Friday, May 05, 2006

Theater Blogging

I'm farther behind than I thought in my theater blogging, as Tanman has pointed out. I was totally clueless about this:

"Brian Friel has been recognized as Ireland's greatest living playwright...his latest work, MOLLY SWEENEY...confirms that Mr. Friel still writes like a dream." --NY Times.

"Brian Friel's beautiful and dazzling MOLLY one of those marvelous onion plays...As you peel away each plump and juicy layer, another layer emerges underneath, and yet another...What a marvelous play this is! See it--wander in it and wonder at it." --NY Post.

"Dispassionate eloquence and psychological honesty...Brian Friel's writing has such vitality and warmth, such kindly accuracy of observation." --London Sunday Times.

Have you ever been in utter darkness, where you could not see in front of you? This is the life of Molly Sweeney, the title character of Starlighters II Theatre's spring production for the 2006 season.

Basing his work upon a true story, Tony Award-winning playwright, Brian Friel, has brought a new level of "dispassionate eloquence and psychological honesty" [London Sunday Times] to the stage with "Molly Sweeney."This marvelous piece of writing brings the lilt and beauty of Irish storytelling to the world of theatre.

Molly Sweeney has been legally blind since she was 10 months old. Contrary to what you might think, she doesn't feel the anxiety or wonderment of whether or not the light will ever come back on. Molly is carefree, self-assisting, happy and content. Her husband, Frank, however wants "more" for his wife. He wants her to have full vision. He contacts Dr. Rice, who was once a world-renowned eye surgeon. Frank is confident that Rice can restore Molly's vision.

The story is told from the point of view of all three main characters; Molly, Frank and Dr. Rice.

The journey begins with a peek into Molly's childhood, where we learn how she has found the confidence to not only survive, but thrive in a "sighted" world. The struggle of making a choice happens when everyone in Molly's life begins to insist that surgery could offer her a world she couldn't possibly live without. Is she missing anything at all? What would full vision give Molly? Perhaps more importantly, what would it give Frank and Dr. Rice? Is having vision, or not having vision, actually about what you see, or is it a journey of understanding? Molly Sweeney is a play about hope and triumph over adversity.

Come learn more about the astonishing life of Molly Sweeney, the emotive conclusion, and perhaps a keen perception on your own life!

April 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 [Anamosa]
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 2 pm

May 5, 6, 7 [Coggon]
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm
Sunday at 2 pm

Written by Brian Friel
Director: Annette Rohlk [North Liberty, Iowa]
Assistant Director: Bob Furino [Delhi, Iowa]

Dawn Griesi (Anamosa) - Molly Sweeney
Brian Tanner (North Liberty) - Frank Sweeney
Rick Sanborn (Stone City) - Mr. Rice
Samantha Koehn (Central City) - Young Molly Sweeney
Jim Greene (Cedar Rapids) - The Judge/Molly's Father


There's still one weekend left to see My Fair Lady:

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Adapted From Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion
and Gabriel Pascal's motion picture

Directed By Jeff Shields

April 28, 29, May 6 at 8pm
April 30, May 7 at 2:30pm

Tickets on sale now through the Englert Box Office.

There was a less-than-enthusiastic review in the Daily Iowan: My Somewhat-Decent Lady. In skimming it, it appears the primary difficulty with the show is that it runs too long, and there may be a couple of sketchy performances. I've actually heard otherwise about Ron Prosser's performance, and I'm reserving my opinion until I see it for myself. Regardless, even the reviewer agrees that if you get past the run time, it seems there are a lot of nice bits, and I've heard from many sources that Amanda Murray's Eliza is awesome.

Keep in mind that the show runs Saturday and Sunday ONLY - no show tonight, for whatever reason.


Cabaret is over, but I still want to point out the incredible review they got:

Last dance before the deluge of the Nazis. Awesome job, everyone.

If you want a chance to be in the next Michael Stokes musical, audition for the Music Man next week:

The Music Man

by Meredith Wilson
Directed by Michael Stokes

July 28, 29, 30 and Aug 4, 5, 6
Fri/Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2:30

Englert Civic Theatre
Downtown Iowa City

The quintessential Iowa Musical, the only hit show written by and about
Iowans, The Music Man follows the adventures of a mythical Iowa town,
"River City," as its citizens are transformed by con-artist Harold Hill and his Boys Band.

Featuring the now-standard songs 76 Trombones, Til There Was You, Trouble, and My White Knight, this is the corridor musical event of the summer for the whole family!

7 pm May 16 & 17,
(callbacks May 18)
Community of Christ Church
Bring a short song to sing, and be prepared to dance. Roles available for teens, adults, and 3 children ages 9-12


I think that's about it.


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