Saturday, December 12, 2009

RANDY ROBERTS ARRIVES LARGER THAN LIFE

RANDY ROBERTS ARRIVES LARGER THAN LIFE
by Chuck Graham
tucsonstage.com

The always cheerful Winter Wonderland Holiday Cabaret at the Invisible Theatre kicks it up a notch this weekend, Dec. 11-13, with the return of Randy Roberts from his home base in Key West after a five-year absence from IT's own cabaret scene. Roberts was here in 2004 with his trunks of elaborate costumes and a wig collection that would make Marie Antoinette envious.

'You don't have to go to Caesar's Palace to see Cher,' says Roberts with so much enthusiasm you have to believe him. When he dips backstage after rehearsal at IT's cozy's mid-town theater and brings out a shimmery, silvery, slinky and fringe-y gown that catches every spark of light in the theater, that word 'glamor' also leaps in.


When he adds the black stiletto platform shoes with seven-inch heels, all bets are off. Your opinion of the real Cher won't matter.

Roberts will be lighting up the stage with his way larger than life presence for three shows at the Winter Wonderland festival, presenting his impressions of Bette Midler and Cher, of course, as well as several other show biz icons with big hair wearing other sparkling gowns he won't talk about. He doesn't want to spoil the surprise.

But a quick online word search for 'Randy Roberts' brings up a couple of Roberts' own YouTube-and-so-forth sites containing more than 20 videos of the performer in action (and costume).

'There will be no lip snyching here,' guarantees Susan Claassen, the Winter Wonderland impresario and IT's artistic director.

Both Roberts and Claassen stress the family friendliness of Roberts' shows. The spectacle is what he loves about these women, and the songs they sing.

'I'm a singing actor who can be funny,' Roberts says. 'I can look out and see everyone of all ages in the audience. People bring their grandkids, and their grandparents.'

After a full 20-year career performing as other people in glitzy venues from Las Vegas to Manhattan, Roberts is also developing a stage persona as himself.

'I always say 'Cher brings them in, Randy brings them back',' the performer adds with a smile.

Along with being himself onstage as an entertainer, Roberts will also include a casual segment where he dishes with Claassen about his life backstage and in the spotlight. He'll be letting down his hair, in more ways than one. Now that is something the real Cher would never do.

This Winter Wonderland Holiday Cabaret continues next week at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Here is the schedule:


Dec. 11-12, 8 p.m.; Dec. 13, 3 p.m. - Randy Roberts Live! Coming straight from Key West! A world renowned female illusionist recreates the magic of Cher, Bette Midler, and others.


Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. - The Boone Family meets the “Craig Sistahs” when trombonist Rob Boone, harpist Christine Vivona, and their sons Jesse and Corey share the stage with Betty Craig and Betsy Kruse Craig.



Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. - Armen Dirtadian, Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky and special guest Michelle Brourman present Broadway favorites, American standards, original compositions and all that jazz!



Dec. 19, 8 p.m. - Original Wildcat Jass Band! Traditional New Orleans and Chicago jazz.


Dec. 19, 2 p.m. - “Kiddy Kabaret” With Suz Claassen, Betsy Kruse Craig and the Boone Family! Music, fun and stories for the whole family!! Tickets $10.00.

Tickets for all the shows (except 'Kiddy Kabaret') are: $22 general admission! 3 Event Sampler $60, 5 Show Holiday Special $ 100. For details and reservations (520) 882- 9721 or www.invisibletheatre.com.

"“RUNT OF THE LITTER” IS A HAUNTING (AND RIVETING) TALE OF TRIUMPH

"“RUNT OF THE LITTER” IS A HAUNTING (AND RIVETING) TALE OF TRIUMPH
by Chuck Graham
tucsonstage.com

If Invisible Theatre never does anything else, the idealistic company will be forever treasured for bringing us Bo Eason in his one-man show, “Runt of the Litter.” Everyone who saw Eason’s performance in a pair of shows last weekend can consider themselves blessed in Tucson theater circles.


This was one of the most powerful, intense, touching and compelling experiences seen on a local stage in decades. It is impossible to overstate the emotional power Eason created all by himself working in the spotlight of the Berger Performing Arts Center.


Using just a few props and some sound effects, the former professional football player took us from his memories of being an awe-struck 9-year-old determined to get his working class father’s attention, to the following years of discipline that turned him into the terrifyingly driven safety on defense for the Houston Oilers. Determined to make up in psychological force what he lacked in physical size, Eason lived to throw himself in harm’s way on the football field at every opportunity.


All because, as he was growing up, Eason’s older brother Tony was the gifted athlete who took his talent for granted. Tony got the lion’s share of their father’s attention, too.


Tony Eason would go on to become starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Bo Eason also made it to the NFL, playing safety for the Houston Oilers.


But “Runt of the Litter” isn’t about playing football…exactly…or working hard for your dreams. There is football and hard work in it, and some telling scenes about the eccentric nature of men who play pro ball, as well as the violence contained within their sport.


The play is really about how having focused determination can be a valuable quality, but if carried to extremes that determination becomes a poisonous obsession. In the case of professional football, it can turn overachieving athletes into wild-eyed animals consumed by their own voracious appetites.


You don’t think a sweet little 9-year-old kid who adores his big brother and lives for his dad can make that twisted transformation? Eason has seen it happen first hand. He knows that feeling inside and out. He also has the artistic talent to tell the story in a way so compelling, so convincing, it will stick in your head forever.


Just ask someone who saw Bo Eason in “Runt of the Litter” this weekend. Then ask Invisible Theater to bring the show back to Tucson for a much longer run.

"“RUNT OF THE LITTER” IS A HAUNTING (AND RIVETING) TALE OF TRIUMPH

"“RUNT OF THE LITTER” IS A HAUNTING (AND RIVETING) TALE OF TRIUMPH

If Invisible Theatre never does anything else, the idealistic company will be forever treasured for bringing us Bo Eason in his one-man show, “Runt of the Litter.” Everyone who saw Eason’s performance in a pair of shows last weekend can consider themselves blessed in Tucson theater circles.


This was one of the most powerful, intense, touching and compelling experiences seen on a local stage in decades. It is impossible to overstate the emotional power Eason created all by himself working in the spotlight of the Berger Performing Arts Center.


Using just a few props and some sound effects, the former professional football player took us from his memories of being an awe-struck 9-year-old determined to get his working class father’s attention, to the following years of discipline that turned him into the terrifyingly driven safety on defense for the Houston Oilers. Determined to make up in psychological force what he lacked in physical size, Eason lived to throw himself in harm’s way on the football field at every opportunity.


All because, as he was growing up, Eason’s older brother Tony was the gifted athlete who took his talent for granted. Tony got the lion’s share of their father’s attention, too.


Tony Eason would go on to become starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Bo Eason also made it to the NFL, playing safety for the Houston Oilers.


