Curtain Call Theatre in Monte Rio invites you to yet another entertaining production of live theater, filled with imaginative staging, witty dialogue, interesting concepts, and almost overthetop characters. “On The Verge, or The Geography of Yearning” by Eric Overmeyer is a play of language, that follows three Victorianera lady adventurers as they spin through time travel. The play was originally produced in New York City in 1985 to outstanding reviews.
As “On The Verge” begins these adventures of the three Victorian women explorers, it is 1888 and we find them on a beach in what they believe to be Terra Incognita, a new, unexplored land. The three are from very different geographic backgrounds but all exhibit their own form of independence from the world in general and specifically men. During the course of the play the three together discuss many aspects of their past exploring adventures, with Mary played by Gretchen Belgrave, and Fanny played by Lisa Posternak frequently trying to outdo each other. Thalassa Papakonstantis as Alexandra, the third and youngest of the group, and Bill Young who plays a variety of characters, eight in all, round out the cast. As the ladies progress on their travels, it becomes apparent that they are not on an ordinary journey, and as well as trekking, they realize they are time traveling.
Since this is a play about language, the most challenging aspect of “On The Verge” is getting the actors comfortable with the language of the play. The language and rhythm of the Victorian lady traveler is quite different from our contemporary forms of slang and speech. It’s fun to watch the construct of their language deteriorate as they move from one time zone to another as they grow nostalgic for the future.
“On The Verge” features a small cast, great script, and a great approach to imaginative theatre. Audience members might leave the theatre following performances of “On The Verge” thinking about how far they themselves have “traveled” in recent years. The play is clearly about women and their particular travel through time. It is also about humans as they move and develop through history and into the future.
Directed by Michael Tabib, the managing director of Curtain Call Theatre at The Russian River Hall. The play features a seasoned cast of talented actors well equipped to provide an evening of fun, frolic, and joyous laughter for all who attend. “On The Verge, or The Geography of Yearning ” will open on Saturday, August 9th and run each weekend thru Saturday, August 30th. Each Friday and Saturday performances will start at 8pm. Sunday matinees at 3pm. To make theater more accessible to all, the first two Friday performances are “PayWhatYouCan” events. Our Champagne Buffet Gala fundraising event will be held on closing night, Saturday, August 30th, with a delicious buffet of delectables and desserts plus Korbel Champagne & wines and nonalcoholic beverages. Your donation is fully tax deductible. For this special Gala Event, doors will open at 7PM, Curtain at 8PM. For reservations and further information, please call (707) 5248739.
The Curtain Call Theatre invites you to yet another entertaining theatrical production filled with puns and laughter that will ‘earnestly’ make you glad you attended “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde. It is Wildely funny and irreverent!!! This is perhaps Wilde’s most famous play and is gently subtitled ‘A Trivial Comedy for Serious People’. In this farcical comedy the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. “Earnest” is set in late Victorian London and utilizes witty dialogue and an ingenious case of manufactured mistaken identity to create humorous social satire.
Directed by Michael Tabib, the managing director of Curtain Call Theatre at the The Russian River. The play features a seasoned cast of talented actors well equipped to provide an evening of fun, frolic, and joyous laughter for all who attend. “The Importance of Being Earnest” will open March 15th and run each weekend until April 12th. Friday and Saturday performances start at 8pm., Sunday matinees at 3pm. Regular admission is $20, Seniors $15. To make theater more affordable for everyone, the first three Fridays are “paywhatyoucan”.
Our Gala Event fundraiser performance will be Saturday, April 12th, closing night, with a delicious buffet of hors d’oeuvres, entrees, side dishes, desserts, Korbel Champagne & wines and nonalcoholic beverages; all for a tax deductible donation of $40.00. Doors open at 7PM, Curtain at 8PM.
For reservations and further information, please call (707) 5248739.
by: Gretchen Belgrave
What’s in a name? WAIT, WAIT we’re not doing Shakespeare yet. Besides, in “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Curtain Call Theatre’’s current production, names do matter they’re quite important actually. Well… one particular name.
According to young Gwendolen, this name “has a music of its own. It produces vibrations”. Now if this seems a bit superficial, you’re right. Lady Bracknell regrets to say that they were “living in an age of surfaces”.
This applies to words in general. In this stylized but spirited comedy of manners, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. How words are worn is as important as how the chin is worn (“very high” at that time). Gwendolen tells Cecily, “In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.” Cecily thinks that even if she can’t believe what her suitor tells her, it “does not affect the wonderful beauty of his words”.
