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April 28, 2005
Laughing at climate change
by ELLIN BELTZ
DROP YOUR OTHER PLANS AND HEAD
TO THE EUREKA High School Auditorium on Saturday, April 30, at
8 p.m. for the final performance of a three-person comedy, What's
Funny About Climate Change? Prepare to nearly die of
laughter during the show and think about the issues so adroitly
skewered for days afterwards.
Jane Lapiner and David Simpson
of Petrolia's Human Nature theater company take on modern media,
politics, culture, religion, sex, drugs and new urbanism in a
series of rapid-fire vignettes. Their daughter, Joyful Raven,
an incredibly talented Humboldt County native, is the voice of
Nature, taking form here as her totem, the Raven.
The Raven gets our attention
from the start. Deftly costumed and lighted, she gives voice
to the trees, the wind and the spirits of nature who understand
how easy it is to be seduced and corrupted by materialism. Finally
all the threads come together as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
argue while the waters rise.
Director Jael Weisman's experience,
not only as one of the leaders of Dell'Arte, but as a 30-year
veteran of Northern California theater, is evident in this piece.
It's intellectual, bawdy, thought-provoking physical and mental
theater at its finest.
I will never forget the actors'
split-second timing, unrelenting pace and delight in their performance
at College of the Redwood's Forum Theater. No matter that in
a county famous for environmental understanding, political activism
and free speech only about 50 people showed up. Don't let that
happen again. Pack Eureka High to the rafters and prepare to
beg for another performance, so you can take all your friends
and relatives. Better yet, just take them this time. It's only
If you miss this show, you miss
the performance of a lifetime. For more information visit www.humannatureonstage.com.
How difficult it is to be impertinent
Four women, one castle in Italy,
one landlord of said castle, two upset husbands (Michael Berry
and Tom Roscoe) and a cook who speaks only Italian all end up
in the same place because one of the women has a dream. Stuck
in a failing marriage, Lotty Wilton (Caroline Goin) dreams that
she can take a vacation from her dull and dreary life. To pay
for it, she convinces three other ladies to join her.
They're rather a mixed bag:
another unhappy wife (Gloria Montgomery), a spoiled and titled
flapper (Martha Vail) and an elderly and acerbic cripple (Bonnie
Mesinger). But each changes during their Italian vacation, full
of wisteria and sunlight, becoming more real and alive as they
bask in the warm sun and the love of a "devil with women,"
their landlord, played by Anthony Mankins, and the delightful
but monolingual maid-of-all tasks, Costanza (Dianne Zuleger).
The first act sets up the tension
as the women prepare to leave. The second act releases it all.
It's not an easy piece to act; it has split second timing, raw
emotion and the power of true love all rolled up into one. And
it was appreciated when more than half the audience rose in a
standing ovation on preview night. I expect it will only get
better, but I can't see how.
Enchanted April is directed
by Peggy Metzger with a talented design crew: scene (Tom Roscoe),
lighting (Michael Burkhart), costume (Beth Lanzi) and sound (Jon
The play continues at Redwood
Curtain in the Eureka Mall at 800 W. Harris St. on the Henderson
side, running Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. until May
14, with a Mother's Day matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8. Make
sure Mom's open-minded. Though there's proper language, there's
also partial male nudity. For tickets and more information visit
www.redwoodcurtain.com or call 443-7688.
Don't miss the final Dell'Arte
student performance of the year, The Art of Falling,
at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, at Blue Lake's
Carlo Theatre. Billed as "32 clowns of great energy and
voracity," the show features vaudeville, traditional "red
nose" clowning, as well as other clowns from history and
Dell'Arte also presents a return
engagement of Land of the Grasshopper Song, at
the Carlo Theatre May 6, 7, and 8 at 8 p.m. Visit www.dellarte.com
or call 668-5663 for reservations to either show.
The Ferndale Rep offers its
13th annual Young Actor's Workshop June 21 to July 16
in sessions for ages 6 to 11 and 12 to 17. Final performances
in July at the Winema in Scotia and the Rep in Ferndale. Call
786-LIVE for details.
Humboldt Light Opera Company
presents the musical Shenandoah at the Forum Theater
on the College of the Redwoods campus, April 29 and 30 and May
7, 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on May 8 and
15. Call 445-4310 for reservations or buy tickets at the door.
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