The Source Festival’s third group (Group C) of 10-minute plays features an exciting array of fresh writing styles and acting chops – all seemingly centered around a theme of loss. Whether this was intentional or not, the productions channel this central feeling through both comedy and tragedy. Some work, and some don’t.
Edward Kelley, one of the most famous alchemists during the English Renaissance, is the subject of Richard Byrne’s play Burn Your Bookes. What the Taffety Punk Theatre Company contributes are offbeat touches to what would normally classify as your typical period piece.
Director Serge Seiden’s refinement of the play’s claustrophobic emotions and its fidget-worthy strings of dialogue will leave some audiences dumbstruck by its honesty.
The national touring production of Fiddler on the Roof, under Sammy Dallas Bayes’ direction, proves to be quite run-of-the-mill. There is still the galloping, finger-snapping rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man”, and the silly yet sincere satire of the small Jewish village of Anatevka. And keeping with tradition – pun intended –
1959. In their idyllic suburban house on the outskirts of Chicago, Beverly is seen busily packing her family’s goods for the upcoming move. Her austere husband Russ lounges in his recliner, feet propped on a cardboard box as he digs into a container of ice cream.
Lighting designer Andrew Griffin’s use of shadows and sepia-toned lights give the space the feel of a William Wyler thriller, and along with the Sunset Blvd theatrics of its cast, make Dove and Goetschius’ production quite a success.
When they say “long form” improv, boy, they really mean it. Such was New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade, whose touring company makes its second stint of weekend performances (they are here until March 27th) at Sidney Harman Hall, co-produced by UCB and DCComedy.org.