Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Nice Theatre Weekend

Coming off a lovely weekend in Cedar Rapids with our daughter and her family.  Thursday night we saw  Sophocles' Oedipus Rex at the Monmouth College Wells Theatre.  It was done with a "film noir" concept that was nicely carried out in the setting and the costumes. The rewriting for modernism muted some of the poetic impact, but the point still came through.  The setting of a city street was done with finesse though I felt that it was so large that it squeezed the actor's playing space into a limited area downstage and thus forced a lot of flattened compositions. Johnny Williams III does a credible job in a leading role that is not normally tackled by a young actor. Overall the production was a noble effort and well worth the time.

We left for Cedar Rapids early Friday morning and were able to get some shopping in before we headed out to see Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Giving Tree Theatre in Marion. This was definitely a nice change of pace from Greek Tragedy.  We were greeted with a nicely detailing living room set complete with a baby grand piano. The company was hobbled a bit by some inconsistent accents and a weak Ruth Condomine, but saved by an energetic Elvira and a magnificent Madam Arcati.  The laughs were slow in the first act, which is full of exposition, and needed a brighter pace. But things picked up when Madam Arcati arrived on the scene.  A number of verbal laugh lines were missed by the actors and director though the physical comedy was mostly on target.  Coward probably needs some cutting for a modern audience.  Still a fine and entertaining evening with a bang up British comedy gem.

Saturday was spent doing some more shopping and watching the Cubs take another pasting. Doesn't look good.  French Toast Sunday morning, Fire House Subs for lunch and then back to Monmouth in time to watch my Packers lose by a point.  Only good thing is that as I write this the Cubs have a small lead in the fifth of their do or die last chance game.

Busy busy  

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