Exposing Oneself To Art – Observations Along The Road

This afternoon we went to Saugus to start to see the current production of 1 of well known small theatres, the Repertory East Playhouse: “THE ENTIRE Monty”. This is among the playhouse’s most ambitious productions up to now, with 31 scenes, a revolving turnable in the stage, and 20 cast members. For all those unfamiliar with “THE ENTIRE Monty” (book by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by David Yazbek), it tells the storyplot of six men in Buffalo NY that are dealing with picking right up their life following a plant closure. The resulting long-term unemployment has put stress within their lives. Jerry is wanting to keep a relationship along with his son, while struggling to repay child support. Dave has placed on weight and contains distanced himself from his wife because of lack of self-esteem. Harold is wanting to continue the facade he is working, nonetheless it is focused on ahead crumbling down.

Horse continues to be fired from McDonalds for not being cheerful enough. Malcolm continues to be coping with his mother. You obtain the picture. To earn funds, these men form an organization to accomplish a male strip. In preparing and rehearsing, they realize the most important thing within their lives. I understand I’m not doing the synopsis justice-the full summary from the plot is more descriptive. Suffice it to state the fact that focus of the storyplot is actually on the household plus the relationships, not the strip. Yes, you need to do see a large amount of bare butts, however the “full monty” is more implied. The REP East production was quite nicely done. Songs were, generally, well sung as well as the lyrics were clear. In fact, I came across the REP East expression in the lyrics a lot more understandable, and allowed me to start to see the similarity between these lyrics and the ones of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, also compiled by Yazbek. The lyrics were equally clever and filled with hidden meanings.

Vocal direction was by John Morris.

The performances were all excellent, although there have been several line hesitations (this is only the 3rd performance). I used to be particularly taken by the expressive faces of George Chavez (Jerry) and Erin Rivlin (Georgie Bukatinsky, Dave’s wife). The complete cast was enjoying that one, as was the audience who became area of the action. I will note that perhaps one of the most fun elements of the show was watching nsshere’s reactions. Ross Mayer played Jerry’s son, Nathan Lukowski, and Marla Khayat played their accompanyist, Jeanette Burmeister. Reg Willoughby/Repo Man 2), John Morris (Teddy Slaughter), Angelo Romanelli (Buddy “Keno” Walsh), Don Sweezer (Tony Giordano) and Brian Watts (Marty Jackson/Repo Man 1). The majority of those links were to MySpace pages; you’ll find full professional bios on the REP East site. In the technical side, this program was directed by Leslie Berra assisted by Jennifer Rennels-Magon. The production was made by Mikee Schwinn. Lauren Pearsal was Stage Manager. Sets were by Jeff Hyde assisted by Jim Robinson. Vocal direction was by John Morris. Nancy Alternman was the Choreography, with sound design by Steven “Nanook” Burkholder, lighting by Tim Christianson, and costumes by Claudia Alexopoulos. The artistic director of REP East is O. Michael Owston. For us, what’s next in the theatre calendar. Next Sat Evening (5/24) @ 8pm we’re seeing “Of Mice and Men” at Pasadena Playhouse (I will note we’ll be seeing exactly the same show later in the entire year at REP East: they’re carrying it out in late September).

How did she become so exacting?

Thus Callus, portrayed in the stunningly alert performance by Zoe Caldwell, spends lots of time speaking with the audience. This being truly a Terrence McNally play , the talk is intelligent and intensely witty. “You’re here to see the students. Just forget about me,” she instructs us. She then proceeds to create that utterly impossible, through sheer force of presence. Caldwell’s Callas is arrogant, cruel, imperious, demanding and mesmerizing. She actually is firm but never shrill; she’s the sense of purpose that originates from one who is completely convinced with the rightness of her arguments. She’s as alert as the cat – so when quick to strike. So that they can get beyond her public persona, McNally has Callas segue into stream-of-consciousness monologues while her female students are singing. Of these moments, she recalls past triumphs and re-creates conversations having a revoltingly crude Aristotle Onassis. These brief excursions into her psyche are powerful but unsatisfying. McNally does not forge a link between Callas’ life experience and her method of art, that is what any play about an artist should do. How did she become so exacting? How did she get beyond the posturing of her peers and turn operatic acting into a skill? The play doesn’t give us a clue. “Master Class” doesn’t go anywhere dramatically; it generally does not build to some climax, and Callas’ admittedly fascinating character will not change whatsoever. What’s more, her pupils are bit more than caricatures – stick figures on her behalf to bat down with her superior intellect and instincts. Of this supporting cast, only Audra McDonald being a terrified but talented student manages to create her character something greater than a cliche. Costume designer Jane Greenwood has provided both female students with delightfully tacky costumes for Callas to criticize. Set designer Michael McGarty creates a miracle by the end of act one, when he we can enter Callas’ memory, transporting us momentarily to center stage at La Scala.

DEUCE stars Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes will undoubtedly be featured within a two-part interview on NY 1’s “On Stage”. The initial part will run this weekend (July 14-16), with the next part airing next weekend (July 21-23). “On-Stage” airs on NY 1 on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 AM and 7:30 PM, Monday at 9:30 PM and early Tuesday at 12:30 AM. Four time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury stars with Tony Award-winner Marian Seldes in DEUCE, the planet premiere of a fresh play by four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally, and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore. Ms. Lansbury and Ms. Seldes star in DEUCE as two former doubles tennis legends, reunited with a championship tournament. Because they watch a singles match grow increasingly heated, both women reminisce over the sidelines, remembering past triumphs and unearthing forgotten truths, in Mr. McNally’s tender and unexpectedly moving new play. Ms. Seldes won a Tony for the Delicate Balance, and contains been nominated on her behalf performances in Father’s Day, Deathtrap, Ring Across the Moon, and Dinner at Eight. Last season, she earned rave reviews on her behalf performance in Mr. McNally’s Dedication, or the Stuff of Dreams. DEUCE is playing with the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street).