Anyone who doesn’t remember the 50’s is missing a fantastic time of innocence and discovery, charm and simple rebellion. Any child of the 60’s still sings the fifties music in the shower. Profound apologies forever for that rendition of “Chances Are” to Johnny Mathis.
The clothes were awful; yet dressing retro now is more fun with a poodle skirt and a pony tail. Michael James as costumer will see to that for “Forever Plaid” opening the Pollard Theatre 26th Season.
“Forever Plaid’ revisits those days with the music of a young fictional boy band that is reminiscent of every one we remember. Spanky, Jinx, Smudge and Frankie showcase the music of Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, The Four Lads and The Ames Brothers with lots of great tunes such as “Catch a Falling Star”
and “Sixteen Tons” to name just a few.
Jake DeTommaso, Clayton Blair, Jared Blount and Doug Rankin are the featured players in “Forever Plaid” and Todd Malicoate as Musical Director and Accompanist ensures that these four young men will recreate that 50’s loving feeling.
According to Director and Choreographer, Timothy Stewart, ‘This show is such a great blend of charm and silliness, nostalgia and family; it’s exactly the kind of show I love to do and, in addition to being really fun and funny, it evokes such warm feelings. It’s the perfect escape.’ And with Stewart at the helm after his great success in “Beehive” and also “Legally Blonde”, not to mention “Smokey Joe’s Café”, Stewart will have another hit.
Tickets for “Forever Plaid” are only $25.00. Senior, military and student discounts as well as rush tickets are available. Performances are August 245h – September 15, 2012, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm., Thursdays (September 6th and 13th) at 8 pm., and Sundays (September 2nd and 9th) at 2 pm. Tickets are available online at www.thepollard.org. by phone at 405-282-2800 or at the Pollard Theatre box office at 120 W Harrison Ave. Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044. It’s time for a little fun!
OKC IMPROV CONTINUES AUGUST SHOWS & CLASSES
OKC Improv, Oklahoma’s premiere showcase for the best local and regional improvisational comedy and theater, will be continuing a five-week run of shows at Reduxion’s Broadway Theatre (1613 N Broadway) every Saturday at 8pm and 10pm through August. Tickets are $12 each. ($6 for improvisers and improv students.) Admission is FREE if you’re celebrating your birthday with us! Many shows sell out so reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made online at www.okcimprov.com.
August 18 – 8 pm show – The Laughing Stocks, Mentalist William Rader, Villain: The Musical
10 pm show – One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State, As We Know It, Off Book
The 8 pm show begins with the short-form comedy of The Laughing Stocks followed by Mentalist William Rader. Utilizing audience participants, Rader will demonstrate amazing feats of deduction, influence, and mind reading throughout the performance. Hold a thought in your mind and he will know it! Ask him a personal question about yourself or your future and he will answer it! Rader’s show is designed to include and engage every member of the audience even if you never set foot on stage. With each successive demonstration of his abilities, you will believe that the impossible is in fact possible. The final group, Villain: The Musical is a completely improvised 30minute musical in the style of the Broadway hit “Wicked” and internet sensation “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” where the most interesting character, the bad guy, is always the focus of the story! Villain has gone on to be one of Oklahoma’s most popular troupes, drawing large crowds at their ongoing regular performances at OKC Improv. They have also performed as part of Austin’s Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Colorado Improv Festival, Improv Festival Oklahoma and The Big Sexy Weekend of Improv in Dallas.
The 10 pm show opens with the politically themed long form of One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State. The debut performances of As We Know It and Off Book close out the late show.
OKC Improv was founded in 2009 to help facilitate the establishing of a community of performers and fans build around the art of improvisational comedy and theater, also known simply as improv.
Improv is a form of live performance in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment, often taking a suggestion from the audience for inspiration. Improv is unique in that if you see a performance, that’s it… there will never be another show exactly like it ever done again. Improv is different every time.
Improvised shows can differ between different improv troupes, depending on their training, their goals, and their style. Sometimes improv is purely comedy-based, while other times it can be a mix of both comedy and drama, or just drama. Like scripted theatre – without the script, with the actors acting, directing themselves, writing the plot, and interacting with each other all at the same time without previous planning. Quick, rule based games are known as Short Form Improv while Long Form covers extended structures that might focus on narrative storytelling, character study, or even more abstract explorations of concepts and themes.
For tickets and more information, please visit okcimprov.com.
