Kidlet’s acting – Now available in video form on YouTube!

“Kidlet is way cool!!!!! Great monkey body posture. Very effective location. Definitely earned the requisite number of laughs to be considered successful.”

The not-really-very-wee’un has been pretty darn busy this year out at Hampshire, having (so far this year) acted in two plays, directed a third, done sound work for several, as well as writing several short plays and the screenplay for a 40-ish minute horror flick that is actually being made by a fellow student (filming is apparently mostly done and editing is progressing). While some of this is for class (e.g., the short plays that he’s written), most of it is simply because he really likes theatre and writing and stuff.

The sad thing for us is that we don’t get to see most of this because it’s a wee bit too far to zip over for an evening’s theatre. Happily, however, we can see him act in at least one play via YouTube!

This is a production of the short play “Words, Words, Words” by David Ives, directed by Mike Lion, a fellow Hampshire student. Tom was in a longer play directed by Mike last fall (“Force play”), which was Tom’s first theatre experience at Hampshire. This production of “Words, Words, Words” was for an advanced directing course Mike’s taking at Amherst College, and the play is actually set in a Physics lab on the Amherst campus.

I really like having it in a lab instead of on a stage (compare to numerous other versions on YouTube), and the use of actual typewriters and paper definitely adds significant depth. The stage versions I found on-line all tended to look significantly more “fake” (a weird thing to say about a play featuring three talking chimps) than setting it in the lab. I also think the understated costumes are a win here; some of the other productions on-line have some really weird costuming (tuxes, marionette-doll-style-dresses) that I found quite distracting. (Tom tells me that the playwright actually suggests such customs – weird.)

As WeatherGrrrl says, “Kidlet is way cool!!!!! Great monkey body posture. Very effective location. Definitely earned the requisite number of laughs to be considered successful.”

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“Other desert cities” at the Guthrie: A definite win

“Other desert cities” at the Guthrie is quite good – see it while you can!

“Other desert cities” with Sally Wingert as Polly Wyeth and Christian Conn as Trip Wyeth

WeatherGrrrl and I capped off our day in the Twin Cities yesterday with showing of “Other desert cities” at the Guthrie Theatre. With one exception, the play was quite splendid. The opening section of incredibly funny in a quite dark sort of way, as a family reunited for Christmas dance and spar with each other as a prickly kind of getting reacquainted. It then gets increasingly serious, tense, and emotionally wrenching as both the past and the future of the family are explored in ways that are in turns explosive and tender.

The director and five person cast does a great job with an intelligent and perceptive script, conveying rich complex characters that could easily become stereotypical and 1-dimensional. The set did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of a well-heeled, old-guard GOP operative home in Palm Springs, and gave the proscenium space a real depth and scale.

My one nit to pick is the very end scene. Without saying much because I don’t want to spoil, I found the last scene to be weak and lacking the emotional punch of the rest of the play. I’m not even sure it was all that necessary, and could perhaps have been left off altogether. While it’s unfortunate to end on a weaker note, the vast majority of the play is quite excellent and totally makes up for that thin spot.

The play ends this weekend (24 March), so get tickets while you can!

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