But “Runt of the Litter” isn’t about playing football…exactly…or working hard for your dreams. There is football and hard work in it, and some telling scenes about the eccentric nature of men who play pro ball, as well as the violence contained within their sport.


The play is really about how having focused determination can be a valuable quality, but if carried to extremes that determination becomes a poisonous obsession. In the case of professional football, it can turn overachieving athletes into wild-eyed animals consumed by their own voracious appetites.


You don’t think a sweet little 9-year-old kid who adores his big brother and lives for his dad can make that twisted transformation? Eason has seen it happen first hand. He knows that feeling inside and out. He also has the artistic talent to tell the story in a way so compelling, so convincing, it will stick in your head forever.


Just ask someone who saw Bo Eason in “Runt of the Litter” this weekend. Then ask Invisible Theater to bring the show back to Tucson for a much longer run.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BO EASON PUTS PRO FOOTBALL ONSTAGE

BO EASON PUTS PRO FOOTBALL ONSTAGE


by Chuck Graham
Tucsonstage.com



We love stories of triumph, and former professional football player Bo Eason has a good one. The younger, smaller brother of New England Patriots quarterback Tony Eson, Bo is the personification of sibling rivalry carried to the max.

Invisible Theatre brings us the whole story, told by Bo himself in a semi-autobiographical tale he calls "Runt of the Litter." As the title implies, Bo was the one who always had to try harder. Man, did he ever One reviewer of this off-Broadway stage hit compared Bo and Tony to Cain and Able.

Developed as a one-man show, Eason recounts his life as a continuous challenge to win his father's affection by being as good as his larger and more talented brother. For dramatic purposes, Bo sets the story on a character named Jack Henry who plays safety for the Houston Oilers.

Jack is preparing for the defining game of his life, the conference championship that will decide which team goes to the Super bowl. Opposing the Oilers are the New England Patriots, quarterbacked by Jack's older brother Charlie.

The reality is, back in the 1980s Bo did play safety for the Houston Oilers and Tony was the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. But the brothers never played against each other in the playoffs. That's the drama part.

The emotional pay-off in "Runt of the Litter," though, is not about who wins the game but -- as the old saying goes -- how the game is played. From childhood, Bo dedicated himself to the pursuit of a career in pro football.

He had no choice. On notebook paper, little boy Bo drew up his 20-year plan to get to the pros. Then the focused lad diligently followed that plan as he grew older, getting up daily at 5 a.m., catching 1,000 passes every day, enlisting his mother's help and never taking any football coach's "No" as the final answer.

Bo's insight into the personalities of other pro football players is in there, too. They love the war zone of the playing field, Bo observes, and they feel bothered by the "peace time" of those hours spent in civilian clothes.

"Runt of the Litter" promises to be more than just another story of conflict with a happy ending. Those guys you see on TV on game day are not robots in football gear. After the game, out of the locker room, they need someplace to go. They can't just hang around the football stadium.

Bo Eason takes us into this life, growing up on sports magazines, fighting back pain, flying on the wings of triumph, breaking the death grip of adversity. It's all on stage, the real conflicts in a game everyone plays 24/7. The game of life.

Performances of "Runt of the Litter," presented by Invisible Theatre, are at the Berger Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd., on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $42, group discounts are available. Because of the adult language among those football players, the IT staff is recommending this play for ages 12 and older.

A post-show reception with Bo Eason, and a chance to get your photo taken with him, will be held at Pastiche Modern Eatery, 3025 N. Campbell Ave., after the Dec. 5 performance. Tickets for this gathering, which includes refreshments, are $20. Reservations for the reception are made with Phyllis at IT, 520-882-9721.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Eason's 'Runt' tackles football as metaphor | www.azstarnet.com ®

Eason's 'Runt' tackles football as metaphor | www.azstarnet.com ®

Published: 12.04.2009
Eason's 'Runt' tackles football as metaphor
One-man show dramatizes ex-pro player's plan for life
By Alexa Miller
FOR THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Bo Eason anxiously waits in the dark before he whips into action.
A familiar rush of adrenalin pumps through his veins. He feels the crowd's anticipation.

"I can hear the crowd, I can feel their vibrations," said Eason, a former Houston Oiler safety.

"I feel like I'm in the Astrodome again, waiting to be introduced to 65,000 fans."



Bo Eason brings his one-man show, Runt of the Litter, to the Old Pueblo. Photo courtesy of Invisible Theatre.

But this is theater, not football. The scene is backstage, waiting to make his entrance for his one-man show, "Runt of the Litter." Invisible Theatre brings the production to Tucson this weekend.

The cue music starts, the lights go on and Eason takes his first step in recounting, play-by-play, his journey to becoming a professional football player.

"Whether it's a sport or a play, I get a thrill from live performance. You can't stop to go back and redo something," said Eason. "That ambivalent feeling makes me nervous, but I rise to the occasion."

Written by Eason, "Runt" is a semi-autobiographical account of a dedicated man who was always told he wasn't good enough to play football.

He fell into the shadow of his gifted older brother, Tony. With determination and a crayon in hand, 9-year-old Eason drew out a 20-year plan that, if strictly followed, would lead the way to a professional football career.

"When the play starts, you are in the last hour of the 20-year plan, and it's all about to come true," said Eason. "Catch is, I have to destroy my brother to make it happen."

Tony played for the New England Patriots and in 1987, the brothers' teams were slated to play each other. Eason was the Oiler's safety, and his brother was the Patriot's quarterback, two positions that compete directly.

"Fate would have it that the game never happened, but over a decade later I was still haunted by it," said Eason. "I always wondered what could have happened."

Choosing to channel his curiosities through live theater, Eason's "Runt" delves into his dreams, ambitions, sibling rivalries and family loyalties, but with a little added drama.

"It's universal in its themes," said Eason. "The more personal you make it the more universal it becomes."
Through his story-telling, Eason looks to inspire.


"Kids will come up to me after the show and say, 'Wow, my parents need to see this,' and parents will come up and say, 'Wow, my kid needs to see this'," said Eason.

"Runt" also inspired the yet-to-be-released movie of the same name directed by Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption," "The Green Mile"), as well as the "21 Day Runt Program," where children learn how to visualize and work toward their goals by creating a plan.

"The program has the kids do exactly what I did when I was 9, declare a dream, draw it and write it down," said Eason. "So the story relates right to them."

If you go
"Runt of the Litter"
• Presented by: The Invisible Theatre.
• Written/performed by: Bo Eason.
• Director: Larry Moss
• When: 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.
• Where: The Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway.
• Tickets: $42; Rush tickets are half-price half-hour before curtain; based on availability.
• Reservations/information: 882-9721.
• Running time: 2 hours, with one intermission
Alexa Miller is a University of Arizona student who is apprenticing at the Star. Contact her at 573-4128 or at starapprentice@azstarnet.com.

