and Ed Hoopman were hip-deep in the jargon and speech-rhythms of Southie, winding the situation tighter and tighter until the visitor came up with evidence that his "buddy" murdered their pal and spent the money. The blackout saw them, with baseball bat and knife, about to resolve the situation. Neat!

THOSE STILL LIVING

By April Ranger
Sponsored by Theatre on Fire
Directed by Craig Houk

Two hospital orderlies (Phil Thompson & Shelley Brown)are trying to have lunch, but they are repeatedly called for "emergency" help --- which they ignore and joke about as such crises as a need for toilet-paper refill. These veterans try to have human conversation, ignoring interruptions, but finally a "Code Red" gets them running. Neither even has time to finish eating a sandwich. Michael Fisher was the off-stage intercom.

EVERY SEVEN SECONDS

By Dan Hunter
Sponsored by Boston Actors' Theater
Directed by Danielle Leeber Lucas

This was a quick and cute expansion on a magazine quote that the average man thinks about "it" every ten seconds. Jennifer Reagan kept needling David Lucas in a fast peppering changes on the single theme --- his denial, his panic that he isn't, and an eventual realization that the reflex isn't such a bad thing if he's thinking of The Right Person.

FROM
Barry Andelman:
"the play is entitled "every 7 seconds" because that is the frequency the avergae male thinks about "it"... a famous published statistic, larry"

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Right. I don't know why I got that wrong...!

CRICKETS

By Emily K. Lazzaro
Sponsored by Boston Center for American Performance
Directed by David Gram

This play has blurred a little since I scribbled "Writers' retreat" in the margin. Danielle Kellerman pleaded with Ibrahim Miari to enjoy the ambient nature, but he insisted on getting back to work --- maybe writing a poem? I have no idea, at this time, what part Marie Polizzano's appearance had on the initial pair.
Anyone, can you help?

CAT IN A BOX

By Julian Olf
Sponsored by Centastage
Directed by Joe Antoun

Here Branden Smith played an inveterate kidder, crowing to a horrified Teal Martin about his joke-present of a dead cat (gift-wrapped) --- justified (he thought) by his Real Present of one of his cast-off t-shirts. Nick Chris was the irate recipient of the presents, but even his outrage at the breach of friendship couldn't enlighten the unrepentent jokester.

WELCOME TO THE HATE STORE

By Jan Velco Soolman
Sponsored by Happy Medium Theatre
Directed by Lizette Marie Morris

This was a classic comedy-sketch beautifully realized. Proudly enthusiastic salesman Mikey DiLoretto kept pulling from behind his counter boxes of new hate-targets for a series of interested patrons. Melissa DeJesus and Melanie Garber, for instance, were a Liberal and a Conservative with obviously-labelled boxes. Chris Larson, Sierra Kagan, and Nick Miller strolled in to fulfill their emotional needs. When the Liberal and Conservative decided to compromise by mutually buying boxes of Tea-Party hate, Barbara DiGirolamo provided the capping geste --- she was a Red Sox Fan......
The timing here was impeccable.

FROM
Barry Andelman:
"you missed the point of the play--the guy RETURNING his hate, previously purchased, him explaining the reasons for his return & why he could not take another hate in exchange--his seeing the world through the eyes of his 4 year old son. as he explains all his wonderful reasons in the store, the customers gradually begin to listen to the returner and little by little all leave the store. the ONLY hate person left was the sox/yankees hater, which mikey said, as his last line--"i can always count on you!" did you fall asleep during part of this?"

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
No, I didn't; it just slipped by my memory...

THE RESURRECTIONS

By Catherine M. O'Neill
Sponsored by Actors' Shakespeare Project
Directed by Michael Forden Walker

One of several plays set in a car.
It was dawn of a Monday, and Steven Barkhimer came suddenly awake to find himself (the week-end an alcoholic blank) beside an apparent floozie (Sarah Newhouse) quietly sniffing coke. Each one admitted they never set out to be the person they do not want to be --- in his case, a Congressman. Faced with their failures, each one resolved to throw away the blow and the bottle, hence the title.
The reformation seemed a little swift, and life after this momentous dawn a little problematic, but these two and their director made it all, momentarily, believable.

