STAGE PAGES online
by Steven Thornburg
There are many things to tell.
While Spotlight On folks are doing shows all over town at other
venues, Frank Calo, Sue Marticek, and Ricardo Cordero are
working hard to find the right venue for our new home.
Excellent leads are popping up; and they say they are getting
warm, very warm.
Glory Bowen, Andrew Rothkin, and
comrades, just did an amazing production of The Tempest
to sold-out houses.
Friends such as Richard Lay,
Shannon Sweeney, and Lizzie Brown succeeded in opening
Richard's newest play, The Oboe Player.
Cuchipinoy is ever-growing and
now doing a strong and formal membership drive.
There are many other sweet
endeavors from among our ranks. While some are vacationg
on the beach, others are finding time to appear in cabarets and
stand-up comedy stores.
I have been busy and creative
with my latest production of Thor's Day. Although
there have been changes in my staff due to illness and other
work, I have great pride in our new creation at Wings.
Hope all of you come to see us and check it out before we
transfer to Broadway. The press release follows this
In this issue you will also find
a review, by Dennis Henson, for The Tempest at the
Looking Glass Theatre & a review of Thor's Day, by
Kenneth Weller, at Wings.
Finally, the Spotlight On Voting
Committee will soon announce the date of the Awards Ceremony
(likely in August). We're going even more upscale this
year if the rumor is right that we will have it at the beautiful
Iridium Jazz Club. This is the venue where Frank Calo
just put on a delighful and new melodrama, Streets of Old
New York (by Edward Crosby Wells) with a bunch of Spottie
folk. Iridium has first-rate food at reasonable prices.
Happy theatre-going, one and all.
WINGS THEATRE & SPOTLIGHT ON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
June 15, 2004
212-627-2960 (office) or Box Office direct: 212-627-2961
Thorís Day, a provocative new thriller,
begins previews at Wings Theatre June 18
Wings Theatre, Jeffery Corrick Artistic Director,
announces the opening of Thorís Day, a new drama by
Edward Crosby Wells, Directed by Steven E. Thornburg.
Previews for Thorís Day begin June 18 with opening night June
25. The performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays,
Saturdays and Mondays at 8pm, with Sunday performances at 7pm.
Wings Theatre is located at 154 Christopher Street in Greenwich
Village. Tickets are $19 and may be purchased online at www.wingstheatre.com
or by calling the box office at (212) 627-2961. TDF
vouchers are accepted at all performances.
Thorís Day is an erotic,
powerful, provocative and terrifying thriller. Philip, an
insurance-selling nebbish, brings home a gorgeous and funny
young man for an afternoon tryst; their encounter is fraught
with pleasure and danger as the clock ticks down to an explosive
and unexpected climax. Buck, perhaps possessed with
supernatural powers, takes Philip on a breathtaking,
life-altering journey into the unexplained territory of his
long-suppressed and hidden desires.
Thorís Day has an interesting history. It was
first produced by The Glines in 1997 under the direction of
Steven E. Thornburg (now directing for Wings as well). The
only other known production of it was the 2003 Spotlight On
Festival Production, presented by The Glines and directed by
Steven E. Thornburg. Playwright Dan Trujillo raves that
THORíS DAY is "a great playÖa fantastic play, or
letís say a fantastically crafted play." John
Chatterton called the original production "complete
commitment by playwright, director, and actors."
Other reviews: "...an intriguing mixture of the
erotic and dangerous..." (HX Magazine), "...strong,
haunting, intense, suspenseful..." (G.S. Bowen/High!Drama
Review), "...a brilliant creation..." (S. Braun/Stage
Pages), "...not a show for the faint of heart, the
squeamish..." (OOBR), and "Both actors are a match
made in heaven...truly a master piece of art" (Global
Featured in the cast are Adam
Mervis and John Rengstorff. The Assistant Director is
Henry Segovia, with sound and original music by Tom Hasselwander,
lighting by Sean Linehan, set by Robert Monaco and costumes by
Tom Claypool. The production is stage managed by Elias
Steven E. Thornburg (Director) is an actor,
director, filmmaker and Associate Producer of Spotlight On
Productions. Formerly at Wings, Steven directed Sea
Cruise and Thereís a War Going On. For The
Glines, he staged Nooses, Knives and Lovers and Thor's
Day. For Sage: Stars (OOBR Award), Kept
Men, Texans Do Tap Dance, The Twilight Ladies, The Aluminum
Garden and Poster of the Cosmos (Sage Awards).
Spotlight On: Yet, Another Fairy Tale, The Tragedy of King
Richard The Second and Michael Doesnít Live Here
Anymore (Spotlight Awards). Award-winning teacher:
A Living Tableau and several student showcases.
Producing: Ice In April (OOBR Award), Circle (OOBR
EDWARD CROSBY WELLS (Playwright), born in New York in 1944,
began playwriting shortly after the life-altering experience of
seeing the Bíway production of Albeeís Tiny Alice.
