Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Brick & Big Daddy
Photos by Eric Chazankin

Review by Kim Murphey

March 9 was the opening night for the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. This play is the 1974 revised version dealing with  family characters and their sexuality, death, greed and alcoholism, all taking place on the night of Big Daddy’s 65th birthday party.

It’s been many years since I’ve seen the 1958 movie version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that starred Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, so my recollections were hazy at best as to the differences between the two versions. Today there are many things that are ok to talk about openly  and language that is tolerated now that would not have been in the 50’s, so it was obvious as I watched the play what the differences were between the two.  Listening to my fellow seat mates discuss their opinions of the changes during the intermissions was also interesting when  comparing a classic done in a different way.

This play features Charles Seibert* as Big Daddy, Jenifer Cote as Maggie, Clint Campbell as Brick, Kate Brikley* as Big Mama, Tice Allison as Grooper, and Beth Deitchman as Mae.

Jenifer Cote as Maggie seems to have the lions share of the lines throughout the play, especially in the first scene where she is basically carrying on a conversation with herself as her husband Brick is working on getting drunk and not listening to her much. As the play progresses, other family members enter and leave the conversation  as we come to understand the dynamics of this big southern family. They are all dealing with their own various disappointment in life as they digest the information that the family patriarch Big Daddy is dying and how the estate may or may not be divided when he passes.

Charles Siebert, who is a famous theater, movie and TV star and director, plays Big Daddy. He is perfect for this role with his commanding voice and dominating presence. I could easily imagine him running a Southern plantation and this family. I thoroughly enjoyed his character and the whole play. 

*This actor appears through the courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

6th Street Playhouse
Directed by Michael Fontaine.
For Mature Audiences
March 9-25, 2012
Tickets between $15-$32

 Historical Railroad Square in Downtown Santa Rosa.

Tennessee Williams1958 movie of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Charles Siebert

Tickets provided in exchange for review

Advertisements

Review: The 39 Steps

39 Steps-5151
Photos by Eric Chazankin

Review by Kim Murphey

Opening night of the play “The 39 Steps” at 6th Street Playhouse was sold out. We all were treated to a fast paced, hilarious show directed by Craig Miller, starring Adam Burkholder, Paul Huberty, Larry Williams, and April Krautner.

Having never seen the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie or the Tony Award winning Broadway play, I had no preconceived ideas of what the story was about. I was in for a treat. This comedic show with multiple characters played by the talented four person cast was non-stop from the second it started. Watching Paul Huberty and Larry Williams change characters right in front of your eyes by switching hats and accents (and sometimes clothes) was funny and convincing at the same time, two very talented guys. The “action” scenes were done well too, the train chase scene being my favorite.

This story was originally written in 1915 by Scottish author John Buchan, the first of five novels about an all action hero with a surprising knack for getting out of sticky situations. It was later adapted as a radio show, three movie versions, this comedic theatrical version which started in London and moved on to Broadway and a BBC TV series.

Interested in a good evening out? See this play from Jan. 6 -21 at 6th Street Playhouse. Tickets are between $10-25.

Historical Railroad Square in Downtown Santa Rosa

Alfred HitchcockJohn Buchan

Tickets provided in exchange for review


Review: A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story
photo by Eric Chazankin

Review by Kim Murphey

The opening night theatrical performance of “A Christmas Story” was November 19th at 6th Street Playhouse. The director Bronwen Shears and the cast of seven children and four adults did a wonderful job telling this story, keeping the audience smiling throughout.

This play is based off of the classic motion picture A Christmas Story, which came out in 1983. The idea for the movie was taken from three short stories that were written by Jean Shepherd and published in Playboy magazine in the 60’s.

For those of you out there who haven’t heard of this story, seen the movie, or wondered where the saying, “you’ll shoot your eye out” or the infamous “leg lamp” came from, see this play and you’ll finally understand. For the rest of us,

A Christmas Story Leg Lamp
Photo by Eric Chazankin

the story of 9 year old Ralphie Parker (played by John David Vozaitis) on a quest to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and the daily life (sometimes very comical) surrounding him which involves his parents, younger brother and friends, is a trip down memory lane. The subplots involving Ralph’s parents & the “leg lamp,” the local school bully, and a various scenes from the schoolroom are all recreated on the stage. The story is told to us by the grown up Ralph (played by Mark Bradbury) as he remembers the best Christmas present ever.

This play is appropriate for all ages and is running through December 23.

Tickets are $15-$32
For more information
6th Street Playhouse close to the Historical Railroad Square in

Jean Shepherd,  Red Ryder BB gunleg lampA Christmas Story

Tickets provided in exchange for review

Review-Frankenstein

FrankensteinReview by Kim Murphey

The Independent Eye’s “Frankenstein” produced by 6th Street Playhouse

This is a “live theatrical animation” production of Mary Shelley’s classic tale. Three actors all dressed in black wearing masks of their own make life size puppets come to life with the dark story of man who is tormented by his mother’s early death and his decent into mental instability as he creates a monster that doesn’t need to be born, then he has to live with the consequences of his creation.