SLUGGER

By Terrence Kidd
Sponsored byNew Urban Theatre Laboratory
Directed by Christopher James Webb

I'm not sure whether Jessica Webb (listed as Holly) or Adrienne Paquin (listed as Narrator) was the self-explaining narrator, a "nice" person from "Lou'vull" with a golf-bag slung over her shoulder. She prissily, airily, pleasantly insisted that she, maybe because of her upbringing, was always "nice" --- but most people aren't. Her solution? a "Louieville Slugger" baseball-bat she pulled from her bag!
She portrayed herself in a supermarket deciding one of three bunches of asparagus she'd buy, only to have Jackie Davis drop it into her bag while she was explaining something to the audience! Out with the bat, demolishing the contents of the bag --- but engaging in reasonable conversation with that nonetheless hysterical shopper, to the point of her grandly offering her Second-choice asparagus-bunch as a peace-offering --- only to have the last bunch snatched by yet another "un-nice" shopper (who must have been Jessica Web, but you knew that, didn't you?)

UNCOMMON GROUND

By John R. Sarrouf
Sponsored by Hovey Players
Directed by Mike Haddad

The scene here was a snooty art gallery, into which walked Robin Gabrielli playing a hippie-dressed Liverpuddlian rocker askin' ta see some Aaht. Tracy Nygard as a frosty attendant archly explained details of two paintings, challenging her patron's judgements of them and implying a challenge to his right to any judgements at all. He replied outlining a wretched childhood brightened by a school visit to The Tait and a resolution to own something that beautiful if he ever had the cash. Chastened, and challenged herself, the woman outlined her own privileged upbringing and passionate eagerness but failure to become an artist, resulting in her job in the gallery as a way of keeping close to what she could not create herself. As a cap, she accepted his invitation to a cuppa to talk about Art.
The reversals of asumptions were, in each case, deftly written and played.
[NOTE: This may be Tracy Nygard's last local performance, at least for a while. Break a leg, Tracy!]

BIRDBATHS, "TWILIGHT" AND OTHER SUNDRY ITEMS

By Rick Park
Sponsored by Phoenix Theatre Artists
Directed by Thomas Martin

Here Rick Park sprawled two Baasten-types on a subway bench discussing whatever sundry items crossed the flow of their minds. When Jeff Mahoney's Mick wondered if Victor Shopoff's Dec had ever speculated on how it'd feel to be, y'know, queer --- suddenly broke into an elaborately expressive gay dance that could have been just a speculative interior fantasy. Till then the jargon and delivery were dead-on observed reality. An intriguing, perplexing triumph.

A HANDY MAN

By Mark Shrader
Sponsored by Village Theatre Project
Directed by Barlow Adamson

On a Florida beach, a cantankerous elderly Dale Place rejected help from Ellen Peterson as an overly concerned daughter, shooing her away. But young Daniel Berger-Jones, rising from a more comfortable beach-chair offered help and conversation. A slice-of-warmly-realized life.

TRUST FALL

By Steve Lewis
Sponsored by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Directed by Vincent Ularich

This was just a blissfully wacky romp. Two people discovered themselves sitting at the same park bench, both in elegant evening dress. She mentions an inheritance she's never seen; he offered to find out if the money was electronically deposited, since he was a banker, and he then asked for account-number, mother's maiden-name and other financial details. "But you can be just Saying you're really a banker," mused Becca A. Lewis "Oh, you can trust me!" "Why?" "Because I," replied Robert D. Murphy, "am A Banker!" "Oh, well okay then!"
The glib illogic here terminated when, the bus they waited for not coming, he invited her to climb on his back and they galloped off together.

ROGUE RIVER, OREGON

By Phil Schroeder
Sponsored by Boston Playwrights' Theatre
Directed by Richard McElvain

Here Ken Baltin was a father poised on the brink of Alzheimer's, still expecting a dead wife to turn up, while Tim Smith was his fed-up son, ready for a "vacation trip" and relief from being parent to his own father. Familiar ground, yet made fresh.
This had the feeling of a slice out of a longer play.

