Monday, August 11, 2008

Shakespeare, Witches and Buddy Holly

What do those three things have in common? Well, in addition to all weighing at least as much as a duck, they are all part of Tacoma Little Theatre's newly selected 2008/2009 season.

After some recent staffing changes, TLT has shuffled existing plans for next season around, and settled on a fresh lineup that runs the gamut from classics to Oscar winners to rock and roll biographies.

Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespearian comic banter at its finest. My favorite of the comedies, and a great opportunity for at least two great local actors. (If you can stomach Keanu Reeves Keanu-Reevesing his way through Shakespeare, go find the Kenneth Branagh version of this one, just for Branah and Emma Thompson as Beatrice and Benedict. You'll see what I mean.)

Leading Ladies - Because no season would be complete without at least a little cross-dressing, and they didn't get that out of the way with the Shakespeare, this Ken Ludwig-written (Lend Me A Tenor, among others) comedy will be directed by interim Artistic Director Doug Kerr.

Dear Santa - A Norm Foster Christmas play about which I know basically nothing.

The Crucible - The subject of many a high school English course, Arthur Miller's 1950s play takes a sharp look at McCarthyism through the lens of 1600s witch trials.

On Golden Pond - Perhaps best known for the multiple-Oscar-winning 1981 adaptation, this potential tear-jerker is set to be directed by Tacoma theatre mainstay (and comic book merchant) John Munn.

The Buddy Holly Story - Exactly what it sounds like. A rock and roll romp through the life, music and death of Buddy Holly. Sounds like a crowd-pleaser, as long as you've got the right cast (considering that at least a few of them need to be able to both play and act).

All told, it sounds like it has the potential to be a great return to form for TLT. There is a lot of opportunity for great actors to strut there stuff, which also means that a large portion of the season will rest squarely on their performances, so hopefully the casting sufficiently supports the choice of plays. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the result.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Flower Power, OoSOoM Style

The very first time I played with Out of Sight... Out of Mind was at the W.W. Seymour Conservatory in Wright Park. I had come in as a potential backup musician in light of bassist Goodwin Trent's recent back surgery. As it happened, he was sufficiently recovered by the performance date, and so we quickly shuffled ourselves into a trio, and have (for the most part) been playing that way ever since.

This Sunday (August 10) we will be back at the aforementioned conservatory with more songs (I have slowly but surely integrating myself into their catalog of folky, bluegrassy, country-y and othery covers), more stories, and, God help us, probably more puns.

If you've seen us play before, you know what to expect: a collection of quality covers from guitar guru and main mandolininator Don Izenman; a selection of songs from the custom catalog of Goodwin Trent, complemented by the odd (and I do mean odd) John Prine number; and... whatever the heck it is that I do. Something about strumming and singing, surely.

And if you don't come see us, remember: the conservatory hosts music the second Sunday of dang near every month. I bet you can make it sometime, to see somebody.