North Coast Journal banner

April 28, 2005
Behind the Stage Door

Laughing at climate change


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.Photo of Human Nature

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 $5.

If you miss this show, you miss the performance of a lifetime. For more information visit


How difficult it is to be impertinent without men!

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 Turney).

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 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 imagination.

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 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.



Comments? Write a letter!

North Coast Journal banner

© Copyright 2004, North Coast Journal, Inc.