The foundation of the AA organization, the faltering, early crusade of its founders, and a chronicle of those men, and their wives, all serve as the basis for Sandy Actors Theatre’s current production, Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Despite some mostly forgivable flaws (some owing to the infuriatingly inconsistent script) it is an effective production with well-meaning enthusiasm, some genuine and beautifully articulated moments of truth, and, perhaps most significantly, a powerful awareness of the importance of the show’s (and the organization’s) mission and message.
David Ives’ play Venus in Fur is either an actor’s wildest dream or worst nightmare: it features only two actors, switching fluidly between roles as they perform a play-within-a-play onstage for an uninterrupted ninety minutes. It’s difficult material that could easily go sideways, exploring sado-masochistic relationships and using portions of an 1870 novel. Fortunately, under Alicia Turvin’s strong direction, Twilight Theater Company’s current production is more than up for the challenge.
There is a strong temptation, in opening this review, to define the titular word in the manner of Webster or Oxford. Such a presentation might lend an academic air to the text which follows and would certainly cause speculation as to how the newly disclosed meaning pertained to the themes and general goings-on of the play. It is a temptation, however, which must be resisted, as the word eleemosynary, like the play which bears its name, is not so easily, all-at-once defined.
How to make the perfect 1960’s French Farce cocktail
● Start with one cavalier bachelor
● Add a well-meaning, but overwhelmed Wisconsinite
● Stir in three air hostesses of unequaled verve and passion
● Shake well
● Garnish with a surly, veteran French maid
● Sit back and enjoy
It’s a recipe for hilarious disaster that Vancouver’s Magenta Theater serves up funny and fast, if not always perfectly blended.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
Now, “evil” in this case may be switched for something less melodramatic, like antipathy or simple meanness, and “men” might trade for “young woman” but overall the theme remains the same, and features prominently in Beaverton Civic Theatre’s latest period piece, The Hundred Dresses.
I'll admit, despite a personal connection to a cast member, I went into Twilight Theater Company’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s “Stage Kiss” with some trepidation as I'd read a fair portion of the script and it simply hadn't connected with me, but following last night's viewing I'm utterly thrilled to completely reverse my initial hesitation.