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April 14, 2005
a better Deathtrap
by ELLIN BELTZ
SOMETIMES, THERE'S JUST TOO
MUCH GREAT local theater to choose from. Here are a few interesting
options in the weeks ahead.
Don't miss Ferndale Rep's top-notch
thriller Deathtrap. It's guaranteed to have you
thinking about positive and negative relationships played out
amidst jealousy, substance abuse, infidelity, financial ruin
and desperate love. Actors Gene Cole (Sidney Bruhl) and his stage
wife (Maureen Catalina) set up the play in the blissfully shortened
first scene. Bruhl's a washed-up playwright seemingly crushed
by four failures in a row after a series of worldwide successes.
He's bothered by his neighbor, a famous psychic (Willi Welton),
who seems to know too much of his private life. His wife is prone
to heart attacks and seems to drink too much, but does she? Even
the family attorney (Ted Lichti) has deep dark secrets. When
Bruhl lures a young apparently nervous and star-struck writer
(Jonathon Moveno) to his lair to discuss collaboration, the boy
enters the bizarre world of Bruhl's death trap. What happens
next has taken audiences around the world on a roller coaster
of split-second timing, shock and hysterical laughter until none
of the characters remains unrevealed or alive. You can never
tell until the end.
Cole brings an unexpected force to his role, remarkable
considering the fact that he stepped into it just 11 nights before
opening night. While he says his friends think he's typecast,
somehow I can't quite picture Gene as a suave, lying, cheating,
low-down swine who would kill to steal another man's play --
so maybe his friends haven't seen the play.
Each individual in the ensemble
is simply brilliant, and the nonstop nail-biting action is played
out on a Dan Lawrence set so real you're going to wish you could
move in as soon as the curtain falls.
[Photo at left:
Gene Cole in Deathtrap]
Deathtrap's design crew includes
David West (lights), Vicki Charlton (costumes), and Gabriel Groom
(sound). Prepare to scream, gasp and laugh Thursdays through
Sundays at the Ferndale Repertory Theatre, 447 Main St. Call
786-LIVE for tickets or go to www.ferndale-rep.org for more information.
Laughing while the waters rise
Petrolia's touring theater company,
Human Nature, presents What's Funny About Climate Change?,
a three-person political comedy review highlighting the absurd
differences between word and action at the dawn of an exciting
Human Nature writer/performer
David Simpson notes, "It's a very political show,"
adding, "We played in red states and blue states. We performed
going into the war and coming out of it. More people laughed
than threw sharp objects, a sure sign of success." See for
yourself at the College of the Redwoods Forum Theater, Tuesday,
April 19, at 7 p.m. or at the Eureka High School Auditorium,
Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information,
As seen on TV!
Actor Zack Rouse describes The
Real-Er World, the latest original production of Humboldt
Repertory Theatre, as live improvisation lampooning reality television
and reality itself with, "tons of humor, a little drama,
a bit of potential violence and sex." It's so fresh no one
knows what's going to happen -- including the actors, while the
audience sticks to the fourth wall like the proverbial fly. Shows
start at 8 p.m. April 14-16 and 21-23, at the Salmon House, 2950
Janes Road, Arcata. Call 407-6027 for tickets and further details.
This little piggy went to school...
The Dell'Arte International
School of Physical Theatre continues the tradition of commedia
dell'arte, people's theater dating back to the Middle Ages, if
not before. Students graduating from Dell'Arte's Master of Fine
Arts program, who have mastered comedy, melodrama, performance
art, body work, music, dance and physical theater, will soon
spread to the four corners of the Earth. But first they present
two original pieces, The Whisper and Swimming
in Orange Peels, Thursday through Sunday, April 21-24,
and An Evening of Clown, Friday and Saturday, April
29 and 30. All shows begin at 8 p.m. in Dell'Arte's Carlo Theatre
in Blue Lake. For tickets or more information, call 668-5663
or go to www.dellarte.com.
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