PARK'N'RIDE

By Michael Ennis
Sponsored by The Publick Theatre Boston
Directed by Megan Gleeson

A car here was parked in what the English wittily refer to as "a lay-by". Maureen Keiller and Barlow Adamson were a couple, each married to others, attempting to snatch brief consummation of their love --- and interrupted by a dis-embodied electronic health-monitor. [I'm not digitally hip enough to explain that properly.] Marie Polizzano as the interruptor, in her own bubble of light, finally confessed to being a human being --- actually, a somewhat reluctant virgin with a yen for a fellow worker. The tumbles and reversals in the plot kept surprising everyone.

PROCESSION

By William Donnelly
Sponsored by Battleground State
Directed by Christopher Scully

This little gem reunited the talents of The Industrial Theatre Company: Bill Donnelly's script saw Keven LaVelle and Irene Daly in a car (Yes, another car play) bickering mostly over details of driving to an interment. The bicker escalated from should the flashers as well as headlights be on or should gps monitor the route to make return easier --- to the personal backbiting of a divorced couple trying to play society's roles. Everyone involved was dead-on.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

By Melinda Lopez
Sponsored by Another Country Production
Directed by Marc Ewart & Lindsay Allyn Hicks

For me, this was the best experience in the consistently high-level collection of fifty plays this year.
Thinking back on it, the situation was simple: a group of five mis-matched women in leotards met for a yoga-class while a messenger kept bringing news of revolutionary chaos in the world outside.
Kippy Goldfarb was the leader/teacher, calmly calling out positions with names like the play's title. June Lewin was an elderly lady, Khloe Alice Lin a teen-ager. Julia Short played the most inept while Lyralen Kay was the most poised and letter-perfect of the exercisers. Chyna Lin, still dressed in running-garb and jacket, popped in periodically with news of gunfire. There were banter-breaks and short discussions, complaints and showings-off; however, despite rumors of unrest and perhaps even dangers, the leader continually returned everyone to the calming mind-emptying concentration on exercises --- culminating in the face-down prone position of the title.

CAMBERWELL HOUSE

By Amelia Roper
Sponsored by Perishable Theatre
Directed by Amy Lynn Budd

The house in question made an appearance in miniature, while Linda Monchik as a lecturer sat beside the table, displaying tiny models of furniture and explaining a vazriety of outlandishly exaggerated details about the house, its furniture, and the unlikely individuals who owned it, lived in it, furnished it, and et ceteral. A hilarious romp!

MIRROR TOUCH

By Michael Burgan
Sponsored by Holland Productions
Directed by Laura Cook

DON'T Touch the paintings! That's what David Jiles, as a museum-guard, demanded of Jamie Wilkinson, who played a man with synesthesia who "felt" colors.

A TALL ORDER

By Sheri Wilner
Sponsored by Liars & Believers
Directed by Zohar Fuller

What can what you order, on a first date, tell about yourself? Paused over the menu in stopped-motion, this is what Jessica Web pondered in excruciatingly elaborate detail. Is chicken overly blah? Is beef overwhelming? Does price matter? Isn't a salad copping-out? Christopher Webb broke his freeze repeatedly to play her imagined responses to every possible entre. An excellent example of exploring a simple idea's myriad implications ... and excellent comic timing added to the hilarity.

PERFECT STRANGERS

By Peter Snoad
Sponsored by The Huntington Theatre Company
Directed by Vicki Schairer

Stephanie Clayman (I think) played a woman accosting total strangers with the news that she had only a few weeks to live, and asking "Is there a message you'd like me to deliver to a departed loved one, when I get there?" And she asked Richard Arum to disburden himself of a confession she couldn't exploit in so brief a remaining life. She made a list of Perfect Strangers, which included Laura Cook, as the neat bit came to a close.

ROX-N, MISS THANG

By Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich
Sponsored by North Shore Music Theatre
Directed by Lynda Anderson

Could a woman of my age (I'll be 79 in August) fulfill her White soul with down'n'dirty rap singing? Clifford Blake's Charlie was dubious. Cindy Wegel's Roxanne, breaking into chanted rhyme as Roxanne, with physical attitude, proved her reincarnation as Rox-N re-invigorating!

