Thursday, September 2, 2010
All theater is local. Though the source material may arrive in our county from across the country, or even the world, it lives through the interpretations of local actors who stand before you on the stage and directors who anxiously sit among you. Theater literally thinks globally and acts locally. Here’s how that plays out.
Paper Wing Theater (905-5684) will unveil REPO! The Genetic Rock Opera Sept. 24 to Oct. 31 (with their customary Halloween shows inviting audiences to dress up, too). The structure is based on the Emelio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton cult/punk film Repo Man – a must-see it – about consumerism. PaperWing’s, though, is set in 2056, when the hot product is human organs, for which, if you have trouble making your payments… well, you know what happens when you stop making payments on your car note.
Magic Circle Theatre (659-7500) reopened its doors with three fine productions – the third of which, playing now through Sept. 12, is David Auburn’s Proof. Their next number, Simon Williams’ Nobody’s Perfect, running Oct. 22 to Nov. 21, is described as a “classic feel-good comedy” about a dweebish statistician who pseudononymously writes a hit women’s romance novel and is compelled to cross dress in the ensuing hub-bub. Dustin Hoffman might be able to relate.
I like the sound of Carl Cherry Center’s (238-1789) world premiere by Charles Marowitz, who directed a play by Vaclav Havel. Losers, running Sept. 10-26, tells the bigger story about “the kind of self-delusion that affects many ‘artistic types’ in cities throughout America” in the story of one man’s insistence in reaping artistic rewards, no matter what.
MPC Theatre Company (646-4213) turns in a meditation on art that can complement Losers. French playwright Yasmina Reza has collected Moliere Awards – France’s equivalent of the Tonys – like other people pick flowers. She won one for Art, about three friends whose friendship is torn asunder over an expensive piece one of them purchases – an all-white painting with three lines on it. Is it art? Is it worth all the money paid for it? Is it worth battling your friends over? If you’re French, yes. It runs Oct. 14-24, followed by the lighter fare Dec. 9-19 of Taffeta Christmas.
The Forest Theatre Guild had its 100-year commemorative productions at the Outdoor Forest Theater; Oct. 1-17, PacRep (622-0700) reprises its Shakespeare yen there with the always entertaining Twelfth Night. At the same time, the Equity theater company nabs a special performance of Poisoning Pigeons, Oct. 1-17, under their own roof at Golden Bough in which the razor-sharp songwriting wit and commentary of Professor Tom Lehrer is channeled through a variety of music. Nov. 4-14 they go to Ransome, Texas, the winning play of their third Hyperion Project Playwriting Contest, about a father and son whose business celebration devolves into familial “psychic warfare.” Nov. 24 to Dec. 23, they serve up Tuna Christmas, the popular holiday sequel to the smash Greater Tuna, in which two actors play 24 characters.
ARIEL Theatrical (775-0976) puts on works for children – a cute prospect – but their Conjunction Junction ARIEL Function hits a sweet spot for so-called Generation Xers (remember them?) in a “reading” of excerpts from the cherished Saturday morning cartoon spots from the ‘70s, School House Rock: “Conjunction junction, what’s your function?” and “I’m just a bill, just a regular bill, sittin’ here on Capitol Hill.” I can taste the Lucky Charms now.
Western Stage (755-6816) is diverse as ever, staging Josefina Lopez’s semi-autobiographical and timely Real Women Have Curves Sept. 10-Oct. 3, about Mexican immigrants in 1987 Los Angeles. They kick off their Sunday shoes for some Footloose action Sept. 25-Oct. 16, about a teen upstart who just has to dance and small town uptights who object. They end 2010 with Larry Shue’s The Foreigner (it has a white supremacist in it – that’s diversity) Oct. 22-Nov. 14 and Juan Antonio Ramos’ world premier of A Mexican Christmas Carol, sort of a Carlos Dickens version, Nov. 20-Dec. 5.
Inconspicuous theater upstarts Fearless Minds (www.fearlessminds.weebly.com), meanwhile, are looking to launch the product of their playwriting competition, the Original Works Festival, in February. Staff Players Repertory/Childrens’ Experimental Theater is offering discounts on their 50-year-old childrens’ conservatory, teaching the finer points of voice, dance, scene work, costume, history and stage combat. Recently they’ve been rocked by personal and financial maladies, but hopefully they will soon find calmer waters and strong tailwinds.