SHEET is from dog next door, on rug in front of house. Georgia Lyman is playink annoyed Balkan lady use shovel try instill in neighbor leetl-beet empathy. Is monologue by Irisher? Da!
[*Asterisks here identify World Premiere Productions]
Another comic sketch. So this GLOBE reporter (Rob Rota) spots a runaway house rolling down the road and, in perfect trenchcoat-and-fedora Film Noir style asks her story. She (Deirdre McCarthy in two stories of cardboard boxes) explains. He gets a routine only a sob-sister could love, but there's something about her ... gables. Same old story: Guy meets house, House spills story, Guy gets house. There's a million of 'em in this city every day...
Three, then four housewives come through simple doorways because they Think they've heard a noise. Everything stays ambiguous. The cast was Maureen Aducci, Gabrielle Aguilon-Hatcher, Leigh Berry, and Karen Dervin
There IS a noise here --- perhaps a building thunderstorm, perhaps a rumble of a distance atomic war. Robert Najarian and Lordan Napoli speculate on the meaning of the title, and demonstrate that the mere touch of their fingers gives out an electric sizzle and crackles of thunder, speculate on the ominous possibilities of union --- and fling themselves into a passionate kiss anyway.
Robert Murphy played a man huddled unhappily in his own back-yard with unhappy thunder rattling around him despite the fact that his daughter is to be married there --- but won't let him attend the wedding. Kelly Lawman as his wife carried most of this exposition: After Norton was struck Twice by lightning on the same date a year apart, even she began staying the 200-feet away from him that scientists say is safe distance from a lightning-strike. The storm approaches. Black-out....
The watches in question are big cyber-watches on the wrists of (I think) Penny Benson and Steven Richardson [PLEASE, ANYONE WHO CAN, SEND ME ANY CORRECTIONS S O O N E S T.] Everything they do is checked and covered by their know-it-all, controls-all computers, so they both began and rejected an entire relationship in less than ten minutes
This had Brook M. Haney, Sarah Abrams, and Ellen Adair tackling the problem of the tattoo of an old flame's name --- and a refusal to even think of removal.
This was a neatly turned theatrical metaphor: Tara Brooke Watkins fell in love with a third-floor walk-up apartment with a lovely view of Washington Square Park. Her slightly older husband (Bruce Kaye) rejected the walk up six flights, the cramped kitchen, the lived-in feel --- and, really, their marriage together.
This found Alisha Jansky and Laura Cook out on the fire-escape (or was it patio?) at an office-party because every Tuesday the each like to smoke a cigar. The lover of one of them (Jan Alison Lewis) flits in, nervously, repeatedly, wondering isn't the pair cold out in the air. The subtext of partners changing is inescapable --- and I wonder in retrospect: if the to-be-cheated-on partner (or ANY ONE of the characters, actually, or even All Three) were the opposite sex, would the same dialogue play as well?
The stage here was set with three tables, and at each sat a couple --- involved in that 8-minute-date game, the audience discovered when a bell rang and the couples re-arranged. Center Stage, Christopher Michael Brophy egan by mirroring every one of Amanda J. Collins' tastes and likes --- then Exploding over one, re-establishing agreement, suggesting dinner and a movie --- and at the bell when Keith Mascoll took his seat Blazing into jealous rejection! A smoothly machined and acted sketh of modern moral abruptnesses!
Here Michael Fennimore played the second-banana man-of-all-work having his curmudgeonly corporation CEO (James Bodge) in for a spot of single-malt scotch to tell him, quietly, quite off-handedly, that a guy they'd unfairly fired thirty years ago had surfaced asking that, now that they were nearing death, he might piss on both their graves. The CEO remembered the new scotch had a strange taste --- but of course, his old friend drank the same scotch, right? The tone of this piece was so well-controlled that when he discovered he'd lost feeling in his legs, and his quiet second-banana flunky said "Oh, he asked if he could piss on Both our graves" the audience really came alive with appreciation.
This blast from their past only reminds me how very much I, and Boston, miss this neatly inventive "minimalist" theatrical miracle. [They complained that the BCA box-office charged so much on phone-reservations that it amounted to nearly Twice the admission-fee they wanted to charge, and they've been looking for other quarters ever since. I hope they find a place soon!]
