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Shine

via Daily Prompt: Shine with thanks to Ben Huberman, The Daily Post for the inspiration

NoLateSeatingThose who crave the spotlight most often become entertainers. Their talent demands it. It is their calling to shine.

We applaud them, and in so doing bask in the glow of their accomplishment. They are center stage with the footlights on them, but we are illuminated by their performance.

Their light shines on us as they render and interpret and presnet their truths. Greater  performers shine brightest, and we shine brighter too.

Posted in comedy, drama, memory play

Sweet Memories

It is in the nature of memory to distort, however Shows for Days filters Douglas Carter Beane’s recollections of his teens in Redding, PA through a lens clearly. The play, at LCT’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater through August 23rd, is bright, shining and upbeat.

Shows For Days Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater Cast List: Jordan Dean Patti LuPone Dale Soules Michael Urie Lance Coadie Williams Zoë Winters Production Credits: Jerry Zaks (director) John Lee Beatty (scenic design) William Ivey Long (costume design) Natasha Katz (lighting design) Leon Rothenberg (sound design) Other Credits: Written by: Douglas Carter Beane
Shows For Days at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
Patti LuPone in a scene from the play written by: Douglas Carter Beane, directed by Jerry Zaks. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Car (Michael Urie) narrates and illuminates on a bare yet cluttered set by John Lee Beatty. (You’ll see what we mean when you go to see the show.) Beane’s play is lighter and much funnier than say, a Tennessee Williams memory play, but it serves the genre well.

Shows For Days at the  Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Dale Soules and Patti LuPone. Costumes by William Ivey Long.
Shows For Days at the
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Dale Soules and Patti LuPone. Costumes by William Ivey Long. Photo by Joan Marcus.

In Shows for Days, Car joins the devoted coterie of players whom Irene (Pattu LuPone) directs, bullies, cajoles, mesmerizes and leads in a dizzying artistic passion. Maria (Zoë Winters), Clive (Lance Coadie Williams) and Damien (Jordan Dean) are lovingly caricatured. They are actors in a small-town, or rather a shrinking town. Their ambitions are Broadway; their reality is the abandoned storefront that is home to Sid’s (Dale Soules) and Irene’s community theater.

Under Jerry Zaks’ direction, the ensemble all give memorable performances. William Ivey Long has designed magical costumes for the characters and the characters they play in Shows for Days. (See a picture gallery here.)

Michael Urie does not let down his winning charm for a single moment. Fans, like us, of Patti LuPone will love Irene despite or maybe because of her conniving ways.

By the second act, Shows for Days really hits its groove. Car’s memory play and his remembrances turn more touching, lyrical and recognizable.

For more information, please visit http://www.lct.org/shows/shows-days/

Posted in drama, estranged father, fathers and sons, infedility, memory play, narration, photography, stepmother

Careful what you wish for….

Alan (Keith Nobbs) should have heeded the old warning about being careful what you wish for….

Keith Nobbs as Alan with Kevin Kilner as Doug in a photo by Richard Termine 

What if your dad turned out to be just the sort of creep who abandoned his family as Doug (Kevin Kilner) had when Alan was five?

There is nothing Alan wants more, in Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky,” playing at Theatre Row in a Keen Company production through October 22nd, than to live with the father he never had.

Doug says he has dreamed of having him out to California to be with him, but that Alan’s mother would never let Alan come. Doug also tells him that his mother hounded him and spied on him, but that his current wife, Ronnie (Kellie Overbey), lets him breathe.

Now that Alan wants to go to college, he can be with Doug and his family, 12-year old Jerry (Logan Riley Bruner) and 5-year old Jack (Zachary Mackiewicz), and the two foster children, Carol (Alyssa May Gold) and Penny (Amie Tedesco)who live with them, and maybe with Doug’s help get a part time job.

Alyssa May Gold as Carol with Keith Nobbs as Alan and Amie Tedesco as Penny in a photo by Richard Termine 

The idyllic quickly turns ugly, but expecting the dire outcome in “Lemon Sky” should not be a deterrent to enjoying the play’s unravelling. “Lemon Sky” spools out the story, using narration as a dramatic technique, and promising drama as the narrative unfolds.

Alyssa May Gold’s Carol is a sad teenage femme fatale whose fate, like much of the plot, is perhaps predictible. Kellie Overbey’s Ronnie is strong, understanding, and protective of the life she has chosen for herself.

Kellie Overbey as Ronnie with Keith Nobbs as Alan and Kevin Kilner as Doug in a photo by Richard Termine 

Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky” was written in 1970 and is autobiographical. He is best known as the author of “Talley’s Folly” and
“The Fifth of July.”

“Lemon Sky” is a small play, that is nonetheless engrossing, and all the actors do their best to let it breathe.

For schedule, tickets and information, visit http://keencompany.org/