So far we’ve seen two of the plays that compose the Spring Season 2016 at A Noise Within (ANW) – Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET and George Bernard Shaw’s YOU NEVER CAN TELL. They’re both worth watching for reasons that we explain below.
ROMEO AND JULIET is directed by Damaso Rodriguez, who got inspiration from a recent trip to Cuba, “where I saw theatre companies without much in the way of money putting on plays,” he said, “with found objects for props and scenery, and in very low-tech, low-resource performance spaces.” The translation of this at ANW presents a ROMEO AND JULIET in an urban, graffiti-filled, setting, with clothes that the actors own and with props they found on the street. During the intense scenes there is a drum-like sound on the background that is produced as the actors bang against the dumpsters placed on the stage, and there is a dance scene that contains what Salsa dancers will recognize as the “basic step.” Most everyone knows the story in ROMEO AND JULIET of two youngsters that make rash decisions in an intolerant world, but ANW gives it a fresh look. All actors here are quite good at their craft, but we are singling out the excellent work of June Carryl as both The Nurse and Prince Escalus.
More accessible to the audience, particularly because of its easier and witty language, is Shaw’s YOU NEVER CAN TELL. In this story Mrs. Clandon and her three children return to England after eighteen years of living in the island of Madeira. The children do not know who their father is but are quite anxious to find out, and the eldest daughter wants to be every bit as liberated and modern as her mother. As it is often the case, this family has issues, and Shaw makes them quite funny to watch. At ANW the play has beautiful scenic design by Don Llewellyn, with great between-scenes’ stage changes that give an extra thumbs-up to director Stephanie Shroyer. While all actors do a good job, the show is often stolen by the younger children – Dolly and Philip – played by Erika Soto and Richy Storrs, both on debut at ANW.
Also part of the theater’s Spring Season 2016 is Luigi Pirandello’s SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, which will open next week. We’ll check this one out and tell you about it. Meanwhile, visit http://www.anoisewithin.org for further information and to purchase tickets. The plays are in repertoire through May 15, 2016.
A Noise Within is located at 3352 East Foothill Blvd in Pasadena 91107.
Photo: Craig Schwartz / used with permission
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We hope you enjoyed reading Dena’s post. It’s hard to beat George Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare and A Noise Within is featuring both authors in their spring season.
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