Their bit had Irene Daly avoiding telling the new guy at work (George Saulner, III) she'd like to know him better. The prodding of fellow-workers was written on a big pad, and the Entire Audience read each of them in turn. Kevin LaVelle was the boss totally helpless without his secretary (Kristin Baker) --- who blandly hid in a dumpster to avoid him --- and when the fire drill came, Guee Who had been assigned as Katie's Partner!
I Really Miss these guys!
The set-piece here was a headstone with a bit of grass. Lisa Foley, then Kelly Galvin, then Alicia Kahn each approached it giving sad birthday rememberances to Charles, then Kevin, then Charlie --- until they huffily realized they all meant a Kevin Charles Something who had romanced and maybe married all three. After initial anger at one another, then united anger at the deceased, the blackout-line was Dan Bolton rushing on to fling himself full-length on the grave sobbing "Happy Birthday Chuck!"
[Damn, I knew this would happen. My note says "1 drunk. 1 not" and my mind is a blank.
Time was that I always forgot the plot for One of the marathon plays. Last year though it was like Alzheiomer'sVille. Can anyone give me a Hint???]
This neat little play used the same living-room set for two couples --- feminine Melissa Baroni and butch Julie Levene, then high-strung Greg Maraio and blase Brian Quint. Each couple is trying to commit to surrogate-birth for a child, probably using sperm and uteri from the other. And the play demonstrated that there's plenty of possible conflict in ten minutes of encounters to define character, before a pair of final resolutions.
In this brief sketch Stephen Libby entered to find a delighted Becca A. Lewis Bashing the crap out of a bed with a baseball-bat. "Bed-bugs" she explained, in a rare catch-breath moment. She wanted him to catch them in a big plastic-bag when she drove them out. He suggested....the title. That's all I remember, except the look of ecstacy on Becca's face.
The setting here was apparently a police-station in some small sothron town, with a policewoman or lawyer (Krista D'Agostino) asking a young girl (Alexandra Lewis) what led up to her murder of her own father --- a Vietnam vet whose drunken rages climaxed in beating both Cally and her mother, finally to bloody unconsciousness. The matter-of-fact innocence with which the girl reacted to questions and to random acts of almost irrelevent kindness threw her story starkly into high emotional relief.
The title describes a sort of curlicued decorative painting with which Ricardo Engermann as an artist subsidized his works in oils. Robert Bonotto played the ageing husband of an older wife (Geralyn Horton) who really owned the house. The couple's conflicts are muted, mostly because she is failing. On the final day of housepainting, the workman brought out a gift: a "portrait" of the house just as it had been, pure white. He suggested he did this in case, later on, the owner of the house might find his Victorian Ladies too distracting and want him to undo the work. "Maybe in two years" the husband muttered, at blackout.
Kurt Clump, with frost in his hair, played Papaw, enthralling little Jenny (Eliza Lay) with campfire chill-tales of his near-meetings with a huge, playful humanoid forest-dweller shyly pelting him with pine-cones just to let him know the beast is there. With Jenny sent off on an errand, though, Jason Warner as her Dad insists grandad tell her the truth about his creative lies and, as dad turned in he would, too --- if a half-dozen or so pine-cones hadn't sailed in from off-stage...
This play apparently starred a lady of considerable age working somehow with a doctor (a character called "Doc" at least) but she had serious problems with her hip and had to withdraw too late to be replaced
Jessica Webb and Christopher James Webb here played two members of a wedding --- she a bride convinced she's only marrying because she's too old Not to and her parents demand grandchildren. "But you see stars when he kisses you, don't you" he asked, and she admitted she didn't --- minutes before she DID see them when He kissed her. Though they ran off, bouquet in hand, I think there could have been a Scene Two (at least!) in this cute little play.
This was an affair-play, and began when Kevin Lavele as the man had to rush from the asignation-hotel to a business appointment in Chicago, though Kristy Leahy seemed unsatisfied, and demanded the title. "You lie to your wife; lie to me," she developed, while he maintained that Not lying to her was the one thing making her special. In fact, when goaded into it he gagged at "lying" that "I love you." Lavelle managed an intensity that makes me wonder, in afterthought, exactly when he Did lie and when not. And perhaps that's what the playwright intended --- tying the audience in knots.