Friday, November 13, 2009

LOVE COMES TO ALL AGES IN "SOUTHERN COMFORTS"

LOVE COMES TO ALL AGES IN "SOUTHERN COMFORTS"

At Invisible Theatre
LOVE COMES TO ALL AGES IN "SOUTHERN COMFORTS"


by Chuck Graham
TucsonStage.com

If you think the dating game is complicated for young people, consider the dimensions of effort required to maneuver around decades of past experience -- plus respecting the feelings of grandchildren as well as children, maybe stepchildren, and all the other baggage of life while falling in love at age 72 or older. Even if both members of this new coupling have only had one husband or wife before, expectations can get pretty tangled.

That's the premise of "Southern Comforts" by Kathleen Clark, just opened at Invisible Theatre. This gentle romantic comedy tweaks the emotions in unexpected directions as two strangers deep into their senior years meet sweetly over a televised baseball game. She stops by his northern New Jersey home to ask for a contribution to charity. He's watching baseball. She loves baseball.

Determined not to seem interested in each other, but wanted to know more about each other, they are wary to begin that euphoric slide into cohabitation. So their mating dance has a different pace. The sexual revolution may have changed the rules of the game for those just starting out in life, but fidelity often has a heavier consequence for people in their seventies.

Tucson favorites Maedell Dixon and Douglas Mitchell play the roles of Amanda and Gus -- people raised to be responsible and reliable in a different generation. Under the direction of Harold Dixon, these two find each other in a totally believable glide though the stages of compatibility to their ultimate destination.

Outgoing Amanda, with genteel southern manners, hides her caution behind graceful conversation. Grumpy Gus, a retired stonemason with flinty features, cuts right through those flowery gestures with his no-nonsense New England attitude. He's all about being practical. His romantic side has been left withering for decades.

Yet, Amanda sees Gus with his broad shoulders and thick fingers as just the sort of man who could become the steadfast anchor she needs to survive in such a harsh land. Unsentimental Gus compares Amanda to a good cup of coffee. "You keep me awake," he explains earnestly.

Within the context of this play, such compliments draw recognition as well as laughter. Throughout the evening of their banter (there are no other cast members )couples in the audience are always looking at each other, poking each other, nodding in agreement, seeing themselves in the give-and-take of Amanda and Gus.

Considering the number of second and third marriages being consummated these days, a lot of traditional expectations have pretty much gone out the window. Traditionally, the guy gets to pick the stereo system and the gal gets to pic...basically, everything else. But if both people have similar interests, such as reading, and have accumulated huge libraries of books you can appreciate the difficulty. Even a killer stereo doesn't have the cachet it used to.

"Southern Comforts" has a scene like that. Gus prefers a spare amount of furnishings in his home, he values empty space because a man needs room to move around. Amanda has 12 of those floor-to-ceiling cases full of books. And a big sofa, some chairs, lots of pictures and knick-knacks for the walls. She likes things cozy.

A more touching moment arrives in their conversations about funeral plots and headstones. Gus just assumed he'd be buried next to his first wife. Amanda is horrified. Gus protests because, after all, he already owns the plot. Well, you can see how this kind of discussion can get pretty complicated.

Reassurance is what this play provides, just as its title implies. Love and marriage are always scary at any age, and in our youth-dominated culture there is some resistance to even think about older people enjoying fresh new love at all. But they do, the online stories in Facebook are full of evidence. This play is set in 1996, a digital update could come along any minute.

Performances of "Southern Comforts" by Kathleen Clark continue at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (no performance Thanksgiving Day), 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, to Nov. 29. Tickets are $22-$25, with group discounts. For details and reservations, 882-9721, or visit www.invisibletheatre.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

'Southern Comforts' seductively charming | www.azstarnet.com ®

'Southern Comforts' seductively charming | www.azstarnet.com ®

The Arizona Daily Star

Published: 11.06.2009
'Southern Comforts' seductively charming
By Kathleen Allen
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

The North and South are at it again.

It's not quite a civil war in Kathleen Clark's "Southern Comforts," which Invisible Theatre opens next week.
But it is a bit of a war between two septuagenarians, she from the South — Tennessee — he from the North — New Jersey.

They fall in love, but it ain't easy.


Amanda (Maedell Dixon) and Gus (Douglas Mitchell) star in the Invisible Theatre's production of "Southern Comforts," a romantic comedy.
Tim Fuller / Courtesy of Invisible Theatre


"Southerners are a little bit more spirited," Clark explained in a phone interview from her New Jersey home. "Northerners are a bit more staid."
Clark knows what she's talking about — her family is a big mixture of people from both parts of the country.

The Northerners love that partying but are a bit perplexed by it.
"There's a little bit of that New England Yankee thing going on with them," she said. "That is not how they party."

The dichotomy between the two served Clark well with her love story.
Amanda is visiting her daughter in New Jersey when she meets Gus. They are both widowed, and romance is not on either's agenda.

He is stubborn, austere, set in his ways. She is gregarious, social and set in her ways.
Naturally, love steps in.

Clark knew the difference in geographical and cultural backgrounds would make for good comedy.
But she was concerned about the acceptance of a play that's a romance about two people in their 70s.
"I know they are older," Clark said, "but I feel that we all have these bumps in the road — old and young."
It seems her instinct was right:
"Sincere, warm and filled with poignant longing," Entertainment Weekly said when the play made its New York City off-Broadway debut.

The New York Times called it "delightful" and "sneakily sexy."
And Susan Claassen, Invisible Theatre's artistic director, said she was seduced by the play of opposites in "Southern Comforts."

"The potential of the relationships was so interesting to me — the cultural differences, and the quirky personality differences," she said.

"As the playwright said, when it comes to love, the hardest part isn't loving, but learning how to live with the person. That is what this plays shows us."

if you go
• "Southern Comforts"
• Presented by: Invisible Theatre.
• Playwright: Kathleen Clark.
• Director: Harold Dixon.
• Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
• When: Preview 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; opening 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Regular shows are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (no show Nov. 26); 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 29.
• Tickets: Preview $16, regular performances $22-$25. Half-price rush-hour tickets available one-half hour before curtain; subject to availability.
• Reservations/information: 882-9721.
• Cast: Maedell Dixon and Douglas Mitchell.
• Running time: 2 hours with one intermission.
Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@azstarnet.com or 573-4128

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

www.azstarnet.com ® | Straight from the Art

www.azstarnet.com ® | Straight from the Art: "


Tim Clue popped into town ...
09/21/2009 10:18 AM
Kathleen Allen

Sunday to catch a performance of the play he and his partner Spike Manton penned, “Leaving Iowa.” The comedy is currently at Invisible Theatre in a production starring Roberto Guajardo (full disclosure here: he’s my husband and I think he’s brilliant), Terry Erbe, David Johnston, Lori Hunt, Victoria McGee and Susan Kovitz. In this picture, Clue’s the one seated second from left.
[Tim Clue (second from left, seated), with cast crew, etc, of Leaving Iowa.]

