Saturday, September 30, 2006

opening-night review of *Singin' in the Rain*

at Spokane Civic Theatre through Oct. 29

It’s the finest movie musical of all time. Why should any theater, much less a nonprofessional theater, take on the challenge of attempting to produce *Singin’ in the Rain*? We’ve all got dreams of Gene Kelly (wet) and Donald O’Connor (wacky) imprinted in our collective memory. Going up against near-perfection: It’s a losing proposition.
Isn’t it? No. Three reasons: Cameron Lewis throwing around his rubber limbs in “Make ‘em Laugh.” Alyssa Calder-Day stepping up to the mike and selling the romance of “You Are My Lucky Star.” Lewis and Calder-Day joining Andrew Ware Lewis in the tap-leap-glide of “Good Morning” — a threesome dancing their hearts out, flopping joyously onto a couch, looking like they were actually having fun up there.
Live theater has the element of risk that make its triumphs that much more impressive: The singer who has to hit that note right now; the three people tapping in sync, taking it to the limit but flirting with pratfalls; the choreographed comic stunt that’s gotta be right and gotta be now. Back in 1951, they took six months (and lots of multiple takes) to film Singin’ in the Rain. Not only did they have a safety net, they lacked the immediacy of an audience chuckling, gasping, applauding.
So the attempt is worth it; unfortunately, the result, in Kathie Doyle-Lipe’s production of the musical’s stage version, is uneven. Among this show’s lead actors, technical elements and individual numbers, there are both triumphs and mediocrities.
But more triumphs. Foremost among them: Cameron Lewis in the Donald O’Connor role of the goofy sidekick, Cosmo Brown. Lewis — he’s Pee-Wee Herman with a deep voice and rubber limbs — has mastered the arch remark served with a side of sarcasm and a goofy dance kick. His version of “Make ‘em Laugh” won’t make anybody forget Donald O’Connor — but who could? Lewis dons a Viking helmet, spills out of a cart, splits a seam or two, performs a frantic Russian dance, throws himself around like a rag doll, loses a fight with a dummy, pirouettes in and out of control, convinces us that one of his legs has a mind of its own, and … it’s exhausting just watching him. Combine all that with tapping and singing, smirks and one-liners, and you’ve got the evening’s best performance.
Calder-Day invested “You Are My Lucky Star” with genuine feeling, and her dancing, especially in “Good Morning,” is delightful. She’s capable of projecting that girl-next-door quality.
Her efforts are accompanied by this show’s many other delights. Dougie Dawson combines cigar-chomping, skittery feet and a hunched-over, side-mouth cackles to create a memorable portrait of the dim-wit studio head. Doyle-Lipe keeps the stage busy with extras. In a scene involving multiple takes with a prickly film star, Tom Heppler adds a note of comic exasperation as the director. Susan Berger and Jan Wanless do their usual great job with costumes, especially at the high end of the elegance scale: an ice cream suit for the movie heartthrob, various mink stoles, a mustard-yellow, sequined gown for the dumb-blonde actress. And in a number called “You Were Meant for Me” which calls for the hero to dazzle his girl with all the special effects on a movie set, technical director Peter Hardie pulls off spotlights, mist and moonlight.
The buzz on this show was the multimedia angle, that Hardie was going to pull off, not only multiple sets and the wherewithal for big tap numbers, but even old-timey motion pictures and actual rain right there on the Civic’s Main Stage.
The movies are successful; the rain, less so. Here’s why: The movies, because they’re spoofs of all the ham acting in the old silent films, are amusing because they call attention to their own limitations. The rain, trying hard to impress us, undermines the musical number it’s supposed to support. In a movie, we expect rain — that’s what studios do. But in a live production, it’s an event. Which is the problem: the rain itself becomes the focus. The Gene Kelly character doesn’t care about getting wet because he just left his girl and he’s falling in love. It’s an exuberant, devil-may-care love song.