This was a great "Throw two unrelated characters together in an unlikely place" play, and in it Anne Gottlieb played straight comedy for the first time, in my experience at least. She was in a sort of truck-driver's jump-uniform, gesturing to the audience and complaining that "my daughter can do stuff better than this pile of plastic boxes, and she's only six!" Suited Christopher Crowley finally argued her into seeing more, with the capper that we Must support art through taxes to preserve our ability to Disagree about it. Enter a glitter-bespectacled dancer with "Art" scrawled over his naked belly insisting he Is "Art" and, of course, our Liberal at first refused to join her paying fifty bucks to preserve even "bad" Art, but his own defense of a pile of (actually Styrofoam) boxes hangs in the air and he pays --- and the pair of confidence-artists, counting their three hundred dollars of scam-money, headed for an expensive restaurant deciding to try the Gugenheim tomorrow.
This quick snapshot started with two brothers, one (Johnathan DeCicco) older than the other (Graham Techler), fishing for the grandaddy of all bass --- with the younger hooking and then the younger losing "a big one". Enter John Royer as a grumpy dad shooing them home, and with a whippin' if they dawdle, because he said even if the bass did exist, it's long dead. But, in what looked like a coming-of-age gesture, the younger defied authority, Dad knuckled under,and the two kids continued casting into the orchestra-pit for the title character.
Comes here Maureen Keiller as another what you call imported entrepreneur, telling funeral director (Robert Murphy) great gimmick: she use t-v to project beautiful face deceased to send to every relative-home in Polish side Chicago, charge happy people arm and leg, clean up. He say "CLOSED coffin! Suicide. Drown, no face left. Sorry." But, they conclude, more Polish fish in sea, right? Funny Play!!!!
Murderer-for-hire (John Kooi) comes into a drunk's hotel room, leaves a call for five minutes later, wakes a man (Owen Doyle) to tell him he's about to die, it'll look like suicide when he doesn't answer the phone, nothing he can do about it, but "I just wanted the five minutes for you to baptize me. Do It!" Ring.Blam.Blackout.
I don't remember any hint that the victim was a priest; but he must have been, right?
This is one of several plays concerned with the ageing this year.
In it Mikki Lipsey played Lilith (You needn't know her name, but I LIKE that name), a white-haired woman covering a quite sexy full-length nightgown with an old-lady's bathrobe calling the son (Peter Brown) who lived just across the street and eventually answered her "Help! Fire! There's a Rapist Breaking in Down The Door! Hurry!" phone-call.
Through the window stepped a tall man (Andrew Dufresne) in a pure white suit, who flattered and toyed with the kittenish lady, coaxing her not quite unwillingly under a coverlet on the sofa. At the son's entrance he complained of her constant calls, demanded explanations, and could neither hear nor see the Moon Man she insisted lived in the moon when not visiting her.
And of course the son "humored" mom's hysteria. But when he left, she looked again at the moon, and left her window open...
I have a friend who believes that Kit Marlowe wrote some actor's plays after faking his own murder. Robert Brustein wrote this little skit about just such a possibility.
Jeremiah Kissel, his right eye dripping dark blood, appeared as a ghost to scribbling Jim True-Frost, speaking sometimes in rhymes, and droppng quotes and half-quotes from the later, better plays, until the living playwright sat to jot down the opening lines of R & J, whereupon the ghost gave as blackout-line: "Thus Shakespeare is born!"
Cute romp. Amazing-good costume and make-up for Marlowe.
Damn. Me old trouble cropping up again, and this time not even a note! Help?
I tried to dash down the actors' names (TBA had been printed in the program) and only got S. L. Williams playing Ryan, a present-day student, and Sukie Davis as his teacher of Afro-American Studies. She accused him of plagiarizing half his final paper, he "explained" that he had no Time to waste with all those has-been paper books anymore; "Just give me another exam, right now, I bet I pass." He even came down to demanding a passing grade because his dad had paid the tuition, hadn't he? The answer at blackout was, obviously, a big fat F.
Cliff Odle here played Mitch Blake, a jazz legend newly married to Crystal (Gaetane Joseph), who is only two years older than his oldest child (Tiffany Simone). They and two other children (Ruthie Woods & Jermaine Hamilton) were trying to get through dinner one one of the few nights a year the musician was not on the road, and it wasn't going well. Comparisons of new and old wives kept bursting through the fabric of conversation, when someone would try to stitch propriety together with a little bit of family feeling.
It sounded to me like either a scene from a longer play, or a quick sketch for one. Very little felt to me explained, or settled.
Someone named Owen (Brian Anastas) was about to have a vasectomy as the play started, and Alex Pollock as his doctor explained things and left. Then another doctor (Nael Nacer) arrived explaining how he would re-join the clipped tube, and a third doctor Patrick Flaherty) leaped out of the woodwork, and there's a Louise (Christina Watka) listed in the program, but by that time I was so bewildered and bamboozled and puzzled I can't remember What went on.