Clue and the cast and crew popped into Pastiche after the show, and he gushed about the Susan Claassen-directed production, insisting it was one of the better ones he had seen of it.

It is quite funny. And not just because my husband’s in it. Claassen used a restrained hand in directing a play that could have been over-the-top sentimental. Instead, it hits much harder because it is so much more subtle and heart-felt.

Clue, an actor, comedian, screen writer and playwright, hopes to see this play transfer to the big screen. He meets next month with actor Jeff Daniels, who founded the Purple Rose Theatre – the company to first stage “Leaving Iowa.”

Just think … you can say you saw it here first.

Back

Saturday, September 19, 2009

IT's 'Leaving Iowa' is a poignant and hilarious take on family trips | www.azstarnet.com ®


IT's 'Leaving Iowa' is a poignant and hilarious take on family trips | www.azstarnet.com ®:
Accent

IT's 'Leaving Iowa' is a poignant and hilarious take on family trips
By Cathalena E. Burch
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.18.2009

Don Browning is on a mission.

He needs to spread his father's ashes at his grandparents' Iowa home.

Problem is, the home is gone, replaced by a grocery store.

It just doesn't seem right to leave Dad in aisle 7, next to the kitty litter.




From left, Mom (Victoria McGee), Dad (David Johnston), Don (Roberto Guajardo) and Sis (Susan Kovitz) study the Iowa map to plan their next "exotic" trip in Invisible Theatre's "Leaving Iowa."
Tim Fuller / Courtesy of Invisible Theatre

So Don's predictable mission becomes a major adventure along the endlessly bucolic landscape of Iowa, where adventures are as hard to come by as steep hills.

Along the way, he recounts boyhood road trips with his history-obsessed, side-tripping father as he tries to find the most suitable resting place.

That's the premise of Tim Clue and Spike Manton's "Leaving Iowa," a poignantly touching and belly-bustingly funny story of family dynamics that Invisible Theatre is staging to open its 39th season.
The story is told through seamlessly executed flashbacks that take us along with the Brownings on their "unpredictable" family vacations to exotic locales like Hannibal, Mo. The trips are always predictable: Dad drags them along to see historic markers and Civil War re-enactments, and Mom gets swooped up in a traveling Amish flea market.

The stage is simply set with boxes that the actors roll around to create different scenes — the family car, a counter at the diner, a hotel counter, an auto shop and a bar.

There's a serious risk here for the time-traveling to trip up the audience. But clever lighting and impeccably timed interruptions — Mom, Dad and Sis freeze in their tracks as Don flips midscene to current day — kept the action on track.

"Leaving Iowa" also could easily slip into sappy sentimentality, but director Susan Claassen, IT's longtime managing artistic director, was happily restrained. She allowed the mushy moments — like when Don breaks down in an out-of-the-way diner and weeps over the missed opportunity to attend his father's funeral — to evolve organically.

Don's diner outburst was the play's most dramatic moment. Most of the other action left Wednesday's nearly sold-out opening-night audience laughing like they were watching home movies from their own lives.
The humor in the hands of this cast never felt forced. David Johnston's father figure is the oblivious nerd, obsessed with passing every recreational vehicle on the highway and taking his family on history-seeking adventures that play out more like a dentist visit than a vacation.

Victoria McGee as Mom is sublimely understated, the perfect June Cleaver wannabe. On the rare occasions she raises her voice, everyone snaps to attention.

Roberto Guajardo brings a well-timed sense of humor to Don as he narrates the family's vacation slide show with deliciously funny asides, and Susan Kovitz is richly annoying as the pestering little sister. The two together are pricelessly true-to-life, particularly in the scene where Sis convinces Daddy that Don smacked her with his copy of Mark Twain short stories. Truth is she thumped him.

(Don't be embarrassed if you whisper to your neighbor, "That's my kids" or "That was me and my sister." It's easy to see yourself in these characters.)

But the runaway scene stealers throughout the production were Terry Erbe and Lori Hunt, who play at least a half-dozen characters — from the Brownings' grandparents to the car mechanic and his John Wayne-impersonating sidekick; diner cook and annoyingly chatty waitress; and hotel clerk and flirtatious hotel guest.

Erbe and Hunt deliciously exaggerated every back-road stereotype, from the hillbilly drawl to the bumbling, dumbstruck demeanor that defined most of those characters. Never once, though, did it come off as gratuitous or forced.

Review
"Leaving Iowa"
• Presented by: Invisible Theatre.
• Playwrights: Tim Clue and Spike Manton.
• Director: Susan Claassen.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 4.
• Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
• Tickets: $22-$25, with rush tickets available for half-price a half-hour before curtain, if available.
• Information/reservations: 882-9721.
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at 573-4642 or cburch@azstarnet.com

THEATRE


THEATRE:
"LOTS OF LAUGHS AND SOME BITTERSWEET MOMENTS AT INVISIBLE THEATRE
By Chuck Graham

Leaving Iowa” is one of those plays that means so much more than its plot. To simply outline the action would be a disservice to the playwrights Tim Clue and Spike Manton.

Invisible Theatre opens its 39th season with a touching production of “Leaving Iowa” directed by IT’s artistic director Susan Claassen. The central figure is Don, given a rangy performance by Roberto Guajardo. He is the person to whom everything happens, and also the person who must provide a bit of narration from time to time.

Thanks to a supporting cast of five who pile on layers of family-type comedy, the whole thing moves along quite nicely. It is sort of a road play, in that most of the action takes place in a car. But it is more significantly a memory play, as Don spends most of his stage time trying to resolve a difficult relationship with his father (played with insight by David Alexander Johnston).

Don’s dad is one of those Greatest Generation fathers who believed in the value of strong silent leadership. Be wise but show no emotion. Discipline the children with a firm but fair hand. Always remember, father knows best.LEAVING IOWA invisible theatre.jpg

It is the “fair” part that bothers Don. He never believed his father was playing fair. Dad always liked Don’s sister (Susan Kovitz) best. Don and his sister were unforgiving siblings who couldn’t stop playing personal power games long after they were grown up.

Don’s mom (Victoria McGee) was from the same era, valuing politeness and letting father lead until it was absolutely necessary for her to step in and take control.

The normal-to-a-fault family takes pride in its self-image of Midwestern stability in an upstanding rural community. Iowans always value a steady ship and feel suspicious of imagination.

Don loves imagination. He grew up to find success as a columnist for a big Boston newspaper and considers his family rather…provincial. He didn’t go back home for any of the family’s milestone events. He was always too busy.

As the play opens, Don is back at the family home in Iowa, feeling guilty. He wants to make peace with the memory of his father, dead now for three years. But Don doesn’t know how.