But the rain spatters hard, and Ware Lewis stains to be heard; pretty soon, the title song becomes a stunt to be gotten through instead of a love song to be savored.
In Ware Lewis’ defense, it takes courage just to get up and swing around that lamppost (and not only because, in this production, it’s a scary-wobbly lamppost): He’s imitating an icon of American cinema. But they sacrificed emotion to logistics on this one, folks: How it got done took precedence over the scene’s emotional substance.
The silent-film spoofs, in contrast, were marvelous: hammy expressions, jerky swordfights inside our own Masonic Temple, and success at the complicated business of roughening up the footage when the plot calls for unsynched sound and other technical glitches. In the film sequences, the comedy served the play: Don and Lina really do look silly up there acting silently in a world that’s gone talkie.
*Singin’ in the Rain* isn’t remembered for the strength of its plot (aside, perhaps, from the way the Lina’s awful voice is handled as a device). The plot — a love triangle-plus-goofy-sidekick arrangement set just when the talkies were taking over from silent movies — is literally a pastiche, thrown together as a means of patching together a bunch of songs taken from any number of Depression-era musicals.
*Singin’*, moreover, presents large swaths of unmemorable singin’: Of the dozen songs listed the program, I don’t remember three of them. At all. And I’m writing this an hour after the show ended, and I took notes.
There are other problems as well. A second-act recording-studio sequence (dubbing over Lina’s awful voice with Kathy’s pleasant one) seem belabored. A half-century ago, in the movie, the details of how dubbing is accomplished may have seemed novel; today, they’re common knowledge.
With all the uncooperative props and flown-in effects that seemed to have minds of their own in this show — and with all the scuffling-about onstage and some lengthy set changes — it became evident that a musical of this magnitude was taxing the limits of what the Civic is capable of doing. The seams showed.
As Lina Lamont, the silent-film star with a voice … not fit for talkies, Corinne Logarbo isn’t nearly squeaky enough at her first vocal entrance. Logarbo comes into her own in the second act’s “What’s Wrong With Me?” — flaunting her charms flirtatiously and in general taking her characterization nearly over the top. It’s a climb she should have made in the first act. When the shock of Lina’s screech-voice and sheer stupidity needs to be felt most, Logarbo didn’t bring enough energy to the role.
As Don Lockwood (the Gene Kelly role), Ware Lewis generally dances better than he sings, and sings better than he acts. In the tap duets and trios, it’s Ware Lewis that your eyes go to: His feet glide, his arms undulate, he’s under control and a pleasure to watch. He can deliver a convincing love song, even if his voice faltered in the lower register during the reprise of “You Were Meant for Me.” During the silliness of “Moses Supposes,” however, Ware Lewis’ face took on a blank affect — a kind of pasted-on smile perched atop a lithe and graceful dancer’s body. His gee-whiz reception of the first mention of the over-dubbing idea was flat — where his two companions seemed excited by the idea, Ware Lewis overdid the straight-man routines.
With up-and-down moments like those, the leading quartet of actor-singer-dancers in this show was made seriously uneven. Now, “uneven” is an easy word to throw around: Nearly every show has strong points and weaknesses. But the disparities are glaring here. On the one hand, things like Ware Lewis’ tap-dancing, Lewis’ physical comedy, Calder-Day’s lyrical tone were all standouts. On the other hand, the flatness of some of the joke-deliveries, along with the flaccidness of the big tap numbers and the colored-umbrellas finale, were eye-rollingly bad.
The Civic’s *Singin’ in the Rain* is an uneven show.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Singin' in the Rain photos

