Final SummerWorks Round-up

by Lynn on August 19, 2014

in The Passionate Playgoer

Paradise Red

By Bruce Gibbons Fell
Directed by Marilo Nunez
Starring: Carmen Aguirre
Alex Muir Contreras
Rosa Laborde

The program bills the play as a workshop production, and as such, even for SummerWorks, I won’t review it.

It’s an interesting idea to present a play about the horrors of fascist Chile as a melodramatic soap opera. While it’s quite funny to see Carmen Aguirre give a formidable performance of an evil-hard-drinking-eyebrow-lifting-mother-from-hell, I don’t think the juxtaposition of performances that seem like a send-up next to a story of political upheaval actually serves the play.

Perhaps things will change when the show is finished and not a workshop.

Women Who Shout At the Stars

Written and performed by Carolyn Hetherington
Directed by Kathryn MacKay

Carolyn Hetherington has the guts of a bandit. In the middle of her short run of this charming autobiographical play, she had a bout of serious illness but she came back, determined to finish her run. While she had her script in hand, she didn’t really need it.

Hetherington tells us of two strong women who shaped her life: her theatrical and distant mother Gwen, and her loving Cockney nanny, Edie. Both Gwen and Edie were British stock but spent the last part of their lives in Canada. Long after Edie stopped being Hetherington’s nanny she was still close to the family and in the end Hetherington was taking care of her.

The writing is vivid in realizing these two women who shouted at many things especially the stars. It’s a love letter to patience, understanding and love.

The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars

By Van Badham
Directed by Vikki Anderson
Choreography by Monica Dottor.
Starring: Ron Pederson
Daniela Vlaskalic

My last SummerWorks show and what a corker it was. It’s a go-like-the-wind story of Marion, an artist who is emotionally empty and sexually frustrated; Michael a married co-worker she is attracted to and he to her before it all goes bad, and Mark, a randy sommelier at a resort who is angling to make Marion his latest conquest when something startling happens.

The dialogue whizzes back and forth between the characters who either banter with each other or directly to the audience about what is going on and how the emotions keep bubbling to boiling.

Ron Pederson as both Michael and Mark and Daniela Vlaskalic as Marion are compelling, charming and beautifully in tune with one another.

Both Vikki Anderson’s direction and Monica Dottor’s choreography keep the action as lively as the rapid-fire dialogue. The action is sensually realized and sexually charged. A good sweat was had by all. A great ending to a dandy SummerWorks.

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