“Leaving Iowa” then bounces back and forth between recreations of long-ago family vacations in the car, and Don’s present day ruminations wishing he could apologize to his dad so they could finally be friends. This bittersweet blend develops moments that are quite affecting.

Guajardo’s work is quite remarkable, getting laughs by acting like a little kid one minute and holding the audience in complete empathetic silence the next. To be sure the play is a comedy, filled with genuine laughter over so many ridiculous things that can happen on family vacations. There is a lot to laugh at.

The poignant parts aren’t nearly so numerous, but they are very powerful.

Adding more humor are Terry Erbe and Lori Hunt playing all the different characters you might meet on the road back in the days before the Interstate highway system turned car travel into such a monotonous experience. There are the folksy farmers, the ditzy truck stop waitresses, the sullen auto mechanics, the sleazy motel clerks, all those opportunists sucking what life they could from the naïve families who somehow believed life on the open road would bring them closer together.

“Leaving Iowa” plays at Invisible theatre, 1400 N. First Ave., Wednesdays through Sundays to Oct 4. Tickets are $22 and $25. For details, 882-9721, or visit www.invisibletheatre.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

'Leaving Home' takes you back | www.azstarnet.com ®

'Leaving Home' takes you back | www.azstarnet.com ®: "Quantcast

Accent

'Leaving Home' takes you back

By Kathleen Allen
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.11.2009

Frustration can be a powerful motivator. It's what got Tim Clue and his writing partner, Spike Manton, to put fingers to keyboard and come up with 'Leaving Iowa,' which Invisible Theatre opens next week.
'We were tired of not getting our calls picked up by our literary agent,' said Clue, speaking by phone from his Chicago home.



The cast of 'Leaving Iowa' includes, front row, Victoria McGee and David Johnston and, back row, Roberto Guajardo and Susan Kovitz.
Tim Fuller / Courtesy of Invisible Theatre


The two had written screenplays together, were comedians and had tackled other writing projects. Still, that agent was elusive.

Maybe a play would do the trick.

Theater was a new venture for them when they sat down to brainstorm a play about family vacations and coming to grips with life, love and death.
The two, friends since college, thought of 'the tortured trips of our past,' said Clue.
'We both shared that time-capsule experience of road trips where the destination is not nearly as memorable as the trips,' he said.

And they pulled from other memories growing up.

'My father was a bigger-than-life persona,' said Clue.

'He ran a tavern in a small town and was known for kicking people out. We wanted to do an homage to that generation, the greatest generation. … There was a beauty and simplicity to their own sense of purpose. Only in retrospect can you be almost awestruck by someone's purpose, someone's mission. And his mission, as a low-middle-class, small-town, non-college-educated man, was to make sure our life was better than his life. I thought to myself, how can we construct a play that honors him?

'And I wanted to honor father/son relationships where very little was spoken — it was a relationship of acts and deeds, not of psychobabble.'

'Leaving Iowa' is a raucous little comedy with characters that smack of 'that's my mom' and 'hey, my sister and I did that.'

It's about a son who returns home to bring his father's ashes to his requested resting place. As he drives, ashes next to him, he strikes up conversations with his dad and recalls family vacations to obscure, history-heavy, only-dad-would-love places.

'How many of us have a quintessential memory of something that our father or mother did on one of those trips?' said Clue, adding that voicing those memories often makes for emotion-laden moments.
Not that this play is a tear-jerker. It isn't, but there are soft, poignant moments that break up the story fat with one-liners and ridiculous but oh-so-familiar situations.

'I hope,' said Clue, 'that the play is a playful celebration of the profoundly simple.'
Oh, and that agent? Since Michigan's Purple Rose Theatre Company premiered the play in 2004, it's been staged by theaters around the country. Their agent takes their calls now.

If you go
'Leaving Iowa'
• Presented by: Invisible Theatre.
• Playwrights: Tim Clue and Spike Manton.
• Director: Susan Claassen.
• When: Preview at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; opening 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Regular performances 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 4.
• Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
• Tickets: $16-$25, with rush tickets available for half-price a half-hour before curtain, if available.
• Information/reservations: 882-9721.
• Cast: Terry Erbe, Roberto Guajardo, Lori Hunt, David Johnston, Susan Kovitz and Victoria McGee.
• Running time: 2 hours, with one intermission.
Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at 573-4128 or kallen@azstarnet.com

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Invisible Theatre Auditions - An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf.

THE INVISIBLE THEATRE ANNOUNCES

AUDITIONS FOR MEN AND WOMEN

for

AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFÉ DU GRAND BOEUF

The Invisible Theatre will hold auditions for AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFÉ DU GRAND BOEUF on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm. Auditions will be held at the Invisible Theatre - 1400 N. First Ave (at Drachman). Actors must bring a recent headshot and resume and will be asked to read from the script. Familiarity with the play is recommended.

Please call the Invisible Theatre (520) 882-9721 with your name and phone contact. You will then be given information on when sides will be available for pick-up.

AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFÉ DU GRAND BOEUF

Directed by Samantha Wyer

April 28 – May 16, 2010

Rehearsals begin in March

Victor is a man of immense appetites. He is a wealthy and eccentric American expatriate living in 1961 Paris and owns the fabulous Café du Grand Boeuf, the world's finest restaurant, which he reserves solely for his private use. When he unexpectedly arrives in a state of broken-hearted desperation, the staff attempts to lift his spirits by seducing him with culinary splendors, but they find that the way to a man's heart may not be through his stomach. This deliciously wild and zany comedy in seven courses celebrates the joys of cooking, sex, bullfighting, the collected works of Ernest Hemingway and living each moment to its fullest!

"… a treat on the Off-Broadway menu…"

- New York Daily News

AVAILABLE ROLES

VICTOR – In his fifties. Owner of the establishment. An imposing man that takes up space, physically and emotionally. Actor must have a strong comedic sensibility.

CLAUDE – Headwaiter. Late thirties to early forties. Actor must have a comedic sensibility and ability to handle text with descriptive imagery.

MIMI – Waitress. In her thirties. Claude's wife. Pretty and clever with a quick quip ready at all times.

GASTON – The Chef. In his forties. Very proud and very secretly in love with Mimi. A bit of a buffoon.

ANTOINE – Waiter-in-training. Early twenties. Nervous, sensitive young man. Has a stutter. Actor will need to play an instrument such as a tuba, trombone or saxophone or be willing to learn during the rehearsal process.

MISS BERGER – Forties. Victor's beloved. Elegant, sophisticated, faded beauty.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Outfront Laughs and Backstage Truths at IT


Outfront Laughs and Backstage Truths at IT
by Chuck Graham
Let The Show Begin


"Don't Talk To The Actors" has become a huge hit for Invisible Theater, 1400 N. First Ave. Now the company has added another week of performances, extending the run until June 7.