Having a technical problem, probably resolved next week. Sorry. But opening night is tomorrow night!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Young Native Playwrights at MAC, Oct. 14

Saturday, Oct. 14, from 3-5 pm, Day-Ellis Gallery, MAC, 2316 W. First Ave.
Several young playwrights from the Coeur d’Alene Tribal School (grades 6-8) were paired with a mentor actor or writer during the Young Native Playwrights Program, a series of intensive playwriting workshops, to write and produce plays which are then rehearsed and performed by professional actors. The presentation is included in museum admission, $7; free to MAC members.

opening-night review of *The Shape of Things* (filed late)

at Actors Rep, through Oct. 8

In a play about the human body, its contortions and refashionings, Michael Weaver has directed his actors with a strong eye toward how they move through space. Couples flirt around picnic tables, roll around and argue in bed, confront each other in front of works of art — and all the time, Weaver is making sure that the vulnerabilities and aggressions are maintained.

The soul of this show, Evelyn, lacks a soul. Julie M. Zimmer starts out the evening with girlish aggressiveness; you can never quite figure out if Evelyn’s eyes are flickering in flirtation or deceit. Beautiful and intriguing, she’s the spirit of animosity decked out in pigtails. But Zimmer’s performance, while strong, is uneven: A crucial late monologue, with Evelyn at her most supremely confident, felt under-rehearsed and tentative.

People whose affection comes with strings attached are often blinded by their own egotism. LaBute is cautioning us about men who terrorize their girlfriends, about women who impose a few boyfriend-alterations: They look at others and see their own reflections. Evelyn’s cagey and brilliant, but she couldn’t catch a literary allusion if somebody handed her Desdemona’s handkerchief. In LaBute’s English-major world, that’s shorthand for “callous, unfeeling bitch.” Zimmer finds glimmers of humanity in some of the concluding scenes, however, triumphing over the largely misogynistic characterization that the playwright framed her with.

Despite all the moral ugliness, it’s surprising how funny this play is in performance. A play about distrust, jealousy and manipulation isn’t likely to be soothing. And more than most contemporary plays, *The Shape of Things* will have you shifting uncomfortably and looking sideways to check how others are reacting. The shifts from violence to comedy are sudden: At one point, Evelyn is rolling around in satin sheets with her lover, chatting about how the only way to help Phil would be to stick a knife through his throat. Adam’s rejoinder — “I’m glad I don’t have a pet rabbit or anything right now” — got nervous giggles.

Evan Hernandez at first plays Adam, appropriately, as a bit of a nerd: fists on hips, exasperated by the perkiness of this strange artiste. Hernandez, like his character, can surprise with sudden wisecracks and self-assertions: He’s not simply a pushover. It’s a winning performance, even if the tragic moments in Adam’s story-arc were less convincing.


For comments on the uncomfortableness of LaBute's themes, on John Hofland's set, and on the two supporting actors, pick up a copy of *The Inlander* this Thursday, Sept. 28.

Monday, September 25, 2006

cast for *Isn't It Romantic* at Civic Studio

by Wendy Wasserstein
directed by Todd Jasmin
Oct. 20-Nov. 11
Tickets: $14
Call: 325-2507

Janie and Harriet are two single, successful, and independent women living in New York. So what’s the problem? Nothing, other than men and their mothers.

Rebecca McNeil as Janie Blumberg
Juli Wellman as Harriet Cornwall
Mark Hodgson as Marty Sterling
Evelyn Renshaw as Tasha Blumberg
J.P. O’Shaughnessy as Simon Blumberg
Jackie Davis as Lillian Cornwall
Dave Rideout as Paul Stuart
Jhon Goodwin as Vladmir

Sunday, September 24, 2006

sorry, no post tonight

Look for a review of "The Shape of Things" tomorrow. Bobo's sleepy, and needs more time to think about what he thinks.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Actors Rep schedule shuffled

*Moonlight and Magnolias,* Ron Hutchinson's comedy about the frenzied rewriting of the script of *Gone With the Wind,* has been moved up from its originally scheduled slot next April to become ARt's third production this season (opening Nov. 24). Patty Duke will star in the April production (title yet unannounced, with rights pending).
Apparently Spokane will have to wait until another winter to see Reed McColm's set-in-Spokane-in-the-winter comedy, *Together Again for the First Time.*

Thursday, September 21, 2006

auditions for Ignite's *Harvey*

Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 2-3, at 7 pm
Cajun Room of the Rendezvous Event Facility, 1003 E. Trent Ave. (just east of Hamilton St.)
Call Rebecca Cook: 993-6540
6M, 6W (to appear 18 and older)
Watch the 1950 Jimmy Stewart movie about an amiable drunk who's sure that he's accompanied everywhere by an invisible 6-foot rabbit. Mary Chase won a Pulitzer for this play in 1945.
Performances: Nov. 10-12, 15-18

