Friday, November 12, 2010

Six Dead Bodies Duct-Taped to a Merry-Go-Round

So, this guy was on leave from the service and his wife was supposed to pick him up, but she wasn't there and this guy in a truck offers him a ride and eventually that leads to the bodies and the merry-go-round. 

That was one of the four plays in Anchorage Community Theater's (ACT) FourPlay which was extend to this weekend.  We went two weeks ago.  They're headquartered in an industrial area on 70th near the Old Seward Highway.

[UPDATE Nov 13:  Even though I revised this a couple of times before I posted it, it doesn't convey what is important here.  But we had to leave, so I posted it.  Later I realized what I really wanted to say was this: 

Imagine having 30 minutes or so to communicate anything you want the world to know.  Your tools are several actors, a stage, lighting, props, costumes and make-up, and sound.  What would you want to say?  How would you convey it?  That's sort of what these folks faced.  The first piece - A Wee Rembrandt -  had two museum guards tied to posts after being robbed.  This one was interesting, and perhaps reflected what might have happened in such a situation, but barely touched the many issues that could have come up. 

Thanksgiving Dinner with the Last Whore in Calhoun County was more successful in touching universal issues about family, identity, shame, and others. (This is two weeks after seeing it and it still has an impact on me.)  All in this very short time period.  That was what was so neat about these pieces.

So what made this a good evening at the theater was the challenge of the format first, and then seeing how well they were carried through.  We have some outstanding actors in this town.  And thinking how I wouldn't know where to start if I had 30 minutes to fill on stage.]

Before the Show
All four short (@ 30 minutes each) plays were created by local playwrights and they played off somewhat strange premises (like Six Dead Bodies) but pulled it off.  Partly because the acting was good enough that I believed in the characters and didn't see them as actors. 

My only real objection was that so much of the action was on the far right side and we were sitting on the left side, so my neck was starting to hurt from being turned.  It just seemed to me in a long skinny theater like that, they need to move the action along the whole stage so that the audience isn't forced to crane their necks in one direction for long periods.  With four plays, they could have moved the action around.  Only the last play really used the whole stage.  And we were never sure what the kitchen was all about.

In the last piece, The Bodice Ripper, two women are sitting on the porch writing their first Romance novel and they have a caped pirate like character to try the lines out with.  Truly imaginative in the story and the portrayal.   When they wrote and rewrote a fight scene, we saw it as they wrote it.  And when it went into the slow motion, I was going, "Wow."  The actor's face slowly contorted as it was hit eerily mimicking a slow motion movie shot.  

After the show
Good stuff and only $10.  Less that a movie for live theater.  No wonder it was sold out and they extended for two more weeks.  But if you want to go Saturday, be sure to call in advance and reserve a seat or buy it online. 

It's mostly street parking but be careful not to park in the towaway zones.  Read the signs

As acronyms go, Anchorage Community Theater's is one of the best - it spells out what they do, and do well, ACT.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.