This was an old man (Chuck Galle) shouting to a wife upstairs who might not exist, or might be dead, all his resentments and regrets and difficulties. I don't remember it having much shape, and I'm sure I missed its point.
Jane Staab was Mother, trying to pry her son (Shelley Bolman Woodberry) out of bed to face the facts that a) his woman has left him, and b) that her husband is waiting at the front door; to talk to him or shoot at him wasn't completely clear.
I suspect Tuttle is best at writing longer plays than this one.
What if, in the center of the Labyrinth, the real Minotaur turned out to be just a kid (Matthew Shawlin) with the mask of a bull's head, who knew the truth about his family and just wanted any hero who came to him to have the guts to go back out and tell everyone that Truth, and free humanity from hipocrisy and enslavement to myths? What if, instead, all of them went back out to Ariadne, fell in love with her sister Phaedra, and either died or forgot the truth? What if Theseus (Amar Srivastava in just about the most beautiful gilded-leather armor shirt I have ever seen), were presented with that situation? Well, what does a hero Always do: he drew his sword, slew the Minotaur, and walked back out to fulfill his myth, as every Hero should, right?
Right ? ? ???
This was set in the LaLaLand of moviedom, with June Lewin as a famous lady about to turn 80, visited by two sons: Will Lyman played a high-priced painter about to have a retrospective in Paris, and Bradley Thoennes a merely rich dabbler who'd written an incoherent novel mom didn't show to Speilberg, as she promised. Oh, the hard, hard life these rich people lead...
The pair attending their high-school reunion somewhere south of Mason/Dixon were Paula plum, who retained her drawl, and Richard Snee, who didn't. Despite his insistance that he came only hoping she'd appear and accept his apology, she could not forgive his prom-night tryst with his old cheerleader-steady. She said she had had one date with George Bush during his Yale days, and even voted for him, and Frank even got down and rolled on the floor, begging her to roll with him in forgiveness ... but some transgressions apparently transcend forgiveness, don't they?
Back we went again to the lofty heights of Left Coast money, where out of spite or boredom the over-rich invent deadly games for stimulation. This show found two couples doing lunch. Elaine Theodore and Christopher Michael Brophy played a pair out to "get" one another by whatever means, fair or fowl, they could. Kevin Kalinsky and Anne Gottlieb were the sacrificial innocents. The object of the game soon became to see for how many seconds a truly crude, cutting, insulting or obscene comment could stop conversation. (Yes, the ghost of Albee's Virgina Woolf is apparently alive and well in Hollywood.) Brophy's Robert started it off, trying to find whatever sexual splatter would bring everyone up short. But, as these two played for keeps, his wife launched upon a graphic and elaborate speculation on the sex-fantasies of their male guest, as lusciously filthy in detail as she could, ending with ".....six.Seven.Eight. I win." Through the entire play, the hurt, stunned, bewildered face of Anne Gottlieb served as a sort of thumb-tack holding the filth and violence to a moral point.
Jennifer Honen Galea who rehearsed this monologue couldn't do it. Instead, 24 hours before curtain-time, Tracy Nygard roller-skated onstage and made theater history.
The style and timing of John Kuntz' monologues are designed with his persona in mind, so unless he writes them specifically for someone else they remain his. But seeing a woman skate unsteadily on as Ronnie, reading for a chorus-part in a stage-version of this classic bad film, adds something. And Tracy added a lot as well, asking for the lead, using her chewing-gum to paste her resumee on the back of her head-shot after no one at tie table could give her a stapler, or even f'god'sake a paperclip. She was all Self, ego to the max, and every actor in the room identified with each over-the-top sentence.
This again was a graphic exploration of perverse sex --- with two of my very favorite actors involved.
William Gardiner played the client, upset and angered because his favorite prostitute instead sent a substitute. Whatever --- the arts or show-biz or business --- that gave him the money to buy kinky sex gave him the pride to demand what he wanted how and when he wanted it. The girl in the wheelchair was Elizabeth Hayes, and she maintained enough pride of her own to demand a little of her own. "What does she do that's so special?" she asked, and "I fuck her mouth" was the contempt-filled response.
As I said, a graphic exploration of perverse sex --- in quite human, sympathetic terms.