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

plug for *Chicago*

It runs through Sunday at the Opera ... INB Center, and it's a good show.
The orchestra's in view throughout (locals Gary Edighoffer on sax, Larry Jess on trumpet); there's no scenery to speak of.
All the sexy Fosse choreography. Still amazing to me how this show gets you to identify so thoroughly with murderers. Sure, it's in a comic mode, but the fact that the audience goes awwww when poor Amos Hart (Roxie's doofus hubbie) asks pardon for taking up so much of our time -- we sympathize with people who can't get noticed, can't get in the spotlight, more than we tend to criticize people who will do anything to get on the front page.
But you know, as good as Ron Orbach is in this show and John C. Reilly was in the movie, the Amos Hart that I remember is Frank Jewett's at CdA Summer Theatre a couple of years back: impossibly leaning, impossibly high notes, schlumping about like an inconspicuous Cellophane Man. Remarkable.
A couple of old pros in the two central roles: Terra C. MacLeod as Velma and Michelle DeJean as Roxie. More onstage than at the cinema, you feel how they have to carry this show.
Carol Woods belts it as Mama Morton in "When You're Good to Mama."
I gotta say, the women in the chorus were eye candy (I enjoyed my leering from Row J), but the men were the really impressive dancers: limber, timing more precise, brought more characterization to their individual "characters." That said, I still think "Cell Block Tango" is one of the great musical numbers: sexy, outrageous, predictable enough in its repetition that viewers can get the hang of it and wonder what the punch line (i.e., murder method) will be with this next chick, but also rhythmic and fun.
There's more of a sense of theatricality (duh) in the theater, as opposed to the movie. The movie script finally got written because they figured out how to film the vaudeville sequences (as Roxie's imagings). But the theater doesn't have those hurdles. What seemed outrageous in 1975 seems less so now - still, there's something instructive in seeing that jury-rigging, coached witnesses, trying cases in the press, the public's desire for sensationalism over substance -- we haven't changed since the '20s.
The lack of scenery, of course, forces concentration on the singing and dancing and acting. You might think that would seem like a cheat in a big house, but it didn't feel that way, and I didn't overhear or sense any feeling that this ought to be a fully produced, lavish show with big, showy sets. Keeps it psychological and indeed moral. Why DO we care more about Suri and Lindsay's partying and Paris' drinking than we do about Iraq or Iran or global warming?

courageous Scarlett

Marilyn Langbehn, formerly of the Civic, writes to say that Scarlett Hepworth is going on tonight in the title role of *Mother Courage* at California's Berkeley Rep.
Can't just drop everything and go, but break a leg, Scarlett! Didn't what's-her-name play that same role in Central Park this summer? You know ... oh, you know, famous actress, funny last name, Stripe or Sleep, something like that. I think she's been nominated for an Oscar a few times?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

auditions for *You Can't Take It With You* at SFCC

Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 25-26, from 1-4 pm, in SFCC's Spartan Theatre, Bldg. 5, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr.
Prepare a one-minute comedic monologue — and this isn't just for students at the Falls; members of the community are encouraged to audition.
Rehearsals will be Mon-Tues and Thurs-Fri from 1-4 pm.
Production dates: Nov. 2-5 and 9-12
directed by William Marlowe; call 533-3592

Monday, September 18, 2006

*The Country Wife* at UI, Oct. 4-8

William Wycherley's 1671 comedy, directed by Paul Kalina
Univ. of Idaho's Kiva Theater, Moscow, Idaho
Wed.-Sat., Oct. 4-7, at 7:30 pm; Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 pm
Tickets: $10; $8, seniors; $5, students, faculty and staff

Jack Horner spreads the rumor that he's a eunuch so that foolish, elderly husbands like Mr. Pinchwife will allow Horner to hang out with pretty young things like Pinchwife's country-bred, naive little wifey, Margery.

