Too Much…

A.C.T. in S.F.“The play’s the thing….”

I tried watching football this last Sunday. I don’t know why; the sport bores me even if I’m supposed to root for one of the two bowl-bound teams.  Even the commercials confused me. Why is there a car commercial for something to watch later on the internet (nissanbriefcase.com)? I have no idea what most of the television shows are now. Most other things were worth tuning out, too, simply boggling the mind in how/why they supposedly make sense or are supposed to be funny.

Maybe that’s why it’s a relieve to find a well-written story come to life on stage.

This past weekend, some friends and I had the chance to enjoy two one-act plays at my local theatre: “Through the Memory Darkly” and “Zelda.” Another ‘playful’ indulgence was last fall’s journey to see “Under the Lintel” with a great friend of mine. (Plays are more enjoyable with good company.)

“Through the Memory Darkly,” could be summed up as a battle of the mind – Voice vs. Ego. Rene Schuchter’s dark-clad voice who went back and forth into the shadows could be recast as the inner-critic that NaNoWriMo writers banish for the writing goal. Rene/Voice’s wit could cut to the quick, break the tension and keep certain truths at bay, or just on the margin of shadows.

Denise Paulette/Ego’s determination to break past the rut, through the barriers that keep her from learning the truth of a memory. Going back and forth through time, Ego won’t let the madness contain her as she is determined to get to the root of a dream with or without meaning. Her sharp remarks, unheard by the teachers through the ages, cut through nicely.

“Zelda” is a remarkable play that shines a light on Zelda Fitzgerald. Denise Paulette’s solo performance is as strong in this 70-minute play as it was in the 35-minute play before the intermission. Zelda’s final days may have been filled with torment as schizophrenia gripped her, but Denise seamlessly brings Zelda’s childhood and courtship to F. Scott to life, showing joy, wit and talent that this woman possessed. Her strength during the internal discovery of the mind is worth seeing. If you happen to live in the Maple Valley area, I encourage you to see the play in March at the Equinox One Act Festival.

“Under the Lintel” was a wonderful tour-de-force at the San Francisco A.C.T. theatre. The timing was perfect to treat a friend to the play for her birthday (our wishlist contains many a play/performer we would like to see). The 90-minute one-act play featured the one performer/character – ‘The Librarian.’ David Strathairn is probably more recognizable for the supporting roles he has played (taking the lead once or twice, in “Good Night and Good Luck,” and a short-lived t.v. series).

Beginning with a ‘slightly’ overdue library book (113 years passed the date), the librarian embarks on a mystery to learn who checked it out and what became of the one known only as ‘A.’ Traveling around the world, through time, the Librarian broadens his mind, once he’s left his homeland, and discovers that there is meaning to his life.

Three great plays, three versatile performers, three amazing acts.

What joys have you drunk in from the stage?

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4 Responses to Too Much…

  1. Mari Collier says:

    Like you, I am fortunate to have a wonderful local theatre. Gypsy Rose had a Broadway singer playing the part of the mother. Her voice could have competed with Ethel Merman. Next week my friends and I will see On the Importance of Being Ernest. It has had rave reviews. The caliber of the actors for the out-of-the-way community is outstanding. By the way, I never watch football games.

    • tommiaw says:

      The wonderful joys of local talent! (smile)
      I’ve yet to watch a professional/college football game from start to finish. The last one I watched from the stadium seats was my brother’s final game.

  2. Luddy's Lens says:

    Our community theater broadcasts “National Theatre Live” and “Live at the Met.” We’re nowhere near an urban theater district, so it’s pretty great to see these major productions that we’d otherwise have little chance to see. Our little local Shakespeare troupe is pretty fun, too.

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