The play currently performing at the Pasadena Playhouse, STONEFACE, tells about the life of Buster Keaton, the American comic actor who lived from 1895 to 1966 and became well known for his silent films, his physical dexterity, and the stoic expression for which he became known as “The Great Stone Face.”
French Stewart, which most people will remember from TV’s “Third Rock from the Sun,” is amazing as Keaton, portraying well his humor, his perfect timing, his physical comedy, and his personal turmoil.
STONEFACE combines live actors on stage with Keaton’s silent films’ actors on a screen. Perfectly timed moves create the illusion of people coming in and out of the screen, a sight so entertaining that this alone is enough reason to see the play.
Additionally, some of Keaton’s most memorable gags are recreated on the stage, with boxes that open at the pull of a cord and bottles that fall (and sometimes don’t) into them, for example. All together the play brings to life the charm of a bygone era and tells the story of a man who fell and still managed to find redemption to remain one of Hollywood’s memorialized stars.
STONEFACE is interesting, entertaining, even educational. It has innovative choreography (by Natasha Norman), stunts (by Andrew Amani), and a projection design (by Ben Rock and Anthony Backman) that you will thoroughly enjoy and admire.
The cast of STONEFACE includes Daisy Eagan as “Mae,” Jake Broder, Tegan Ashton Cohan, Conor Duffy, Joe Fria, Scott Leggett, Guy Picot, Rena Strober, and Pat Towne. The play is directed by Jaime Robledo with music by Ryan Johnson. It was written by Vanessa Claire Stewart (French Stewart’s wife since 2011).
STONEFACE will play until June 29. Tickets range $34 to $74 and can be purchased online at http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/ or by calling (626) 356-7529. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue.
photo courtesy of the author.