Sue Ellen Reiman
Due to an error on the part of critic: Elizabeth Hurd, the actor portraying Thor was incorrectly identified in this review. Please note that the actor mentioned should be Fulmer and not Tabor. My profound apologies to both of them.
Pollard Theatre Company continues the 24th Seasons of Laughter with Larry Shue’s “he Nerd.” This is one of two modern farcical comedies written by Mr. Shue whose untimely death in 1985 prevented further development as a playwright.
The cast stars Robert Matson as Rick Steadman, whose character is not only rather nerdy, but extremely annoying. Steadman is on vacation from his job as an inspector in a chalk factory when he descends upon Willum Cubbert (Craig Pruitt) and becomes the nightmare uninvited guest crashing a birthday dinner party (Act 1) and then moving in with the host indefinitely (Act 2). His job is appropriate as he is as annoying as scratchy chalk screaming on a blackboard. Rick Steadman gets away with this behaviour because he saved the unconscious Willum Cubbert in Viet Nam. So although they are meeting for the first time the debt should be paid.
The role of Steadman is clearly tailor made for Robert Matson. Rick must be so unbelievably annoying to his reluctant host and friends that getting rid of him is essential to sanity. Yet Matson must walk the line between achieving this standard without irritating the audience to the extent that the play is difficult to watch. Matson achieves this, but just barely. This production is well received by an audience who loves sophomoric humor. Otherwise the interpretation may seem contrived.
The performances of Pruitt, Crystal Ecker as girlfriend Tansy, James A. Hughes as Warnock Waldgrave, and Dana Poulson as Celia Waldgrave are outstanding. Those who are not fans of this type of one-dimensional farce can still appreciate fully the humor and talent these three characters portray. However, the performance of Timothy Stewart as friend and critic Axel Hammond is beyond outstanding. Stewart’s superb timing and delivery allow him to bring universality to the humor transcending limitations presented by the premise in the script. Some natural prejudice may occur from critics who empathize with the character, yet on reviewing the written script, it does seem as if the best lines are written for Hammond. Stewart is definitely up to the task!
The role of Thor Waldgrave, the mischievous son of Cubbert’s boss and his wife is played alternately by Ryne Tabor and Alex Fulmer. Opening night performance (Cast A: Tabor) indicates that some work needs to be done with Tabor. His performance is weak, yet he appears to have the same abilities that child actors at the Pollard usually display.
Director Doobie Potter handles the staging very well, and overall the show is well presented. The set design by James A. Hughes is visually challenging as it seems that the furniture is a little low for the sightlines. Potter compensates well, however a raised stage or even simply a slightly taller coffee table and higher seating on the couch would be a bit more comfortable for the audience seated in the middle rows and back.
Now that opening night jitters are behind, Potter would do well to spend just a little more time with the child actors, and Matson should revisit the final scene. Greater contrast in the last few minutes of this production could do much to validate the previous 2 hours. “The Nerd” serves simply to entertain and this production is a great choice for lovers of farce for the sake of farce.
“The Nerd” is presented through March 5, 2011 at the Pollard Theatre Company in historic downtown Guthrie. Reservations and information are available at www.thepollard.org or at the box office, 405.282.2800.
Improvisation is both a skill and a gift. Like all the arts, the mastered skills reveal the gift and both are essential to achieve greatness.
Jeff Burleson, Tim Huckeby, Jodi Nestander, Rory Littleton, Noah Quisenberry, Buck Vrazel and Clint Vrazel are fine actors with exceptional talent. Coming together in “OKC Improv All-Stars” this group thinks on their feet. They have mastered the skill revealing their gift.
“Two’s Company” showcases Nestander along with Raychel Winstead. Shining talent, active and reactive, “Two’s Company” displays wonderful technique and dedication.
Ann-Lisette Caveny, Tiffany Elam, Shane McClure, Zak Miller, Sue Ellen Reiman, Aaron Ross and Brenda Williams join Littleton and Burleson for “Everybody and Their Dog”. The overwhelming talent of this group reveals superb timing, finely honed skills and sheer guts. Something not everybody or their dog could do—or can they?
Would these skills be valuable without the talent? Oh yes, just as valuable, perhaps just not quite so funny. OKC Improv maintains a very high standard with all troupes. Talent, skill & guts working together to provide hysterically funny one-liners, comebacks and exit lines. When the laughter subsides, the wit remains forever.
Those of us, most of us, surviving by our wits alone, may realize these skills can be married to gifts other than acting. Come see for yourself – laughter may not only be the best medicine but the best teacher as well.