4 shows hit area stages
The Diary of Anne Frank, Cat’s Paw, Big Pants and Botox and The Droswy Chaperone featured
Read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20140212/Entertainment/140219705#ixzz3KGyHrgGn
CantonRep.com entertainment writer
Posted Feb. 12, 2014 @ 4:52 pm
BIG PANTS AND BOTOX
The local theater troupe Gilda Shedstecker Presents! is presenting “Big Pants and Botox” at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Feb. 21 and 22 in the Kathleen Howland Theatre at 324 Cleveland Ave. NW in downtown Canton. Tickets, $10, may be ordered at www.secondapril.org and 330-451-0924.
“Big Pants and Botox” by Louise Roche is a one-woman monologue that was a hit in the U.K. The woman onstage, Barbara, shares alternately comic and heartwarming stories relating to her 50th birthday. Among other things, while preparing for her daughter’s wedding she must convince a detective that she has nothing to do with the recent disappearance of her husband. And she’s experiencing hot flashes.
“I tried jump-starting my metabolism with a session on the Wii. I got so depressed when it told me I was morbidly obese that I had to stop and eat a Snickers bar.”
WHO’S IT FOR?
“See it with your mom, sister or best friend,” said director Doug Tennant. “‘Big Pants’ is unabashedly a chick show destined to be a classic. And macho guys with a mom will like it, too.” The show is recommended for mature audiences.
THE ONE-WOMAN CAST
Tammy Zinkhon Hyde has a theater degree from Mount Union University and has been acting and directing sporadically ever since. “This script was really speaking to me in a lot of ways,” she said. “I became a grandmother in December, my children are all grown. I’ve very much experienced those things that Barbara is feeling … The playwright’s script is amazing. It’s so well-crafted and it really flows. Being able to dive into the text has been a joy.”
DOES THE BRITISH HUMOR TRANSLATE?
“It actually does. These are recognizable human stories,” Hyde said. With permission from the playwright, Hyde and Tennant made some minor tweaks to Americanize the language for clarity. (For instance, the British call sweaters “jumpers.”) “It’s a roller-coaster ride, funny and sad,” Hyde said. “It’s not a standup routine. It’s about very human and real experiences with mother, daughter and husband.”
A student production, “Cat’s-Paw” will be performed Friday through Feb. 23 in the Fine Arts Theatre at Kent State University Stark, with performances at 330-244-3348. Tickets, $10 for adults and $7 for seniors (55 and older) and students (17 and younger), may be ordered at 330-244-3348. For more details about the show, visit www.stark.kent.edu/theatre.
“Cat’s-Paw” by William Mastrosimone (“Extremities”) is a thriller about a radical eco-terrorist called Earth Now obsessed with the pollution of the world’s water supply, who kidnaps an official from the Environmental Protection Agency and grants an interview to an ambitious young television reporter known for investigative environmental issues.
“3,000 people dead. Annually. It’s as if we had 9/11 every year and nobody noticed.”
ABOUT THE TITLE
A cat’s-paw is defined (by Wiktionary) as “a pawn or dupe; somebody who has been unwittingly tricked into acting in another’s interest.”
“There is an act of violence at the end of the play, but it’s mostly intense in terms of the dramatic build,” director Brian Newberg said.
“There’s a boiler-room feel, it unfolds in real time and there’s no intermission. It’s about terrorism, the environment and the media, complicated, thorny issues. That’s the role of theater, to comment on what is going on.”
WHO IT’S FOR
“I would hope the audience would be people interested in good drama, and the world around them,” Newberg said. “This is not the play to bring kids to.”
“This is a play I acted in 25 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it was updated after 9/11,” Newberg said. “I thought the play has stood the test of time. The environmental group has done a suicide bombing and their warehouse is rigged to go off as a weapon of mass destruction. The purity of water is what Earth Now is all about, and with fracking and the massive spill in West Virginia, the issue is clearly hot right now, unfortunately.”
