Now that the conference is over, I can get back to regular activities… and that includes theatre. Last night, we went to see the Nobel Middle School winter production, “Be Careful What You Wish For…: A Series of Folktales from Around the World”. If you’re wondering why we went (after all, nsshere graduated last year), we went because she remained involved in this production as a lighting consultant and overall “stalker”.
The show wove together six folktales (The Near-Sighted Gardner, The Stonecutter, The Fisherman and his Wife, The Woodcutter and his wife, The Stone, and Too Much Noise) under the guise of examining the cases of five “wish-givers”, their apprentices, and their supervisors. All of the stories had the common theme of the wishes eventually being reversed, and the wisher being back to where they were to start, with a little additional experiential wisdom. In general, the stories worked well, and the additional glue also worked. There were some cute references to past Nobel MS productions. In some cases, there was a little too-much teen behavior humor (but that’s to be expected), but many jokes worked well for the adults as for the kids.
I’m not going to list the entire cast, as this was a large cast involving all the Play Production students. I do want to single out a few notable folks. I was most impressed with Henry Rosen (Horst, The Woodcutter and his Wife). I’ve seen Henry grow in ability over the years–he gave a clearly superior performance, speaking and projecting well, acting well, and interacting well. Nicole Zweig as his wife, Seiglinde, also has grown in her performance ability, and worked well with Henry. In the story The Stone, I was impressed with Camille Martellaro as Madronna–she is another that has continued to get stronger–she wowed us in both productions last year, and has continued to improve. Lucas Bashaar in the same story also showed some good dancing skills. I also enjoyed the kids who made up the animal ensemble in Too Much Noise, as well as Christian Lippe as the Whistler. Elliot Aronson was also strong as Herschel in the same story. All of the actors were having fun and enjoying the show, which is a good thing to see.
Turning to the technical: The sound situation in the Nobel MPR has improved, although they had the gain too high in the first act. The lighting was better (thanks to nsshere), but could still stand some improvement. Specifically, they should use what they have better: individually control the lights on the side, and see how they can improve the stage lights. nsshere has some specific recommendations I hope they follow.
As for us, what’s next on the theatre calendar. Our last scheduled show for 2008 is on Saturday December 20th, when we’ll be seeing “The Life” at the Steller Adler Theatre. Turning to 2009, January 17th brings “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” at Cabrillo Music Theatre. The next few weeks are still to be ticketed, but my thinking as as follows: “Cabaret” by the Aerospace Players (Jan 30-Feb 7) on the Jan 31 W/E; “Minsky’s at the Ahmanson (Jan 21 – Mar 1) on the Feb 7 W/E; “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Rep East (Jan 23 – Feb 21) on the Feb 14 W/E. February 21 brings “Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Musical” at the Pasadena Playhouse. Lastly, sometime in March will be “Little Shop of Horrors” at Van Nuys High School. I’m sure more will join the 1Q09 list as I peruse Goldstar Events, a wonderful way to find half-price tickets.