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May 5, 2005
by ELLIN BELTZ
MUSICAL LOVERS HAVE A BUSY WEEKEND
AHEAD. First up, the return engagement of Dell'Arte's, In
the Land of the Grasshopper Song, a true story of two adventurous
women who signed up to be "field matrons" for the U.S.
government in a 60-mile swath of wild Klamath and Salmon river
country in the Pacific Northwest from 1908 to 1910.
Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel
Reed's experiences traveling through the untamed wilderness and
working among frontier whites and Native Americans were later
collected into a book, In the Land of the Grasshopper Song,
which was adapted by playwright Lauren Wilson for Dell'Arte and
directed by Michael Fields.
Jackie Dandeneau's phenomenal
voice and expressive face produce a powerful Mabel Reed while
Dawn Falato's excitingly physical Mary Ellicott Arnold amazes
the audience with the range and excitement of her singing and
performance. Watch in astonishment as they walk over a swaying
rope bridge hundreds of feet over a raging river while on their
journey to Indian country. You know you're nice and safe in the
Carlo Theatre. You know that the bridge is two ropes tied to
boxes. But your palms are sweating and inside you're praying
the girls make it across.
as Mabel Reed and Dawn Falato as Mary Ellicott Arnold in "In
the Land of the Grasshopper Song."]
This powerhouse performance
has played to rave reviews all over the northwest drawing crowds
of all ages. It will be presented at the Vancouver Children's
Festival later this month, but first, for one weekend only, In
the Land of the Grasshopper Song returns to Dell'Arte's
Carlo Theatre, 131 H St., Blue Lake, for three performances:
Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, at 8 p.m. and a half-price
matinee, Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. Reservations are strongly
advised as all shows are likely to sell out. Call 668-5663 for
tickets or secure them online at www.dellarte.com.
-- -- -- --
Meanwhile, the Humboldt Light
Opera Company (HLOC) presents Shenandoah, the story
of a large Southern family deeply and permanently affected by
the Civil War. The piece has an interesting history. It was first
a movie starring Jimmy Stewart, which was regarded as a wonderful
tearjerker with a sentimental ending. The screenplay was adapted
in the 1970s as a Broadway musical that won a Tony Award and
ran an astonishing 1,000 plus nights.
Taking advantage of HLOC's seemingly
unlimited talent pool, the local, mostly-male production is double
cast. Under the direction of Carol Ryder they perform the musical's
well-known songs of joy and sorrow as well as comic dance routines,
all accompanied by Annette Gurnee-Hull.
The musical continues this weekend,
Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, May
8, at the College of the Redwoods Forum Theater, concluding its
run May 12-15, again with a Sunday matinee. Call 445-4310 for
reservations or purchase your tickets at the door.
College of the Redwoods and
HLOC could do their patrons a huge favor by posting signs to
the theater in the parking lot. If you've been there before,
it's up the steep staircase slightly to the right of the main
More theater buzz
The Humboldt State University Department of Theatre, Film and
Dance presents their Seventh Annual Ten-Minute Play Festival,
a collection of short original student plays, running Thursday,
May 5 through Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m. in HSU's Gist Hall. Since
admission is free you may want to show up early. Call 826-4606
for more information.
-- -- -- --
Are your boots made for walking?
If so, grab your rat pack and head for auditions for My Way,
the Ferndale Rep production based on songs made famous by Frank
Sinatra, the one and only "old blue eyes." Auditions
are Monday and Tuesday May 9 and 10 from 6:30-9 p.m. The show
runs October 6-29. Call 786-5483 or see www.ferndale-rep.org
for a song list and further details.
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