This is not a show for young children. I took my teen daughter who thought it was dark but then she likes dark stories. After the show we spoke briefly with the actors/puppeteer’s and got a closer look at the puppets that they had created themselves. They are very amazing faces that even photos don’t do justice.

If you like to listen to a dark tale on these cold October nights, then get on over to 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. All seats are $10 and the show goes through Oct 23rd.

Comment:

Kim—
Just quick note of thanks for your attending and reviewing FRANKENSTEIN. Much appreciated.
Cheers—
Conrad Bishop, The Independent Eye

Kite’s Book: Tales of an 18th Century Hitman

Kites Book
Photo by Eric Chazankin

Review by Kim Murphey

The West Coast Premiere of Kite’s Book: Tales of an 18th Century Hitman started this Friday. Playright Robert Caisley was inspired partly by the O.J. Simpson trial and a few other famous trials held in the 90’s. Caisleys penchant for classical plays, costumes and sword fights had him set the play in the 18th century, another era famous for its public trials and executions that entertained thousands.

The talented cast of actors, including Rahman Darlrymple as
Black Kite-the Hitman, Clint Campbell as Will Carew, Ray Morgan as Emile
Ferriere-a renowned French executioner (the only comedic role) and many others, who brought to life the characters they portrayed with the conflicts of the time, witty dialogue and intense swordplay. There was a message in this play as well, speaking to all about crime, punishments and our justice system today. Directed by the accomplished Craig A. Miller, this play is running from Sept 30- Oct 23 at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa.

Rahman Darlrymple

Tickets were provided in exchange for a review.

Review: Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me Kate
photo by Eric Chazankin

Review by Kim Murphey

Opening night of the musical Kiss Me Kate at the 6th Street Playhouse was well attended. This is a 1999 Broadway Revival Version of a musical that originally debuted in 1948 by Cole Porter who wrote the lyrics and music. The musical is a  play within a play, telling you the backstage story of the lives of the actors and crew as they perform Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shew. All the cast act, sing and dance their way through the approximately two and half hour show with many a comedic moment that kept the audience laughing. Taylor Bartolucci (Lillie) and Barry Martin (Fred) star as the main characters and they hold their own with great on

Two Gangsters
photo by Eric Chazankin

stage presence and singing. Some of the funniest and most memorable scenes though are those preformed by Jeremy Berrick and  Rahman Dalrymple as the two gangsters. They almost steal the show.

If you like musicals this is a show to see. Kiss Me Kate directed by Craig A. Miller at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa August 5-September 4

Cole PorterTaming of the ShewCraig A. Miller

Review: The Mystery of Irma Vep

TheMysteryIrmaVep
The Mystery Irma Vep

Review by Kim Murphey

This campy play was a hilarious romp from start to finish. The Mystery of Irma Vep directed by Marty Pistone, staring Craig A. Miller and Ryan Schabach, who play all the characters including various women, men, a werewolf, a vampire and an Egyption mummy princess come back to life. They had so many quick costume changes and entrances from opposites side of the stage, that I can only imagine the chaos behind the scenes with the stage crew but it was well done and an interesting side to the play just to see how fast they could change or move from one side to the other. This play is a spoof on many other plays and it had the audience laughing almost continuously. It featured Janis Wilson as the live musical and sound effects person off to the left of the stage. She interacted with the two actors and the audience, similar to the way a silent film organist would have. I recommend this play to anyone who likes theater and comedy.

It is playing at the 6th Street Playhouse through June 26

Review-The Ticking Clock

The Ticking ClockReview by Kim Murphey

The Ticking Clock draws inspiration from a series of true stories about women and their lives regarding their struggles with their biological clocks and motherhood. Watching these tales being told by the varied and talented cast, I now have a greater appreciation for all that women go through from teens to old age. After the play there was a brief interactive dialogue with the audience that included three women’s poignant life stories.

I was able to talk with the playwright Jody Gehrman about how she came up with the idea for this play. She is an English professor at Mendocino College and author of numerous novels who received a grant to write about women’s biological clocks. After her team interviewed over 150 women concerning the choices they make or sometimes are made for them regarding motherhood, she melded the information and stories into this play.

The Ticking Clock” directed by Linda Reid is playing at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. If you are a woman or care about the women in your life (that should cover almost everyone), this play is a must see. Empathy and understanding can help us all get along better in this world. It runs from March 18-April 3 and tickets are $10-$25.

Jody GehrmanMendocino College6th Street Playhouse