Do these characters ever say what they mean? Can they believe each other, or themselves? Names and other words can be used to define us, to gain status, or just for fun. We can’t all be Earnest but some can try with hilarious results.
Although mocking one’s society is somewhat risky, it’s obvious that the clever and controversial Oscar Wilde is having a great deal of fun laughing at the entrenched nonsensical postures of his time. This play is rather Shakespearean, with its twisty identity confusions, overthetop characters, and silly resolutions. Mr. Wilde holds a mirror to the human soul, but makes it catch light and sparkles with irreverent wit as we laugh, not only at the past, but at ourselves.
Curtain Call Theatre has again assembled a fine assortment of talented actors and created a simple but elegant set, utilizing innovative technical improvements. Come and see for yourself and take a splendid romp through Edwardian England. Lady Bracknell is quite firm on this point (as she is on all points).
“The Importance of Being Earnest”, directed by Michael Tabib, will open on March 15. Friday and Saturday performances start at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Regular admission is $20, Seniors & Students with ID $15. The first three Fridays are “paywhatyoucan”. Our Gala Event fundraiser will be Saturday, April 12, closing night, with a delicious buffet of entrees, sidedishes, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, champagne, wine and nonalcoholic beverages; tax deductible donation is $40.00 Doors open at 7PM, Curtain at 8PM.
For reservation and further information, call (707) 5248739.
Curtain Call Theatre presents
A Holiday Variety Show!
A little drama, a little humor, a lot of music, and a continuing tradition will mark the Monte Rio Holiday Variety Show that opens Thursday, December 12 for four performances by the Curtain Call Theatre group at the Russian River Hall.
This year’s directors, Kathleen and Dave Hardy, will continue the River Family Christmas story of the past two years, while retaining some of the elfish whimsy of the series of shows produced by Steve Fowler and Andrea Van Dyke in prior years.
“We wanted to bring some closure” to the problem posed by the untimely death of actress Dee Buechy in the middle of rehearsals for last year’s River Family Christmas written and directed by Kit Mariah. The short prologue, written by Kathleen Hardy, is intended to resolve that story while setting the scene for the variety show to follow. This prologue will feature Natasha and Johnny Gutierrez, Lisa Posternak, and many of the musical performers.
The heart of the holiday show will be musical appearances by local performers, including the Pocket Canyon Ramblers (including Darcy and Oak Reinier), Kit Mariah (host of the Open No-Mic at Guerneville’s Main Street Station restaurant), Megan Hope, Noel Yates, Lois Pearlman, Sadie Damascus (the “Laughing Lady” on KGGV-FM radio), Bill Young, Santa Claus (impersonating George Shult), Fred Wicknick and friends, Timothy David Dixon, Gretchen Belgrave, and Michael Tabib. Theater goers can expect a combination of traditional holiday songs along with some more light-hearted and contemporary fare to capture the diverse spectrum of holiday spirits.
Directing this holiday show is a first time effort for the Hardys, who have a diverse range of performing experiences. Dave Hardy, a retired supervising planner for Sonoma County, has performed in Monte Rio holiday shows since 2006, and performs locally with the Pocket Canyon Ramblers. A yoga instructor, Kathleen Hardy has directed award-winning performances at the Sonoma State University Halloween luncheon for faculty and staff. “So, we wanted to keep things simple and straightforward, and give the performers a chance to do the songs they really enjoy,” said Dave Hardy.
The Russian River Hall is located at 20347 Hwy 116 in Monte Rio, across from Fern’s Market. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night performances, and at 2 pm for the matinee that closes the show on Sunday, December 15. Reservations can be made by calling 707/524-8739.
“Suddenly Last Summer”
by Tennessee Williams
Set in the elegant New Orleans Garden District, it contains much dark humor and lyrical dialogue as only the Master of American drama can express.
Produced and Directed by Michael Tabib
Featuring: Gretchen Belgrave, Katy Cady,Jake Hamlin, Lisa Posternak, Joseph Potter, Michelle Randall, Keith Durling
Regular Prices (all dates except as noted above)
$15 General; $12 Students & Seniors 60+
Champagne Buffet Gala Nov 23
You will not want to miss this one.
For reservation call (707) 849-4873.
