|2/04/2013 - Little Shop of Horrors at Stage Door Inc.|
|19/02/2013 - Theatre Suburbia Presents A TOUCH OF DANGER by Francis Durbridge|
|12/02/2013 - Catalonia Cantata at Unity Theatre|
|10/02/2013 - Stages Rep presents The Language Archive|
|10/02/2013 - Misery at Stage Door Inc.|
Posted: 2006/4/10 17:02 Updated: 2006/4/10 17:02
Listen to this!
From: Houston, TX
Re: The Dead Guy Comes to Life at Stages
Yesterday afternoon, I saw Eric Coble's THE DEAD GUY at Stages Theatre, and I must say - this one is another masterpiece in my opinion. I loved BRIGHT IDEAS two years ago, and I was so excited to see another work by this ingenious playwright.
The premise, as described up above, is -- of course -- unusual, but it works. Reality shows is the craze of television nowadays, and I think Coble has a made a very interesting commentary with this show.
The ensemble of actors played great off of each other.
Dwight Clark's portrayal of Eldon was a great study in character arcs - going from a slacker loser who wouldn't take responsibility for anything to a standup guy trying to make a difference with the last few days of his life.
Elena Coates' Gina brought out the desperation of a television producer/host trying to make that one big hit for reality shows after two of her past shows tanked on television with the ratings. She was determined to make this happen - to make sure her name went down in history with this show. There was one turning point in the play where she might have regretted doing this reality show (at least that's what I got out of it) - it was a tender moment between her and a television set. Could she let this show go-on or did the "contract" have to be honored? Great personality flip between Gina on and off camera with the fake British accent for Gina.
Michael Mullins' Dougie was the cameraman that followed Eldon around filming his every move, well, except parts of his visit to Disneyland (ha, ha). Michael had a dual role of acting and making sure he "framed" the shot well for the overhead television screens. Great supporting character.
Adrienne Kipp's main role in the production is Roberta, Eldon's mom. She goes from hating the idea of this reality show to profiting on it. And Coble and Kipp hit the nail on the coffin with this character. Reality shows can make people do strange things for $$$ and Roberta is a prime example of this. Her other characters were great as well.
Brandon Peters' main role was Virgil, Eldon's brother. Loved his reaction when Roberta told Eldon that he was the son she wished she had, or ever had, or something. It was like - "Hey, I'm your son too" kind of look - awesome play. Great supporting character in the security guard too at Disneyland.
Last, but not least is Joanne Bonasso. First and foremost, loved her in BABY - she was freakin' awesome!!!! I meant to tell you that after that show on Sunday at the talkback, but I didn't. But you have this amazing voice, and put together such a great character in that musical. Kudos to you!!!! As for THE DEAD GUY, Chrissy - you played some great emotion there. From betrayal at the restaurant and rage at Eldon by attacking him with the menu, and you had some great comic timing about the roll during the last scene. You played this small-town girl uneasy with the camera in her face wonderfully. The other character - the doctor - she was take-charge, in control kind of gal who didn't want her hospital taken over from a bunch of reality show goons.
Kipp and Joanne also play some "hookers" at Disneyland - go see that show just to see that scene - awesome.
Director Kenn McLaughlin did the ingenious idea of having television screens up above to show us parts of the reality show - the testimonals, etc. He did wonders in that space, and everything flowed beautifully.
After the show - they had a talkback with the director, cast, and the playwright...Got a couple of questions answered by the playwright and that was awesome (for those that were there - I asked about which reality show inspired him to write this or threw him over the edge, what's next for the playwright, and what's his fascination with Disney). We brought up some great points about reality shows. Reality shows fascinates and entertains us, but we need our sitcoms, dramas back on TV and that reality shows have taken over the world and they have gone to extremes before.
Such an awesome job by a great, great cast and crew!!!
Another kudo for Eric Coble, Kenn, and the cast of the show and for STAGES.
Can't wait for the next Eric Coble show at Stages.
P.S. Trying to get my theatre to do BRIGHT IDEAS...