STUCK

By Christopher Lockheardt
Sponsored by New Exhibition Room
Directed by Alejandro Simoes

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

FROM
Chris Lockheardt:
"Larry,
Your scribbled notes say, "revolving door."
Cheers!
Chris Lockheardt"

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Of course, Chris! Yours was the ultimate "meet-cute"!
Two strangers (Alejandro Simoes & Hannah Husband) jammed into the same segment of a revolving door by a dropped notebook tried in superb mime to twist themselves around to break themselves loose and try to go on with their lives. Delightfully economical...

LITTLE BOYS

By Margaret Lagerstedt
Sponsored by Stoneham Theatre
Directed by Matt Chapuran

This was a chilling exploration of bullying pushed to an extreme. The play began with the trio of children, cudgels in hand, turning round from the body of a classmate they'd just bludgeoned to death. One is shaken by the blood that came as he struck the first blow, and another wished to boast of their deed. The third chickened out as the other two quarrelled, and ran away. The first murderer demanded silence because any criminal record would compromise his chances for a good college, and money enough to dig his way out of the neighborhood and away from his lower-class slacker mates. Ultimately, the argument provoked a second murder.
It seemed to me the advocate of silence was much too glibly insulting to his supposed budies. That said though, Jonathan Vellante, Jeff Siegel, and Bernie Baldassaro did great, believable work with a no-compromise script.

OOPS!

By James C. Ferguson
Sponsored by CoLab Theatre Company
Directed by Kenny Steven Fuentes

Poor Anna (Molly Beck Fergusson); she was so overworked an over-achiever that her boss (Robert D. Murphy) figured a clone of her (Melissa DeJesus) could relieve some of her pressure. But the clone, having no "female parts" could save lots of time taking no bathroom-breaks, and poor Anna got downsized! Sharp, funny satire.
Bob Musset played fellow-worker Pete so convincingly I first thought it would be His play and not Anna's!

PENTAGON MASHED POTATOES

By Cliff Blake
Sponsored by Company One
Directed by Victoria Marsh
Assistant Director Christina Chan

Here Bill Young played a man old enoiugh to have his language decay into mis-understandable gibberish. Geralyn Horton played a sympathetic, understanding fellow nursing-home inmate, while Tom Kee as his son tried if not to decipher a meaning, at least to reassure his dad. And just enough meaning leaked out of the mashed potatoes to discern a hope for world peace buried in the Pentagon.

TEDDY BALLGAME

By Caitlin Mitchell
Sponsored by Roxbury Repertory Theater
Directed by Marshall Hughes

Jawel Zimbabwe, who is maybe ten or so, here played Ted, a kid whose granpop gave him a baseball signed by the entire Boston team, including the sainted Ted Williams. He sat on the floor beside his bed, fingering the ball and reading the names, while his dad (Cliff Blake) tried craftily to get Ted to "loan" the rare ball to him. Dad was more concerned by his debts than with the family's dedication to baseball and Williams --- until, when Ted relented, he said "Nah, you keep it kid!" and walked away. A neat little gem, with two excellent actors.

BACKFIRE

By Leslie Powell
Sponsored by Image Theatre
Directed by Jerry Bisantz

This play took the problem of returning veterans head-on. Eric LaMarche played a guy waking up in the bed of a woman calmly sitting cleaning a rifle (Vicky Hogan). She was a little cynical about his male-chauvinist-pig routine, ready to shoot him once or twice. Finding his pants he blasted back his non-stop drinking and fucking, after two tours in the mid-east ("Yes, I've killed women too; it's a little easier with those veils hanging in front of their faces") --- and ordered to go back again that very day. Dismissing her, he quickly donned his military jacket, then stuck the barrel of his rifle into his mouth at the final blackout. Powerful material!

BOY-MAN

By Diane Di Ianni
Sponsored by Sugar Cereal Productions
Directed by Mark Sickler

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

FROM
Barry Andelman:
"coffee shop; young owner (boy-man) , middle aged customer spends better part of an afternoon s l o w l y sipping coffee as she observes him. after work, both wind up being at a bus stop at the same time. we saw this before in another festival."