Kalina, a professional clown, has studied theater design with the likes of Ming Cho Lee. But with only a $300 production budget, what to do for all those opulent Restoration costumes and furnishings? Improvise: Make chandeliers out of plumbing pipes and silverware; combine a Restoration bodice with bags for sleeves and old sweat pants for bloomers. The court of Charles II was full of shining surfaces and corruption underneath — maybe Kalina is just rationalizing when he claims that that's what his design scheme is supposed to highlight, but he may be onto something.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

opening-weekend review of *Bus Stop*

at Interplayers through Oct. 1

In the unlikely setting of an all-night diner in Kansas, *Bus Stop* presents a dark night of the soul.

And in a production laced with comedy, with searing moments of loneliness — and with some weaknesses — Interplayers is putting on a show that takes mundane materials and weaves them into an examination of why it is we think we deserve love, and how poor we are at extending it.

Until well into the wee hours, William Inge’s classic play dissects three couples: the impetuous young’uns, a cowboy and a nightclub singer; a pair of working-class sexagenarians; and an old lecher who has his eyes all over an unsuspecting teenage girl. Everybody in this diner is placing an order for a main dish of sex with a side order of love and affection. Couples grow apart and come back together; some decide to shoot for the moon; others determine that parting is best. A couple of outsiders — a sheriff and a laconic sidekick — stand outside the love-play but reinforce Inge’s insistence on our shared loneliness. A few hours in a snowstorm, and people’s lives change forever: It’s Chekhov on the prairie.

Director Scott Alan Smith’s ensemble is mostly strong, and most of the moments of loneliness and hope are delineated. Jack Bannon delivers a truly exceptional and multi-faceted performance as an alcoholic former English professor who’s full of lust for young girls and loathing for himself. Damon Abdallah, with his eyes downcast and his gruff voice deepened, rides his portrayal of a leathery old cowboy all the way to the play’s chief symbol of genuine but unfulfilled love. Kelly Eviston-Quinnett, her angular limbs flailing about with eagerness for a good man and her shoulders scrunched with the weight of all the disappointing ones she’s known, pulls off a blonde-hick characterization that teeters on the edge of stereotype without going over.

But some misdirection, some mugging for laughs, and a central cowboy character who’s just too tame undercut an otherwise strong production of William Inge’s classic play.

As Bo, the impetuous cowboy who has lassoed Cherie the singer into a bus-trip honeymoon and abduction, Jonathan Rau needs to command the stage from his first entrance. Rau simply doesn’t have enough exuberance in the part.

Bo’s an open wound, full of needs, full of himself, full of the assumption that other people will do his bidding and learn to like it. But with his shifty eyes, tentative steps and sometimes flat delivery, Rau doesn’t present any naked or untutored desire. By the time he angrily kicks down a chair, it’s too late in the play to convince us that Bo’s capable of dangerous outbursts. The shuffling feet, the sideways glances searching for approval — these gestures serve Rau well in the final reconciliation scene. Inge has also written some complexity into his prairie firecracker: When it comes to romance, Bo turns out to be an idealist. Rau has a lot to work with in the role, in other words, but he doesn’t deliver much.

Set designer Desma Murphy has created a believable refuge from the blizzard outside. The tables in Grace’s Diner may be mismatched and dirt may be ground into the cracks in the checkerboard floor, but the ketchup bottles on the counter are lined up just so, and the donuts under the glass dome are only a day or two old, no more. It’d be a clean and well-lighted place — suitable for examining the characters’ inmost souls — if only it were better lit.

Director Smith, unfortunately, has guided light designer Brian Ritter into the pitfall of repeated, distracting light changes, as if we’re not capable of switching our focus from the couple talking up front back to those people whispering behind the counter. In an otherwise realistic play, the light shifts call way too much attention themselves.

