Katha and Ryu is a busy modern couple that is recovering from a miscarriage. Then, a new discovery comes along for them when a man comes into Katha’s High Rise office dressed in a spiffy 1950’s suit. Sort of like “Mad Men” the T.V. Series. The 50’s dude tells them they could be so much happier if they’d ditch the cell phones and the Internet to come to his community where he and his wife live in a 1950’s enclave. It’s very cultish – and everyone smokes and has the wife do the dishes and all the cooking. Now, if that’s not paradise – I don’t know what is.
The first act is not that exciting. Actually, I thought it would make a cute little skit for Saturday Night Live. However, the second act really gets the 50’s moving as their lives become more under the control of ‘The Society for Dynamic Obsolescence.’
The young couple that moves to the ‘burbs’ find that there are many rules that have be followed in this cozy little gated community. In the 50’s – interracial marriage is frowned on in this June Cleaver world, where you meet the Ozzie and Harriet’s, who are just next door. You see, the Secretary from New York (Katha), is Married to a Japanese man. Now – in the 50’s, mixed marriages is kinda frowned on in this fantasy world.
Act two is the exciting one. There is mystery going on, and most of it takes place on a Grassy yard, not far from the Angel Cake homes. I would love to tell you what shocking things happen on a lovely Green Lawn. I never would have thought about it happening in the 50’s? Oh no, could this be possible? – I asked myself. When I got home, I put a Doris Day Record on the Phonograph to sooth my nerves.
As Judy Garland said in ‘The Wiz of Oz’ – “There’s no place like home!” But then she lived in the 50’s. Recreating the mid 50’s on the stage is really something to behold. The scenery is Majestic. It is truly eye-popping. And, the costumes are so 50’s with the puffy dresses and the coats that billow out in the back would come in handy in San Francisco’s weather. If nothing else, the costumes will amuse you to no end.
AND THESE ARE THE ACTORS THAT HAVE GIVEN THE EXCELLENT JOB OF RECREATING A LONG-GONE PERIOD.
They list them (Actors) as “Featuring.” – I call them ‘Stars’, and here they are: Danny Bernardy, Julia Coffey, Emily Donahoe, Jamison Jones and Nelson Lee.
Now playing at A.C.T.
(((Rating: Three Glasses of Champagne!!! –Trademarked-)))
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))
Saul Mattos plays prisoner in "The Laramie Project - 10 years later. Photo: Lois Tema
LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER
Ten years ago (1998) Matthew Shepard was murdered in Laramie Wyoming. It was a homophobic crime – in a red neck town.
Some people in the town believe that it was a drug deal that went bad. No, it was the demented killers that went bad. The people in Laramie may have tried to deny that it was a homophobic episode.
The show starts out slowly. It seems static, yet mildly interesting in the first act, as the actors take a look back at what happened on that fateful day.
The set is very sparse. Just a few chairs and a desk adorn the stage. However, the simple moveable set for this show does what it wants to do – and that’s to keep the focus on what happened Ten Years ago.
In the second act – the principals travel to Wyoming to interview residents about the crime. Some didn’t know much about it – others felt remorse, and claim that Laramie is a changed City. The two killers are still behind bars. One seems to be sorry – the other, is not sorry at all. As the interviewer talks to prisoner Aaron McKinney – you get the feeling that McKinney has no remorse. He talks about what he wants to do when he gets out of prison. This scene is extremely chilling. I got goose bumps.
We have come a long way since then – but still, there is hatred everywhere, even in San Francisco. There are crazies no matter where you look. Everyday, someone is killed for no reason. Yes - this is a ‘Dark pearl’ of an incident that should never have happened.
“The Actors are a High Wire Act of Storytelling. They are firing on all Thespian cylinders!”
Dynamite direction is by Sara Staley. Moises Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber write the play.
The Vibrant and compelling cast play duel roles. Here they are: Patrick Barresi, Timothy Beagley, Diana Brown, Alex Hero, Sal Mattos, Natasha Noel, Chris Quintos, and Heidi Wolff.
NOTE: THE PLAY WILL BE TOURING VARIOUS THEATRES IN CALIFORNIA.
Now Playing at the New Conservatory Theatre
Rating: Three Glasses of Champagne!!! –trademarked-
HOT GREEKS: BEND OVER – YOU’RE NEXT!
HOT GREEKS ARE GETTING 'HOT FLASHES' AT THE HYNODROME THEATRE. 10th and Bryant Street. Pictured: Tom Orr and others.
Don’t worry -- you won’t have to wear a chastity belt. Heck no – “Greeks” is just a lot of fun with the boys from Lysistrata dressed in their revealing Togas, as they parade around and bugger everyone in sight -- men and women. Then of course there are the men who become women. Oh, don’t be frightened – they are just pretend penises but they sure as hell look real -- but way too big. After all – Lysistrata is out to save the gods – and Greece. Do you suppose it was originally called “Grease” – you know, cause it’s easier to slip it in. If you follow my Vaseline Trail.
There is singing and dancing among the Grecian ruins – and the Greeks are throwing the ‘balls’ around the robust cheerleaders for a big game between The Athens University football team, and Sparta State.
The Greek boys are scantily clad as are the colorful ladies. Things do kinda peak out once in a while they attempt to put back the family Jewels between their legs. It takes us back to the freewheeling days of vestal virgins. No need to bring any sweets, cause there is plenty of eye-candy on the stage. However there is some delicious popcorn as you come into the Theatre
The famous “Cockettes” started the show, -- and some have still survived. Especially the historic Scrumbly Koldewyn – and the ever talented and amusing Russell Blackwood who keeps the energy going. He is an amazing Chameleon.
Let yourself go! You’ll just have the greatest time at the Thrillpeddlers “Greeks.” The brilliant cast is mammoth. It’s sensationally hyperkinetic. I think that Busby Berkeley would really enjoy this show. What? – Who is Busby Berkeley? Oh, just one of the most talented Hollywood choreographers in the world. Yeh, Dead now – but there are still people like Russell Blackwood that keep the sensation going.
“Greeks” is delectably amusing – and irresistible! Truly Addictive!
THE DAZZLING CAST: Tom Orr, Noah Haydon, Rik Lopes, Annie Larson (Clitoristra), Birdie-Bob Watt, Steven Satyricon, Ste Fishell, Bobby Singer, James Toczyl, Russell Blackwood (Mata Dildoes), Joshua Devore and Lisa Appleyard (Mrs. Ova), Jan Adrienne Gilbert – and others that add to the “Glitz and Glamour!” Total of 23 Talented and sexy Actors frolic for your pleasure.
NOW PLAYING THROUGH MAY 23 AT THE HYPNODROME – 545 10th Street, San Francisco. BrownPaperTickets.com.
RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! – (highest rating) – trademarked)
The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour. www.lafterhall.com.
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