This energetic comedy by Tom Dudzick, directed by Susan Claassen, takes us deep into the creative process percolating backstage as a young, new playwright gets his first crack at having on a show on Broadway.

A long time ago I had a tee-shirt that read (in French) "Art is a dirty business, but somebody's got to do it." Dudzick is committed to that idea, and has a great deal of fun showing us why.

Jerry Przpezniak (Eric Schumacher) is the young writer, just arrived in New York's theater district from the untrammeled upstate hinterland of Buffalo. In tow is his girlfriend Arlene (Dallas Thomas), heart all aflutter because one of her favorite actors from girlhood has been cast in a leading role.



Arlene (Dallas Thomas) and Jerry (Eric Schumacher) enjoy a happy moment in "Don't Talk To The Actors."


Impressed that her boyfriend could write such a play, Arlene is even more impressed that she will actually get to meet this now-faded star.

That would be Curt Logan (Douglas Mitchell), a middle-aged blowhard whose best acting was years ago -- which is about the time Arlene as a young girl would have seen him.

The I.T. production does belong to Mitchell, whose performance gets the humor in what makes baseless arrogance so pitiful -- and consequently, so funny.

Arlene, of course, doesn't see any of the down side to her middle-aged hero. She is flattered by all the smarmy attention he slathers on her. A good subtitle to this play would be "And Don’t Let Your Girlfriend Meet Them."

Adding to our suspicions that some popular celebrities are actually snarky people is Liz McMahon as Beatrice Pomeroy. Once one of the bright lights on Broadway, Beatrice has aged into a potty-mouthed woman whose naughty jokes now seem disgusting rather than shocking.

David Johnston shows wonderful restraint as Mike Policzek, the director of Jerry's play. Any time an actor gets cast as a director, there is the temptation to fill the director's personality with every unpleasant characteristic imaginable. Johnston's director has his idiosyncrasies, but we appreciate how he is basically a good guy who's been given one of those dirty jobs as an artist.

Adding delightfully droll comedy is Carrie Hill, using a British accent to play the stage manager Lucinda Shaw. Her sense of backstage propriety is intense, clearly believing these Americans simply don’t give the theater its proper respect.

"Don't Talk To The Actors" takes place on the first day of rehearsal, in a cluttered room just off Times Square. The two actors, the director and the playweright gather around a table with copies of the script. Off to the side are Arlene and Lucinda.

At first everyone is polite to everyone else. As the rehearsal process goes on, all of them are always playing the personality angles, probing for weak spots, asserting strengths, wanting to keep the upper hand in this delicate midwifing of a new play.

It is a potent dance, which Dudzick gives the feeling of authenticity. Between laughs, thoughtful audience members will catch some serious tones, as well.

Is the actor's first responsibility to tell the story or to give a career enhancing performance? Is the director's first responsibliity to the script, or to juice up the production so it sells more tickets? Also stirred into the mix are observations on the subjectivity of art.

As food for thought, "Don't Talk To The Actors" is a balanced meal.


For details, www.invisibletheatre.com

Sunday, May 31, 2009

On stage | www.azstarnet.com ®

On stage www.azstarnet.com ®


Don't Talk' extended with 3 more shows
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 05.29.2009

Invisible Theatre's very silly, very fun 'Don't Talk to the Actors' has been extended — shows have been added for 8 p.m. June 5-6 and 3 p.m. June 7.

So there are no excuses not to go — and if you like to laugh, you want to go.
Tickets are $22-$25. Invisible Theatre is at 1400 N. First Ave., 882-9721.

Kathleen Allen"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Outfront Laughs and Backstage Truths at IT

Outfront Laughs and Backstage Truths at IT
by Chuck Graham
Tucsonstage.com
May 28, 2009

There is still time to catch 'Don't Talk To The Actors,' getting big laughs for one more weekend at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. This energetic comedy by Tom Dudzick, directed by Susan Claassen, takes us deep into the creative process percolating backstage as a young, new playwright gets his first crack at having on a show on Broadway.




Arlene (Dallas Thomas) and Jerry (Eric Schumacher) enjoy a happy moment in 'Don't Talk To The Actors.'



A long time ago I had a tee-shirt that read (in French) "Art is a dirty business, but somebody's got to do it." Dudzick is committed to that idea, and has a great deal of fun showing us why.

Jerry Przpezniak (Eric Schumacher) is the young writer, just arrived in New York's theater district from the untrammeled upstate hinterland of Buffalo. In tow is his girlfriend Arlene (Dallas Thomas), heart all aflutter because one of her favorite actors from girlhood has been cast in a leading role. Impressed that her boyfriend could write such a play, Arlene is even more impressed that she will actually get to meet this now-faded star.

That would be Curt Logan (Douglas Mitichell), a middle-aged blowhard whose best acting was years ago -- which is about the time Arlene as a young girl would have seen him.

The I.T. production does belong to Mitchell, whose performance gets the humor in what makes baseless arrogance so pitiful -- and consequently, so funny.

Arlene, of course, doesn't see any of the down side to her middle-aged hero. She is flattered by all the smarmy attention he slathers on her. A good subtitle to this play would be "And Don’t Let Your Girlfriend Meet Them."

Adding to our suspicions that some popular celebrities are actually snarky people is Liz McMahon as Beatrice Pomeroy. Once one of the bright lights on Broadway, Beatirce has aged into a potty mouthed woman whose naughty jokes now seem disgusting rather than shocking.

David Johnston shows wonderful restraint as Mike Policzek, the director of Jerry's play. Any time an actor gets cast as a director, there is the temptation to fill the director's personality with every unpleasant characteristic imaginable. Johnston's director has his idiosyncrasies, but we appreciate how he is basically a good guy who's been given one of those dirty jobs as an artist.

Adding delightfully droll comedy is Carrie Hill, using a British accent to play the stage manager Lucinda Shaw. Her sense of backstage propriety is intense, clearly believing these Americans simply don’t give the theater its proper respect.

"Don't Talk To The Actors" takes place on the first day of rehearsal, in a cluttered room just off Times Square. The two actors, the director and the playweright gather around a table with copies of the script. Off to the side are Arlene and Lucinda.

At first everyone is polite to everyone else. As the rehearsal process goes on, all of them are always playing the personality angles, probing for weak spots, asserting strengths, wanting to keep the upper hand in this delicate midwifing of a new play.

It is a potent dance, which Dudzick gives the feeling of authenticity. Between laughs, thoughtful audience members will catch some serious tones, as well.

Is the actor's first responsibility to tell the story or to give a career enhancing performance? Is the director's first responsibliity to the script, or to juice up the producion so it sells more tickets? Also stirred into the mix are observations on the subjectivity of art.