As the older waitress and owner of this joint, Ellen Travolta catches Grace’s comedy but fumbles the sadness. Travolta’s good at gag lines, and she brightens endearingly when her special guy, a round-bellied bus driver, comes lumbering into the diner. But sometimes the timing's off; sometimes the loneliness isn't apparent. Less girlishness for the easy laughs — it must be tempting, because playgoers will titter over the idea that a woman in her 60s might still want to have sex — and more inwardness would've rounded both the characterization and the play's assertion that we're all driven to extremes sometimes in our loneliness-avoidance.

Saturday night’s audience loved what they had witnessed, and it’s certainly true that *Bus Stop,* in performance, can be both quite funny and quite sobering. The final dual image of loneliness felt like a classic moment in American drama embodied, and one that everybody ought to see.

There’s a lot of loneliness in bus stations and all-night diners, after all; even if some of his characters work out a comic ending for themselves, Inge isn’t going to let us forget that.

And if you don’t think despair can touch the risk-takers in this play — or doesn’t carry much bite — then chew on this: Albert Salmi, the actor who had created the role of Bo the cowboy in the original Broadway production of Bus Stop 35 years before, died with his wife in 1990 in an apparent murder-suicide. Right here in Spokane.

The Thursday, Sept. 21, edition of *The Inlander* will present a revised version of this review, with further kudos going to Bannon, Eviston-Quinnett and Abdallah; Christine Cresswell as Elma the naïve young waitress; Maynard Villers as Will the sheriff; and William Rhodes as Carl the bus driver.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Evelyn and Adam

Originally uploaded by Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
Julie Zimmer, Evan Hernandez
*The Shape of Things*
Actors Rep, Spokane
opens Sept. 22
directed by Michael Weaver

*The Shape of Things*

Originally uploaded by Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
by Neil LaBute
Actors Rep Theatre of the Inland Northwest
Sept. 22-Oct. 7, 2006
directed by Michael Weaver
from left: Evan Hernandez as Adam, Julie Zimmer as Evelyn, Ken Urso as Phillip, Caryn Hoaglund as Jenny

Jenny and Adam

Originally uploaded by Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
Caryn Hoaglund, Evan Hernandez
Actors Rep, Spokane

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sirius Idaho Theatre and *The Oldest Profession*

Sirius Idaho Theatre in Moscow has chosen Nov. 10-11 for its staged reading of Paula Vogel's *The Oldest Profession* at the Kenworthy.
Auditions will be in early October, according to Sirius' Pam Palmer, and they're looking for five "well-known and distinguished local ladies in their 70s" to portray a groupd of elderly prostitutes during the Reagan administration.
For its regular productions, Sirius pays a stipend for actors and provides housing in the Moscow area -- so, Spokane actors, listen up.
Gregory Fletcher's *Cow-Tipping and Other Signs of Stress.* plays Sept. 21-30. Sirius also has two interesting shows coming up later this season:
Touch, by Toni Press-Coffman, about a despairing astronomer falling unexpectedly in love (Jan. 25-Feb. 3, 2007)
Hugh Whitmore's Breaking the Code, the play about Alan Turing that Derek Jacobi made famous both on stage and on screen (April 12-21)
Visit or call Pam at (208) 596-2270

*Evita* in concert, Oct. 22 at Civic

by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
directed by Yvonne A.K. Johnson
music director: Carolyn Jess
Sunday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 pm, at Spokane Civic Theatre
Tickets: $25
visit or call 325-2507
with Abbey Crawford as Eva Peron, Max Mendez as Che Guevara, Noel Barbuto as Juan Peron and 18 other singers

*Bus Stop* cast

Bus Stop cast
Originally uploaded by Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
from left: Jack Bannon as Dr. Gerald Lyman, William Rhodes as Carl,
Kelly Eviston Quinnett as Cherie, Maynard Villers as Sheriff Will Masters, Ellen Travolta as Grace, Jonathan Rau as Bo, Christine Cresswell as Elma Duckworth, Damon Abdallah as Virgil Blessing

directed by Scott Alan Smith

Cherie, Will, Bo

Cherie, Will, Bo
Originally uploaded by Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
*Bus Stop*
Interplayers, Sept. 14-Oct. 1, 2006
Maynard defends Kelly against Jonathan