QUOTH THE PLAYWRIGHT
“Ring bell. Bring food. Dog salivate. News is not just reported anymore; it is designed for effect,” Mastrosimone writes in his introductory notes to “Cat’s-Paw.” “The fear we felt when we first saw the event on television can be conjured again and again at will, in video replay, as news and entertainment slowly merge.”
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE
The Carnation City Players will present “The Drowsy Chaperone” Feb. 21 through March 9 at 450 E. Market St. in downtown Alliance. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with 2:30 matinees on March 2 and 9. Tickets, $13 for adults, $11 for ages 17 and younger. To order, call 330-821-8712 or visit www.carnationcityplayers.org
“The Drowsy Chaperone,” billed as “a musical within a comedy,” opened on Broadway in 2006 and won the Tony Awards for best book and best score. The story: When a timid, agoraphobic Broadway fan (known as Man in Chair) plays the cast album from a fictitious 1928 musical titled “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the show comes to elaborate life in his shabby apartment. The characters include gangsters, an oil tycoon, a flapper, a female aviator and a Broadway leading lady.
Mistaken identities and tap dancing ensue, while Man in Chair (played by Greg Emanuelson) — a hater of current-day Broadway musicals — provides comical running commentary.
“Mishaps, mayhem and a gay wedding! Of course, gay wedding has a different meaning now but back then it just meant fun!”
“I think this show is perfect for everyone,” director-choreographer Cassandra Cappocci said. “Older seniors will love it because the show-within-a-show takes place in the ’20s with a little bit of that vaudeville/silent-film feel. Theater people love it because the show is full of singing and dancing and great music. Anyone who loves comedy will love it because the show is full of one-liners.”
A FAVORITE CHARACTER
“Bob Fockler is hilarious as Adolpho,” Cappocci said. “He thinks he’s this big Latin lothario but he’s basically a buffoon. He’s going to steal the show. The cast can’t keep a straight face onstage.”
OVERACTING IS ENCOURAGED
“My poor cast!” Cappocci said. “I’ve been sending them clips of 1920s silent films and vaudeville routines and they look at me like, ‘Are you serious? This is what you want?’ Lots of big eyes and big poses and schtick and overacting.”
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
The Players Guild Theatre will present “The Diary of Anne Frank” Feb. 21 through March 9 at the Cultural Center for the Arts at 1101 Market Ave. N. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets, $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and $19 for ages 17 and younger, may be ordered at 330-453-7617 and www.playersguildtheatre.com.
“The Diary of Anne Frank,” first published in 1947, was written by a young Jewish girl who spent the last years of her life hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic during World War II, before her death in a German concentration camp. The story has been adapted into a Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play and several films.
“When I write I shake off all my cares. But I want to achieve more than that. I want to be useful and bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”
A NEW ADAPTATION
The Players Guild Theatre production is using a revised script by Wendy Kesselman that debuted in 1997 with a Broadway production starring Natalie Portman as Anne. “There were a lot of passages that were not published in the diary because they dealt with Anne’s true feelings about her mom and about growing up into a mature girl,” said Josh Ericsen, the Guild’s artistic director. “Wendy Kesselman took these passages and added them to the script. In my opinion, this is a more personal version of the story from Anne’s point of view.”
THE LEADING LADY
“I definitely feel the weight of history behind Anne Frank, and I really want to portray her as close to how she really was as I can,” said Rebecca Yourke a Malone University sophomore. “Anne was kind of out of her time because she wasn’t the modest little girl she was supposed to be. She was very vocal and she expressed her opinions.” York said her biggest challenge in the role is playing someone so outspoken. “I’m very conservative person. I don’t always speak my mind,” the actress said. “And Anne’s relationship with her mother is not good. She can’t stand to be around her. In real life, my mom is my best friend.” While York, age 20, is playing Anne starting at age 13, “I look extremely, extremely young,” she said.
“It’s extraordinarily relevant,” Erichsen said on the Anne Frank story. “This girl may have lived almost 70 years ago, but her ideas, her thoughts, her hopes and dreams are so similar to what any young girl, or any young person, is dealing with today.”
Four school matinees are scheduled, each one filled to capacity.
Read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20140212/Entertainment/140219705#ixzz3KGzTsqw3