As food for thought, "Don't Talk To The Actors" is a balanced meal.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hilarious Catastrophe | Review | Tucson Weekly

Hilarious Catastrophe Review Tucson Weekly

Hilarious Catastrophe
Invisible Theatre nails this playabout an onstage production run amok
by James Reel

Backstage comedies—the epitome of the genre being Michael Frayn's Noises Off—usually document the self-destruction of a show during a performance. Tom Dudzick's Don't Talk to the Actors hilariously chronicles a collapse way before the curtain rises. The show in question is so doomed that it begins to fall apart the minute the actors show up for their first table read.

Dudzick's play itself, in contrast, is tightly constructed, fitting six well-developed characters together so precisely that it's hard to imagine this show falling apart, especially in the confident, buoyant production it's enjoying at Invisible Theatre.



Dallas Thomas and Eric Schumacher in Don't Talk to the Actors.



Jerry, a budding playwright, has brought his girlfriend, Arlene, to New York as he's about to get his first big Broadway break. They're both naïve and a bit star-struck; Arlene has tagged along to meet her idol, Curt Logan, a long-in-the-tooth TV actor who has been cast in Jerry's play, along with his bawdy former co-star, Beatrice Pomeroy, sort of a bargain-basement Fanny Brice. It is immediately apparent that Beatrice is all wrong for her role in Jerry's quiet little play; meanwhile, the smarmy Curt, while professing love for his part, tries to persuade Jerry to give it more "texture"—that is, make the character less milquetoast and more of a geriatric Stanley Kowalski.

Much trouble ensues when Jerry and Arlene break the one rule imposed by the show's avuncular director, Mike: Don't talk to the actors. Mike's implication is that conversation would only bother the actors, but the truth is that nothing good happens when the actors start talking back.

All of this is presided over from a corner by the obsessive-compulsive stage manager, Lucinda. She's the first character onstage, and Carrie Hill plays her with just the right degree of insufferable English primness, not to mention anal-retentive tension. Costumer Shana Nunez has decked her out in odd, mismatched black-and-white getups that gently mock the more coordinated real-life attire of the play's director, Susan Claassen. Not only does Claassen have a better eye for fashion than Lucinda; she has a fine sense of just how far she can push these characters without stripping them of their humanity. They don't engage in silly TV-sitcom double-takes; their gestures and inflections are based in the real world, which makes their fragile connection to that real world even funnier.

Naturally, actors who play hammy actors inevitably steal scenes, and nobody steals scenes with more gusto here than Liz McMahon as the brassy Beatrice. She enters late in the first act, but once she arrives, she takes the show hostage until intermission. McMahon's crass Beatrice, singing fragments of naughty songs and telling jokes that predate Cro-Magnon culture, is initially almost too much to bear, but later, she's allowed to develop some depth and nuance, and does so with great sensitivity.

Douglas Mitchell's Curt is suave and obviously insincere yet irresistibly charming, and it's wonderful to watch him attempt to seduce, in different ways, both Jerry and Arlene. Mitchell helps Curt get away with his naughty behavior, because he's not excessively flamboyant, even while managing to be just a bit bigger than life.

As Jerry and Arlene, the bumpkins from Buffalo, Eric Schumacher and Dallas Thomas are sweet, sincere, malleable and overwhelmed, all at once. Schumacher and Thomas neither let their characters run away from them nor blend in with the wallpaper, and through their control, they manage to hold their own among the flamboyant figures around them.

David Johnston plays Mike, the sensible director, as if he were an affable Midwestern hardware-store proprietor, with his actions daring to suggest that not quite everyone in theater is insane, while never, ever being boring—quite an achievement in these surroundings.

While Don't Talk to the Actors is well-stocked with funny lines and frantic moments, it's not the sort of comedy that lurches from joke to joke across the gaps where characters ought to be. The people on this stage are worth caring about, as written and as played.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We have to say IT's 'Don't Talk' is funny theater | www.azstarnet.com ®

We have to say IT's 'Don't Talk' is funny theater www.azstarnet.com ®


Accent
We have to say IT's 'Don't Talk' is funny theater
By Kathleen Allen
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 05.15.2009

Theater ain't always pretty.

It can be full of playwrights who think every word is golden, directors who are little Hitlers and actors with egos so large and judgment so off that they are walking disasters.

Oh, my, do we love it.

Especially as laid out in Tom Dudzick's backstage comedy "Don't Talk to the Actors," which Invisible Theatre opened on Wednesday.

Dudzick has crafted delicious, over-the-top characters, director Susan Claassen has boosted the hilarity with her attention to detail and fine-honed sense of over-the-topness, and the cast has delivered an evening full of ridiculous, and quite funny, theater.

It's a fine way to end a season.

Jerry (Eric Schumacher) is a green-behind-the-ears playwright whose first Broadway production is about to start rehearsal. On the first day, he brings with him his fiance, Arlene (Dallas Thomas), who is more green behind the ears than Jerry and has long had a crush on Curt (Douglas Mitchell), the aging television star who is starring in the play. Curt's co-star is the bawdy Beatrice (Liz McMahon), another aging TV star.
The director, Mike (David Johnston), likes Jerry's play, and warns the playwright not to talk to the actors — he knows those actors will do everything they can to make the play about them.

And then there is the fastidious stage manager, Lucinda (Carrie Hill), who is all business and completely focused on doing the director's bidding.

My, my. These people know how to ruin a good thing.

Mitchell's portrayal of the suave, kinda-creepy Curt is too priceless. Curt is intent on getting Jerry to change his character from a nice guy to one with edge. "Texture," he calls it. And he's not above seducing Arlene so that she can convince Jerry of just that.

McMahon matches Mitchell for outrageousness and laughs. Her character, too, wants Jerry to change the script, only she wants to sing a song or two and tell a couple of off-color jokes.

The energy level soared when McMahon and Mitchell took the stage. It got so the audience couldn't wait for Arlene to drop a one-liner, or for Mitchell to raise a brow and leer.

Underscoring the personalties of the characters were the costumes by Shana Nunez, who dressed the cast, especially McMahon and Mitchell, in the perfect outfits.

What was so terrific about this production is that the whole cast was engaged all the time. While Mitchell's character overacted, Thomas-as-Arlene sat in the corner and made googoo eyes at him. Schumacher never lost his character's anxious, will-this-go-right-and-make-me-a-star persona. Johnston's director had just the touch of benevolent exasperation, and Hill's stage manager was deliciously prissy, obsessive-compulsive and very, very funny.

The actors all had keen timing, allowing the funny bone to be exercised all the more.
"Don't Talk to the Actors" is as silly as can be. And, as it turns out, a fairly accurate peek at some of the backstage dramas of theater.

As we said, not pretty. But it sure is funny.