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Yes! Two sets of internal monologues: She (Anne Damon), an ageing woman, musing on her surprised attraction to a much younger man; he (Tom Morf) concerned more with his business than his customer. Both felt an interest in speaking more intimately with the other; neither actually did.

THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!

By Richard Schotter
Sponsored by lau lapides company
Directed by Brett Marks

This of course was a gloss on the digital jungle, with one guy incredulous at his friend's total commitment to the cell in his hand ("There ought to be an App to automatically correct the mistakes you make, right?") Alan Mayo and James Bocock were the interlocutors.

WASTED KISSES

By Tom G. Dunn
Sponsored by Orfeo Group
Directed by Daniel Berger-Jones

Another couple in yet another car, trying to make sense of relationships.

ESCAPE TO WONDERLAND

By Patrick Gabridge
Sponsored by Fort Point Theatre Channel
Directed by Jeffrey Mosser

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

No, I remember:
Two young women (Meredith Stypinski & Allison Vanouse), old friends, met on the Blue Line, one admitting she had just committed an armed robbery and was getting off at Wonderland station to begin a new life.

BEEP...DOOT

By Aaron Kagan & Seth Soulstein
Sponsored by Bad Habit Productions
Directed by Elisabeth Fenstermaker

I was bewildered by this.
The entire text was off-stage voices outlining a meet-cute let's-meet e-mail exchange with a guy (Robert Rota) trying to get a girl (Laura Ashley Robinson) face-to-face, with her blowing him off to reunite with some older sexist boyfriend. But Rota appeared on stage tormenting himself, wordlessly, in bed, while Robinson and Casey Preston (in yet another car --- or was it a bus or airline seat?) snuggled, but with Preston obviously and obnoxiously indifferent to her. None of the actors on stage said a single word. The "voice-overs" seemed only distantly connected with them.
I was confused.

FROM
Barry Andelman:
"you need to learn more about the 21st century, larry. when we have time, i'll explain the play to you. then you need to see it agian and you'll see how clear it really is."

THE CURATOR

By Jennifer Diamond
Sponsored by Wellesley Summer Theatre
Directed by Dahlia Al-Habieli

This was another separated/divorced couple meeting, unsucessfully trying to repair the rift. In this case Margaret Dunn played a woman astonished to find her baggage-room-supervisor ex (Danny Bolton) has been stealing luggage, he says, to "get in touch" with the people who owned them.
Odd. Puzzling. (But now you know where your airline luggage ended up, right?)

A DESIGNATED AWFUL PLACE

By Gregory Hischak
Sponsored by Salem Theatre Company
Directed by John Fogel

What if the park rangers in a western reserve, full of mud-slides, earth-tremors, about-to-blow volcanoes, and noxious gasses, were brutally honest with one another about wanting to transfer, even to Oregon? They'd have the catalogue of woes conversation that Kristine Burke and Stephen Cooper had here.

OUR PART TO CHANGE THINGS

By Susan Goodell
Sponsored by Wheelock Family Theatre
Directed by Susan Kosoff

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

M. RIVERSIDE

By John J. King
Sponsored by Turtle Lane Playhouse
Directed by James Tallach

What if a sympathetic straight met an aspiring drag-queen on the Blue Line after (s)he'd been laughed out of a first karaoke-attempt at a transvestite bar? Well, he'd begin to listen on ear-plugs while letting the (silent to us in the audience) lip-synch take place. Again, a neat twist on familiar material!

SARAH IN BLUNDERLAND
or
THE MAD HATER'S TEA PARTY

By Robert Brustein
Sponsored by American Repertory Theater
Directed by David Wheeler

Karen Macdonald played Sarah (Palin), Will Lebow The Mad Hater, and Steve Barkhimer the Starched Hair (Trump) in a heavy-handed political pun-fest that seemed to me a great waste of all the talents involved.