This little romp turned sex on its head, with Linda Sughrue trying to sympathize with a man (Jonathan Popp) who wanted to experience homosexual sex not because he loved men, but because he admired the homosexual life-style, the cameraderie of the Gay, the clothing, the buffed bodies --- even though he ended kissing her, not the quick-walk-on at the end, James Tallach.
In this, Kim (Eliza Lay) came home to find her ex (Gus Kelly) on her doorstep. He was a professional children's party clown, and he needed some sympathy despite the make-up, the gaudy clothes and the round red nose, because he slugged the father of the kid at whose party he had been the main event. Turns out the clown's father must have been convicted (or was it executed) for something --- and the clown couldn't stand to hear his dad insulted by someone who had never met him.
Jesse J. Martin and Julie Dapper paddled this unsteady boat down a night river, apparently in an attempt to get in tough with inner ids or save a marriage or something, while they worried about tankers, dropped some lines, and heard or only listened for fog-horns. Somehow, I think there was something missing here...
another "noir" look, this time at casual sex-for-sale in Las Vegas. A man in trenchcoat and fedora (David Allan George) walks into a diner after the chef's gone home, complains about the coffee, demands "Isn't there Anything to eat in here?" "Pussy!" the bored waitress (Susan Gross) yells, slapping her ankle up on the counter.
Maybe some things that happen in Las Vegas really Should stay there...
Angie Jepson, playing Cheryl McMahon's daughter, is wearing a Mohammedan head-scarf. They're Jewish. Of Course theres a sort of argument, lightened by several notes of humor, even mom's agreement to try it on to see how soft it feels. A charming little sketch.
Ellen Colton and Bobbie Steinbach were type-cast here as Boston character-actresses at the funeral of their old, dear friend --- the third of the trio. In the past, they agreed, all three of us would audition, she'd get the part, and we'd bitch about it. Now, if we Both audition, one of us will get it and the other will hate it. To save us from that, let's alternate. I'll audition for one, and get it, and you audition for the next, and get it. Great idea! Except, of course, these are ACTRESSES, and Jack Neary loves to keep things charmingly unresolvable for both of them!
Here Dale Place and Kippy Goldfarb were Carl and Linda, discussing that "thing" they used to do (with little squeezy-motions of his hands and a knowing smirk), discussing a little hotly who enjoyed what and how much and who didn't, reflecting on how long it's been, and rushing upstairs to Do Something about it! And so we had age and sex, lovingly and wittily discussed!
Robert Saoud here played support, while Steve Barkhimer peevishly outlined his gradual take-over of household chores, starting with doing dishes, then reorganizing the kitchen, then doing all the cooking --- each step, after losing his job, improving on his wife's doing them --- and on up to ... breast-feeding their baby?!?!?
This little playlet suggests that Tennessee Williams (Richard McElvain) and Mother Theresa (Sheila Ferrini), both waiting to be given honorary degrees at Harvard, might have been introduced to one another by a Harvard prof (Michael Kay).
The ideas embedded in this brief conversation, circling around sin and salvation, work and forgiveness, had a gentle charm, and an unexpected tenderness and acceptance in each of them gave hope that transcendence of ego is, indeed, a human possibility.
Richard Snee played the bartender here, alone on a wet and stormy night, when just as the title says, in comes Will Lyman needing a double Jack Daniels which he knocks back mentioning "I just killed a man. Hit him in the skull with my son's baseball bat." Then, as the thunder outside increased, he described a road-rage situation that escalated when someone cut him off and then flipped him the bird. Both people seemed shocked that such a thing could occur, the bartender saying it would be better if he turned himself in instead of waiting to be caught and, eventually, he went to find the phone.
At that point another man (Ken Cheeseman) walked in, blood sprayed from the side of his head down his shirt, ordering a double Stoli neat and saying "I just killed a man. Shot him dead." Then the first man walked in again bar, and as the two confronted one another there was a big, loud shot. An instant later the gunman looked about and said "Not much business this time of night, is there?" and, on Snee's quick shrug, Blackout.
Victoria Malvagno began, and continued tap-dancing throughout this little slice of theatrical life. She kept referring to plays she'd done back in Boston --- "I forget the dates" --- finally insisting it was in her uncle's dinner theatre Near Boston. The Director (Jeremy Brena) kept the pressure on, asking for "your Southern Accent" because even the chorus-dancers had to shout things. Finally he came on-stage to ask if she could make a call-back next morning, ten a m? "Of course," was her response, the play was over
and so was The Marathon!
Break a leg all!