Bo, Cherie, Grace, Elma

*Bus Stop*
Spokane Interplayers Ensemble
Sept. 14-Oct. 1, 2006
directed by Scott Alan Smith
artistic director: Wes Deitrick
Jonathan Rau, Kelly Eviston Quinnett, Ellen Travolta, Christine Cresswell

For a look at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of *Bus Stop* (through Oct. 29), visit

Wait until April for Patty

While Patty Duke may not be appearing in ARt's November-December show, *Together Again for the First Time,* she will be performing in the theater's third-season closing show (April 6-21, 2007) — which evidently is no longer going to be *Moonlight and Magnolias,* but which will "soon ... be announced."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

auditions for *Moon Over Buffalo*

to be performed at Interplayers, Nov. 9-25
directed by Paul Villabrille

needed: four men (ages 22–55); two women (20s-early 30s); one woman (early 50s); one woman (70s)
cold readings from script
auditions: Tues 19 Sept, 7 pm, at Interplayers

Artistic Director: Wes Deitrick,
call 624-0645 or visit

60 Years in the Making

Don't forget Friday night's premiere of the Civic's documentary. For just $10 (on Sept. 15 at 7:30 pm, on the Civic's Main Stage), you can see still photos of various shows from the 1940s and '50, with voiceovers by some of today's actors (you might recognize a few). Then lots of video from '70s-'90s shows. Betty, Alice, Margot, Dorothy, Homer -- many more, and you get a strong sense that whatever we do today at that theater, we're standing on the shoulders of giants.

You hear from the only three artistic directors the Civic has ever had. You get Marilyn and Susan at the airport after winning nationals. Janice, looking great -- I mean, so many people have devoted so much time ... And Tom and Troy in the legendary production of "Lonely Planet."

Melody Deatherage is prominent in all the *Music Man* footage, from auditions to callbacks to dance rehearsals to costume sewing to interviews with Danae Lowman and Michael Rhodes and on up to opening night -- all used as a framing device and reinforcing the idea that the Civic is still lively.

Philip Sondericker did a wonderful job -- clearly, the target audience are longtimers at the Civic, but this is clearly the kind of video you could show to non-theatrical Muggles and to theater folks from other cities and be proud of. So go see it.

*Singin' in the Rain* cast

*Singin' in the Rain*
Sept. 29-Oct. 29 at Spokane Civic Theatre
based on the 1952 MGM film, with "Good Morning," "Broadway Melody," the title tune and others
Directed and choreographed by Kathie Doyle-Lipe
Music director: Gary Laing

Tickets: $23; $20, seniors; $12, students

DORA BAILEY Ryan Patterson
ROSCOE DEXTER Thomas Heppler
COSMO BROWN Cameron Lewis
KATHY SELDEN Alyssa Calder-Day
LINA LAMONT Corinne Logarlo
DON LOCKWOOD Andrew Ware Lewis
TEACHER Kyle Carter
POLICEMAN John Wittham
ZELDA Karla Morrison
R.F. SIMPSON Doug Dawson
MISS DINSMORE Katherine Morgan

Thursday, September 07, 2006

no Patty Duke in November

According to Mike Pearce, husband of Anna Pearce (Patty Duke), she will not be appearing in the Nov.-Dec. production of *Together Again for the First Time* at Actors Rep "due to unforeseen circumstances." ARt has been working hard to attract replacements, and an announcement about cast replacements will be made probably within the next two weeks.

Friday, September 01, 2006

SCT *Nutcracker!* auditions Sept. 17-18

Spokane Children's Theater emphasizes that *Nutcracker!* is a musical play and NOT the Tchaikovsky ballet.
Director Buddy Todd is looking for up to 20 boys and girls (ages 8-18) and up to 13 men and women (age 18 and older).

Sunday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 pm or Monday, Sept. 18, at 7 pm
St. Aloysius School, 610 E. Mission Ave. (use west entrance)
Bring sheet music for a one-minute song and dress comfortably for dance auditions.
Performances: Nov. 24-Dec. 16
Call 328-4886 or visit