MS. CONNECTIONS

By Erin Striff
Sponsored by Boston College Theatre Department
Directed by Patricia Riggin

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

FROM
Barry Andelman:
"man puts ad on net to meet up with someone he says he thought was very hot while riding the subway. too complex for me to spnd time writing it here, but ask me when we see each other"

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Yes! Another digital meet-cute plot. The final revelation was that he'd sent a blind message SAYING he'd seen a brown-haired girl and wanted to meet; she was the one that believed him and showed up.

DOLL HOSPITAL

By Jeanne Beckwith
Sponsored by Pilgrim Theatre Research & Performance Laboratory
Directed by Susan Thompson
Sound Design by Asa Goodwillie

In this warm fantasy Lorraine Grosslight played a woman bringing her childhood doll in for repair, though apparently her mother never let her play with it, just kept it in a box on the mantel to be looked at and admired. Chris Crowley as Dr. Magister wondered who had damaged the doll, and sent the woman away demanding that she remember the doll's name. The subtext was that kids' love is what makes dolls worth repairing.

A BALLAD FOR PEGGY

By Steven Faria
Sponsored by Nora Theatre Company/Underground Railway Theater
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush
Production Assistant Eugenie Carabatos

"The cry of a loon on a northern lake is like the laugh of a lunatic."
The scene here was a northern lake, with a widow (Gloria Papert) revisiting a cottage for memories of her dead husband (since she's near death herself) --- only to find a man (Steven Faria) playing damn good jazz licks on a trumpet named Peggy he says came up from the bottom when he was fishing. Margaret (i.e. Peggy)'s husband asked that his ashes be put into his trumpet and tossed into the lake --- but the last sounds on this little play were the carefully created echoes of Faria's excellent solo ... and the laugh of a loon.

GAME ON

By Gary Garrison
Sponsored by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Directed by Scott Sinclair

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

Hah! I remembered this one, too ... and a good one! Connon Christiansen & Grant MacDermott played two gay men at the end of their first date --- one willing to go to bed, the other reluctant to start a relationship with anyone so Obviously Gay. Right now, I can't tell from the cast-list which was which, but though one was reserved, the other ostentatiously flamboyant, the chemistry between them was brilliant.

TEN YEARS AFTER PARADISE

By Israel Horovitz
Sponsored by Gloucester Stage Company
Directed by Israel Horovitz

Will Lebow sat and read a set of reflections on America's loss of "Paradise" with the 11:11 bombings.

SQUIRRELLY

By James McLindon
Sponsored by Commonwealth Shakespeare
Directed by Adam Sanders

Dennis Staroselsky and Derek Fraser became two squirrels, eating and burying acorns, watching buddies disappear after entering steel traps, or being splattered by traffic. The smart one noticed that when his brother scratched his head he forgot everything, so when they wandered into the steel thing and got transported out of the city to a forest, the last thing he did was scratch his own head.

BIBLE STUDY

By Daniel Sauermilch
Sponsored by Forty Magnolias Productions
Directed by Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Young Adam Freeman played a boy just old enough to challenge everything --- even the Ukrainian-born baby-sitter (Anne Gottlieb) trying to make him learn something about The Bible he didn't think he needed. She knew he did.

OPEN HOUSE

By Theresa Rebeck
Sponsored by The Lyric Stage Company of Boston Inc.
Directed by A. Nora Long

Sometimes, even my scribbled notes look opaque. Can anyone refresh my memory here?

CASTING AMANDA

By Jack Neary
Sponsored by New Century Theatre
Directed by
Jack Neary

This was the by-now ritual love-letter Jack Neary sends his veteran theater friends, Bobbie Steinbach and Ellen Colton who, as outrageous Boston stars Bethel and Clarice by now seem to be playing themselves. For this year's send-up, they met, both to try-out for the maor role in Tennessee Williams' "Glass Menagerie" --- only to find Glenna (Molly Haas-Hooven), young and fragile enough to read for the Laura part. And of course they both took an actor's great delight in dissing the late Grande Dame of Boston Theater who, they felt, stole the part from under both of them by granting sexual favors. But Robert D. Murray as the show's director praised that production and swore Glenna would make a perfect Laura, since she was, of course, the Grande Dame's daughter.
Amazing how deftly Jack twists the knife, isn't it?