Russian River Hall
20347 Hwy 116, Monte Rio, CA 95462
“Einstein and the Polar Bear” is set in the New England town of Spider Lake. Here Diane Ashe, traveling from Manhattan where she lives with her goldfish, develops some sort of car trouble. She is “just a pretty girl who got stuck in a snowstorm”, comments Bill Allenson, an erstwhile famous writer with a bad case of writer’s block. He deals old and rare books from his house where Diane is seeking shelter. “A beautiful bibliophile in a blizzard…” Bill, a “ once upon a time noble literary savage” tends to use big words to “lighten the mood” – or to obscure it.
“Small towns are oftentimes not what they appear to be”, Bill tells Diane. “They’re not all picket fences and rose gardens…” Almost a cliche! Numerous examples of this abound in literature and on stage, but seldom are the quirky characters painted with such a charming and sympathetic brush. Not that there isn’t plenty of irony. And we could stoop to analyzing metaphors: Who is the polar bear, really? Why on earth is Einstein so important to Andrew, Bill’s endearing dad?
There is much here that is esoteric, certainly deep, tragic even, and there are many questions that may never be answered, but the dark and gritty insights are served up with lots of giggles and occasional thigh-slapping guffaws.
“What are you doing here?”, Charlie Milton, the well-meaning dingbat of a mailman asks Diane. Does it matter what she tells him? Can we ever really know an other human being? Slowly we lift veils, peel layers and poke around, only to catch glimpses of further mysteries that surround these delightfully eccentric or downright weird people.
Everyone here has secrets – or know secrets that they’re not supposed to know. Meet Bobby and Helen Bullins, sweet and simple, said by Diane to have a “kind of child-like glow”.
Sometimes, driven by poignant and rather unrecognized loneliness, characters attempt intimacy. Diane keeps trying to tell Bill something. Why does he change the subject or tell her, “I don’t want to know who you are or why you’re here. I’m not interested in the details…” He does tend to go on and on, but Diane believes that, “beneath all that stuff, I bet there’s a lovely man”.
Can we find him hiding under his piles of books? Can she? Well, we’ll surely have plenty of fun trying!
“Einstein and the Polar Bear” runs at Russian River Hall , Monte Rio, from October 5 through October 27, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees (Oct. 14 and 21 only) at 2 p.m. $15 general, $12 Seniors over 60 and students with ID. Two Fridays are “pay what you can” (Oct. 5 and 12). Our special Gala fundraising performance is Saturday, October 27 (from 7 p.m.). For a tax-deductible donation of $35, come enjoy a delightful buffet of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, Korbel champagne and wines. For reservations and details, call (707) 524-8739
-by Gretchen Belgrave
Featuring: Keith Durling, Jake Hamlin, Thalassa Papakonstantis, Joe Potter, Michelle Randall and Dan Vanek.
The scene is a cluttered farmhouse in rural New England, where Bill Allenson, a highly regarded but no longer active novelist, has withdrawn from the world, supporting himself and his ailing father by selling rare books through the mail. As the play, begins a winter storm is in progress and an attractive young New York commercial artist, Diane Ashe, appears at the farmhouse door, explaining that her car has broken down in the blizzard. Although suspicious, Bill gives her lodging for the night, and as the evening progresses we are aware that Diane, unlike Bill’s neighbors, is both aware of his literary reputation and determined to gain his concern—which she soon does. As the two draw closer, with humorous interruptions by several colorful local characters and the ramblings of Bill’s aging father, who had once encountered Albert Einstein at a lunch counter, Bill’s eloquent but persistent cynicism seems to soften—until he learns that Diane’s presence is not as accidental as she has claimed. As turbulent as it is sudden, their relationship eventually finds its center, and Bill is forced to confront the pain, loss and self-doubt which have made him forsake his talent and the harsh realities of the world in which it once flourished.
While realistic sets are designed by Jake Hamil and Michael Tabib, to give the production the luster and warmth that have become the landmark of the company.
Date: October 5*, 6,12*,13,14,19, 20, 21, 26, 27 (Fridays & Saturdays – 8PM, Sundays – 2PM)
* 2 Fridays only: “Pay What You Can”
Gala Fundraising Performance on October 27, Saturday at 7pm.
Complimentary champagne and wine, buffet of delectable hors d’oeuvres, desserts & non-alcoholic refreshments.
$35 Tax Deductible Donation.
Come see this lovely offering and enjoy an evening of intelligent, funny, witty entertainment at Russain River Hall.
For reservations call: 707-524-8739.