Among those who have produced his work are Circle Rep (Leaving
Tampa and Flowers Out Of Season), the Greenwich
House Theatre (The Moon Away), New Mexico Rep, the
Dallas Museum of Fine Art, and the United Nations (Tough
Cookies), The Glines (Thorís Day), Iridium Jazz
Club (Streets of Old New York) and Frank Calo (Three
Guys In Drag Selling Their Stuff, The Proctologistís
Daughter and others).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
June 15, 2004
212-627-2960 (office) or Box Office direct: 212-627-2961
"A Mighty Wind"
Review of The
By Dennis Henson
Let me get a couple
things off my chest. I am not a big fan of hour-long
Shakespeare adaptations (unless performed by teenagers and under)
or the alterations of a characterís sex to fit actors. I
think it underestimates actressí ability to transform into men
(and vise-versa for men into women). Finally, if this review
comes across as a love letter to Randi Sobolís acting ability
then you hit the bulls eye.
Okay, with all that off my chest, bravo to
Glory Bowen and her luscious production. Even with my
caveats I still managed to love this entirely too slim production.
I think someone should give this Tempest, and especially this
production, its full-length due. Even though I am not a fan
of altering the sex of characters, here it works.
Letís talk about true actors and true
Shakespearean actors. Letís talk Ms. Sobol and her
incredible gift as a performer. Not only is her delivery of
Shakespeareís text pitch perfect, she gives Prospero (now
Prospera) weight, a soul and supreme magic that this role requires
-- part stage charisma, part acting ability, part technique.
Not only can Ms. Sobol fill the tiny black box of The
Looking Glass but a Broadway stage. Any stage producer is
insane if he doesnít see the gem in Ms. Sobol. She
may be the best thing in our theaters this day and age.
Thatís done. There are many other gems
in this evening. Susan Rankusí Caliban is an excellent
example of gender switching that works and is very clever to boot.
I liked the re-imagining of Caliban into a beaten down
Raggedy Ann doll. Andrew Rothkin (Stephano) and Michael
Whitney (Trinculo) are equally as good. Tina Chow is a very
alluring Ariel. All of the sequences with Ariel and the
fairies, played by Emily Dres Brand, Chiasui Chen and Sacha Iskra,
work very nicely. There is very good choreography by
Jennifer DiMinni with a great touch with the fairies dancing
behind scrim. Rusty Gunther is a very fetching Mirando
and Hana Rosenberg is a very seductive Ferdinanda. The
scenes between the two are very clever; and here the play on the
sexes (and itís reverse) are a lot of fun. Anthony Abdallah
(Gonzalo), Stella Inserra (Queen Alonsa), Gina Stec (Sebastiana),
Jennifer Stokes (Antonia) and Kimberly Felipe Villanueva (Ceres)
round out this terrific ensemble.
The costumes by Rebecca Lustig are dead on, but
sometimes it appears some of the actors seem a little
under-costumed. Almost as if a period custom were thrown
onto contemporary clothes? The scenic design also by Rebecca
Lustig enhanced The Looking Glass Theater; and if it were not for
the unbearable lack of air in that black box, I felt I was
transformed onto Prosperoís Island.
So hats off to Glory Bowenís production which
has a very good ensemble of players, a too brief adaptation of The
Tempest (which at times resembled a backerís demo reel) and
the remarkable and talented Randy Sobol. If any producers
wish to bring good Shakespeare and just plain good Theater to the
people, I suggest you give Ms. Bowen a shout; this is a keeper.
by Kenneth Weller
If you're married (with repressed
desires) and your spouse is away for the day in the hospital,
this isn't your average day. If you cruise the parking
lot of the local porn store and take home a hot stranger half your
age and taller, stronger and perhaps possessed of magical powers,
this is an unlikely day. If you start to feel in danger for
your life and you suspect the motives of this funny guy whom
may be a psychopath, this is a setting for a new classic -- the
heir to The Zoo Story.
Wings has a very electric cast
with John Rengstorff (Philip Winter) and Adam
Mervis (Buck Rose). Writer Edward Crosby
Wells has a great time with symbolism (Philip's wife is
Daisy; and she paints flowers). The production design is hugely
elaborate. The set (Robert Monaco) is
an informal home in Hobbs, New Mexico -- which looks warm and homey
like an on-going craft project. Lighting (Sean
Linehan) and Sound (Tom Hasselwander)
are meticulous. Philip is handsome in his earthy suit; and
hunky Buck is appropriate in his working-class western get-up
(Costumes by Tom Claypool).
Director Steven Thornburg
has just the right timing for the revelations. The
story-telling is assured and highly intriguing. Every
behavior leads logically to the next. This property has a
movie in it. This team tells me that they have the vision of
a studio movie -- much like TAPE -- and I whole-heartedly back
I jumped in my place more than
once. If you like suspense, good drama and the best acting
on any stage, go to Thor's Day.
Thor's Day, by
Edward Crosby Wells. Director: Steven Thornburg.
Producer: Wings Theatre Company (Jeffery Corrick, Artistic
Director/Robert Mooney, Managing Director). Co-Producer:
Spotlight On, Frank Calo and Steven Thornburg. With Adam
Mervis (Buck) and John Rengstorff (Philip). Assistant
Director: Henry Segovia. Stage Manager: Elias
Stimac. Set: Robert Monaco. Lighting: Sean
Linehan. Costumes: Tom Claypool. Music and
Sound: Thomas Hasselwander. A.S.M.: Nayibi
Vergara. Jennifer Clarke (Development Director).
Nelson Rosado (Box Office Manager). Thomas Claypool
In previews at Wings Theatre
Company, 154 Christopher St. June 18 through July 17.
Official opening: June 25. Thursdays, Fridays,
Saturdays and Mondays at 8:00 PM & Sundays at 7:00 PM.