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July 21, 2005
Behind the Stage Door

Cat got your tongue?


EVER FELT COMPLETELY ill at ease in a social situation and wished you could avoid it at any cost? Then you'll have compassion for Charlie, a pathologically shy man who accompanies his outgoing buddy from England to a fishing lodge in backwoods Georgia. The two decide to pretend that Charlie is from an exotic country and can't speak English. The locals believe the deception and speak freely around their unusual foreign guest. Unfortunately for them, Charlie learns far too much about the townspeople's lives -- good, bad and ugly.

Illustration -- Dr. Seuss's Cat in the HatThe idea behind this sidesplitting comedy occurred to the playwright while visiting Japan. The late Larry Shue noticed his hosts were quick to overlook his social mistakes because he didn't speak their language or really understand their culture. Returning to the U.S., he saw the same processes at work here and adeptly skewered them in this tale of politeness misplaced and morality triumphant.

The Foreigner plays Thursdays through Sundays beginning Thursday, July 28, at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, concluding the run August 20, with all shows at 8 p.m. aside from one 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, August 14. The recently spruced up North Coast Rep is surrounded by abundant street parking at 300 Fifth Street in Eureka. Call 442-NCRT or visit for tickets and more information.

[Illustration of Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat]

A giant Cat in a tall, red-and-white striped Hat leads the last show in the Ferndale Rep's 33rd season. Seussical (the musical) adapts Dr. Seuss' topsy-turvy world to the theater with dance, music and song. See the latest incarnation of this family show at the Ferndale Repertory Theatre, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Thursday, August 4, through Saturday, September 3. Check or call 786-5483 for more information.

Star Trek fans will want to call the Rep right now to book seats for a reprise of the ever-popular Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, performed by Rene Auberjonois and Marilyn McCormick, September 17 and 18. Auberjonois, known to legions of Trekkies as Odo, the shape-shifting alien aboard Deep Space 9, has also appeared on Boston Legal and other television programs and in several movies.

As the 33rd concludes, the Ferndale Rep announces its 34th season lineup. From My Way, a musical tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes, to a much anticipated return of their holiday mega-hit, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the schedule promises one delight after another. If you've ever thought of holding season tickets to Humboldt County's oldest community theater, now is the time to get the best bang for your buck. Call 786-5483 and ask Norma how to get great tickets for the best price by investing in a season ticket now.

A fabulously sunny and warm Annie and Marie Day marked the beginning of the Humboldt Folklife Festival portion of Dell'Arte's Mad River Festival Sunday; the same day a cabaret capped the 2005 Edgefest. The Folklife fest continues this weekend including a very theatrical Northern California Native Showcase on Thursday, July 21 at the Carlo Theatre, with host Julian Lang bringing together traditional and contemporary song, dance and spoken word from the Yurok, Karuk and Wiyot traditions.

At Dell'Arte no grass grows except in the Rooney Amphitheater and the company is already preparing for its next show and a new crop of students due in the fall. Always known for cutting-edge work, the latest offering from Dell'Arte is no exception. Flock explores the relationship of a woman and a bird as they leap together into the unknown through physical theater, dance, visual humor and poetry and puppetry. The wordless piece was written for a company of ten by Dell'Arte's Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle, G.W Mercier and composer Gina Leishman. Flock is a work-in-progress -- don't miss the birth of yet another fascinating and innovative offering in Blue Lake, coming August 5 and 6, to the Carlo Theatre. Visit or call the box office at 668-5663 for tickets and further information.


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