Sunday, August 9, 2009

More fun at 14/48

The second and final weekend of the 14/48 Theater Festival was a little uneven compared to the first. An unsecured part of stage sent a couple of actressess flying on Friday night, and the moon boots never made it to the screen as intended in a couple of tries on Saturday. But the weekend's 14 world-premiere plays still offered plenty of entertainment.

Friday. Theme: Danger in group work. Favorite shows: Six Months In by Vincent Delaney, directed by Linda Lombardi. A riot as the all-male cast turns up as pregnant women for their birthing class. Seanjohn Walsh must have had a 50-pound bag of potatoes stuffed under his dress. Sharing Witness by Paul Mullin, directed by Andy Jensen. "Witness" turns out to be a dirty word to the pious souls sharing the spiritual revelations of their day at the meeting. Turns out all four are mobsters in hiding. The hilarity builds until Therese Diekhans, who reminded me of my sweet Aunt Ruby, strangled Alyson Scadron Branner with a shawl. That was the fight scene that caused the tumble. Diekhans gamely made it out for the late show Friday, but was on the disabled list for Saturday's shows. Fingered by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by Nick Garrison. Allison Strickland and Tracy Hyland are hilarious as a school counselor and a freshman who isn't so sexually active as the boys' restroom wall makes her out to be.

Saturday. Theme: Walk on the wild side. Favorite shows: Just Drink It by Paul Mullin, directed by Brian Faker. Hyland again is funny, this time as a seductive immortal who can't seem to get others to drink the potion. A Whole Mess of Badgers by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by Erin Kraft. Chris Maslen seduces, and has a great dance number with a blood-soaked Hana Lass, who's just back from a horrible highway accident involving an entire family of badgers, as well as a stapler-throwing confrontation with her cheating husband. Her son and Maslen's friend, Seanjohn Walsh, gets the punch line of the day. Wilderness by Moll Frothingham, directed by Basil Harris. Alyson Scadron Branner and Mike Dooly have a sweet moment as a couple of kids from drama club, getting away from the snotty drill team kids while out on a school hiking trip.

Catch the 14/48 blog for some behind-the-scenes dirt on how the whole thing came together. The festival returns in January for a couple of weekends at ACT.

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