Even Funnier Propositions…

July 15, 2008

Well, we got the first show of Funny Propositions under our belts Saturday at the Goethe Institute (lovely performance space — except the un-airconditioned mens room has been repurposed as the dressing room) in the Capitol Fringe Festival.  And we had all the lights blow out during the first of the four sketches.

But Marilyn Bennet and Dwane Starlin  are ever-wonderful in the “Parlor Games” sequence.  And I pray that this show will only get funnier once we get a chance to play it even more in front of an audience. (Here’s the cast as playing cards in a game of computer solitaire.)

Performances remain…

  • Sat. July 12, 7:00 p.m.
  • Wed. July 16, 7:00 p.m.
  • Su. July 20, 6:00 p.m.
  • Wed. July 23, 6:30 p.m.
  • Sat. July 26, 3:00 p.m.
  • Su. July 27, 3:00 p.m.

At the Goethe Institute – Mainstage — 812 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C.

For tickets please visit TheaterMania’s website or Capital Fringe’s website at www.capfringe.org.

Review: The Waverley Gallery

December 14, 2007

I FINALLY got around to seeing Didactic Theatre Company’s production of The Waverley Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan at DCAC.

The play is a highly effective example of the “call your mother when you get home and tell her you love her before it’s too late” school of playwriting.  It focuses on a woman’s slip into dementia and the effect it has on those around her. 

This production is anchored by three spectacular performances.  Lee McKenna does bravura work as Gladys, a one-time spitfire sinking into instability; Danny Gavigan gives a beautifully uncluttered performance as her grandson, both narrating the turn of events and participating in them.  And I am very pleased to say — without any bias — that my good buddy Marilyn Bennett is absolutely spectacular as Gladys’s daughter, Ellen, who is pulled in all directions: torn between loyalty to her mother, protection of her family, and the need for her own survival.

And the intimate confines of DCAC and the unfussy directoral work of Christopher Carroll and Dana Edwards make it feel like you’re at an unescapable holiday dinner with your family. 

The show runs through Saturday — it really deserves to be seen!

Primary Urges Part 6: The Penultimate Weekend

October 31, 2007


The Primary Urges cast: (l. to r.) Marilyn Bennett, Michael Bruno, Rachael Goldman, Doug Smith, Mary Jane Bruno, Michael Miyazaki

 Please come see our show!!!

It’s our next to last weekend.  We’ve got a grip on what we’re doing (i.e. I’ve finally learned the choreography for the closer).  And it’s a charming, fun show — intimate space and a terrific band. 

Primary Urges, Warehouse Theater, Friday and Saturday, 8:00pm.  More info click here.

Jill’s Jottings: Primary Urges

October 19, 2007

“Primary” Season Is Here

City in a Swamp Productions gives the presidential primary season an unofficial kick-off with “Primary Urges,” its witty and smart send-up of the all-American election process.

Part “Damn Yankees,” part “Capitol Steps,” the show centers around a meek congressman (Doug Smith) turned presidential candidate and his sly, Mephistophelian political adviser (Michael Bruno). Along the way, we meet a
well-coiffed Hillary Clinton (Rachael Goldman), the candidate’s wary spouse (Marilyn Bennett), a Lola-like temptress (Goldman), two fresh-faced staffers (Mary Jean Bruno and Michael Miyazaki), and an ardent, very ardent, Obama fan (Miyazaki). Heck, the spirit of Luciano Pavarotti (Miyazaki) even gets in on the fun.

Everyone is terrific, especially Goldman, whose excellent Hillary is replete with spot-on mannerisms and loony laugh, and Miyazaki, whose hilarious Pavarotti warbles a Rudy Giuliani-themed “Message From Beyond.”

The original songs by Howard Bennett and Nicholas Zill are fresh and fun, the skillful choreography by Nkemjika Ofodile makes effective use of the small stage, and the live musical accompaniment at the back of the room makes for an especially dynamic theater experience. Special kudos to percussionist Stan Ismart, whose hilarious sound-effects are courtesy of an amazing gizmo he invented himself.

“Primary Urges” is playing at the Warehouse Theater until November 10. Tickets: $25.  For info, visit www.cityinaswamp.com/Home/home.htm or call the Warehouse at 202-783-3933.