Sunday, March 14, 2010

PLAY/ground at Boston Court Theatre - Day 2

Today was the second and final day of the Boston Court Theatre's PLAY/ground reading series in my beloved Pasadena.

The day started out a little odd for me. I awakened late (today was the only day I've actually slept in, in like months) and had to rush around to get ready. Since I was lazy and forgot to move my clocks forward, I had no clue what time it really was, but ended up at the theatre on time anyway. The first play started earlier today as well, at 11:30am. It felt kind of romantic being at a theatre that early to see a play.



When I pulled into the BC lot, there were two police cars there, which put me a little on edge. I never did find out what was happening, but I hope everything worked out okay. I said a quiet hello to Michael Seel, whom I passed in the lobby, and he asked how I was, then plunked myself down in the same comfy chair as yesterday to await the performances. A nice bearded guy (who reminded me quite a bit of Amit from the Steve Allen) introduced himself as the dude (I am terrible with names) who writes the official BC twitter (@bostoncourt) and I praised him on his hilarious tweets.

Here's a rundown of today's fare:


Stage setup for the first play

The Awake
by Ken Urban

This was an interesting play in which three stories of different "family units" - a mother and son; a nuclear family, and a group of co-workers came together and melded into a cohesive interwoven storyline. I really enjoyed the interplay of the different plotlines and there was a nice give and take between many of the characters. One scene in particular between two characters on the phone felt like a tennis match, which was really neat to see onstage with the back and forth.

Throughout the beginning of the play, this tiny, redheaded woman who was playing the mom kept looking so familiar to me. Since I had forgotten to get a program today, I had no clue who she was, until it finally popped into my head and a quick check of the program after the play confirmed it. My six degrees of Star Trek brain instantly linked her as Bonita Friedericy, wife to John Billingsley (who played Phlox on Enterprise!) I only know what she looks like because of all the stuff I did with that other blog and got to see her and John's hilarious Q&A on the FedCon DVD. She was great in this play, too, and it was neat to see someone I recognized.

Honestly, everyone was great in this play, and with so many different actors and characters, it was great that everyone pulled their weight so evenly and really made the complex piece sing. Kirsten Kollander was especially a standout as the teenaged daughter. She, too, looked incredibly familiar to me, but I couldn't place where I'd seen her. I think maybe it's just my "Act-dar" acting up again and they all just look like actors. ;) The playwright really had her "teenaged banter" down pat, even though he did make some jokes at Canadians' expense in the play (one of the characters was supposed to be Canadian, but had nothing near an Ottawa accent...didn't like that they chose Ottawa either, that's just too obvious, but I digress...). A really nice piece with which to start.

We had a longer intermission this time, and I just sat quietly and watched everyone else. The din of the small lobby was almost too much for my addled and tired brain to handle as it was doubly full with the regular production happening on the Main Stage today, as well as the reading series in the smaller Branson. Thankfully, I survived by humming Trololo softly (since it was stuck in my head anyway), and we were soon back in the comfortable womb of the tiny reading space.


(Forgot to get a pic of this one. Sorry.)

The Storytelling Ability of a Boy
by Carter W. Lewis

Unfortunately, I didn't like this one. At all. The story revolved around a teacher who gets involved in the lives of two of her students. I don't like to be mean, so I won't say much, but after hearing a lightly paraphrased line in the first few minutes "borrowed" from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as an example of "bad writing" of one of the teacher's students, I tuned out a little bit, I'm sorry to say. Everything about the storyline was clich├ęd - from the shooting, to the lesbian kiss, to the verbiage, to the...okay, I'm shutting up now. It just fell really flat for me in every way. Chloe Taylor who played the teacher was pretty good, though. After such a great weekend, I was pretty disappointed that this was the whimper instead of a bang ending. :( Alas.

I think it's because I was so knocked out by Breadcrumbs yesterday, that not much could top it today. Actually, the best part of seeing this play was realizing halfway through that I was sitting behind the playwright of Breadcrumbs! Heh.


After the show, I just wanted to make a beeline home, because I was feeling a little bummed out, but I'm really, really looking forward to going back for Twentieth Century Way in May, because I want to get inside that stunning 99-seater for more than a few minutes and the play itself sounds fantastic. A homosexual love story set in the early 1900s with two actors playing various characters? How much better can you get? *excited* And they have "Talkback" performances at BC, where you get to ask the actors questions after the performance. I love that!


I loved this bumper sticker so much, I had to share

As I was driving out of the lot, the same kind blonde woman whom I saw yesterday sitting outside waved me over and I stopped my car. She thanked me for coming to all four plays and I felt a little weird, because I thought they'd think I was being a pain for coming to all four or something. (A large attack of the low self-esteem reared its ugly head today, my friends.) But she actually wanted my opinion on what I thought as an audience member seeing all four and gave me her email address, and I got a chance to give them a small donation. Yay! :) After spending the weekend there and instantly falling in love with the theatre, I'd honestly love to be able to help them promote the Boston Court however I can (and many reading this know I'm hella good at promoting things I believe in!) :)

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend at the theater, and I'm really looking forward to patronizing the BC again soon. :) Quick thanks to everyone I met from the theater who made me feel so welcome, instead of just a random (hopefully not annoying!) patron! :)

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