Review
"Don't Talk to the Actors"
• Playwright: Tom Dudzick.
• Director: Susan Claassen.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 31.
• Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
• Tickets: $22-$25 regular performances. Half-price tickets, subject to availability, can be purchased 30 minutes before all shows.
• Reservations/information: 882-9721.
• Running time: 2 hours, with one intermission.
Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@azstarnet.com or 573-4128

Monday, May 11, 2009

2009-2010 Season Auditions at Invisible Theatre

Invisible Theatre

www.invisibletheatre.com


THE INVISIBLE THEATRE ANNOUNCES

COMPANY AUDITIONS FOR MEN AND WOMEN

IN PRODUCTIONS FOR ITS 2009-2010 SEASON


The Invisible Theatre will hold auditions for their 2009-2010 Season on Tuesday,

May 19, 2009 beginning at 5:00 pm. Auditions will be held at the Invisible Theatre - 1400 N. First Ave (at Drachman).

Please call the Invisible Theatre (520) 882-9721 with your name and phone contact. You will then be assigned an audition time. All actors are paid.

Actors must bring a recent headshot and resume and will be asked to perform a 3 minute contemporary monologue.

Friday, May 8, 2009

'Don't Talk' is loud fun | www.azstarnet.com ®

'Don't Talk' is loud fun www.azstarnet.com ®


Accent
"Don't Talk" is loud fun
By Kathleen Allen
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 05.08.2009

Tom Dudzick knows what's funny: his life. • It's where he draws most of his inspiration for his comedies, including the 2007 play "Don't Talk to the Actors," which Invisible Theatre opens next week. • When he sits down to write a new play, said Dudzick in a phone interview from New York City, he has to get personal. • "I sit and think what is meaningful to me, what's happened to me, what am I involved in and feel strongly enough to write about," he said.



Curt (Douglas Mitchell) and Bea (Liz McMahon) try to persuade fledgling playwright Jerry (Eric Schumacher, center) that he needs to make changes to his script.



So when he sat down to write "Don't Talk," he remembered going to New York with his first play to make it to the Big Apple, "Greetings."

"Putting up 'Greetings' was fearful and awful," he recalled.

It starred Darren McGavin of "Night Stalker" fame.

"This play didn't come about because of him," said Dudzick, "but he gave me some tough moments."
While his experience wasn't funny at the time, gaining perspective sure made it so.

"Don't Talk" is about Jerry Przpezniak, a 30-something, very green behind the ears, playwright. He and his intended, Arlene Wyniarski, are in New York for rehearsals of his new play.

They can't believe it: pencils neatly lined up at the actors' places at the table, a view of the Empire State Building outside the rehearsal room, and it stars Curt Logan, a washed-up TV star who still shines bright in Arlene's eyes.

She loves, loves, loves Curt and just can't wait to meet him. The stage manager, however, warns her to stay away — the actors don't like to be spoken to.

Naturally, the two lead actors in Jerry's play have some whacked-out ideas on how to make it better. And they all involve making their scenes brighter, bigger, brassier.

"The whole thing about the naive kid, the playwright, coming to New York — it was semi-autobiographical," said Dudzick.

"Most of it is fiction, but it's based on some true elements."

Dudzick has about a half-dozen plays under his belt, but "Don't Talk" remains his favorite.
"It's so funny and so close to home," he said. "I love this play. To hear the audience's laughter is very rewarding."

And it's likely to roll easily. The script is full of many moments that ring hilariously true.
"It's honest and universal," said Susan Claassen, who is directing the play.

"The characters are all charming in their own way. And the humor — when I read it, I laughed out loud, which is rare when reading a script. It has a magic about it."

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@azstarnet.com or 573-4128.


Preview
• "Don't Talk to the Actors"
• Playwright: Tom Dudzick.
• Director: Susan Claassen.
• When: Preview is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; regular performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 31.
• Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
• Tickets: $16 preview; $22-$25 regular performances. Half-price tickets, subject to availability, can be purchased 30 minutes before all shows.
• Reservations/information: 882-9721.
• Running time: 2 hours, with one intermission.
• Cast: Dallas Thomas, Eric Schumacher, David Johnston, Douglas Mitchell, Liz McMahon, Carrie Hill.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ken Page tells the Ken Page story onstage | www.azstarnet.com ®

Ken Page tells the Ken Page story onstage www.azstarnet.com ®:

Accent

Ken Page tells the Ken Page story onstage

By Kathleen Allen
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 04.17.2009

Ken Page's life could be a book.
And it may, someday. But right now he's wrapping up his life in "Page by Page," which Invisible Theatre brings to Tucson this weekend.

Page, an actor and singer, is just 55, but he's done a whole lotta living in those years.

"It basically traces my life from St. Louis and moving to New York and on to the years in Paris," said Page, talking on phone from New York, where he had just opened in "Happiness" at the Lincoln Center.



Ken Page originated the Broadway role of Old Deuteronomy in "Cats."
Courtesy of Invisible Theatre


Page was at the beginnings of some pretty amazing theatrical events: He made his Broadway debut in "The Wiz," an all-black version of "The Wizard of Oz"; he was in the original Broadway cast of "Cats," playing the central figure of Old Deuteronomy; he was Nicely-Nicely in the all-black revival of "Guys and Dolls"; and he provided the voice of the Oogie Boogie in Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

As if that weren't enough, in 2000 he developed his cabaret and has been performing it, streamlining it and improving it since then.

Page had long been doing cabaret acts, but he said that wasn't what he wanted to do with "Page by Page."
"I wanted to find a compromise and educate the audience about myself, and about my life," he said.
"I've had these amazing things happen."

As it turns out, many of the songs he's sung in cabarets and shows weave nicely into his life.
He recalled opening night of "Ain't Misbehavin'," when the energy was high and everybody seemed to have a friend.

"I realized I always was by myself," he said. "At the end of the evening, I ended up sitting on the edge of my bed, alone."

The experience, to Page, echoed the title song of the play. He sang softly into the phone:
"No one to talk with / All by myself / No one to walk with / But I'm happy on the shelf . . ."
(A moment please: Having Ken Page sing to you over the phone is a thrilling experience that needs to be savored.)

He added another anecdote, this one from "Cats":

"At the same time as 'Cats,' the AIDS epidemic was taking hold," he said.
"Many, many people, including members of the cast, died. The song 'Memories,' then, meant something completely different. It began to be a narrative from my life."

"Page by Page" has him reading from a book, ostensibly containing the chapters of his life.
In truth, there is no book. But there could be before long.

"I have started on the book, but in a weird way it's not the time," he said.
It shouldn't be too difficult: "Page by Page" is the foundation of the book; he'll just have to fill it out.

And the book, like the show he's bringing to the Old Pueblo, will have the same message:
"You never know what's coming for you," Page said. "So just live. Embrace everything."


If you go
"Page by Page"
• Written by and starring: Ken Page.
• Presented by: Invisible Theatre.
• When: 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.
• Where: The Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway.
• Tickets: $42; a half-hour before curtain, tickets are half-price, subject to availability.
• Reservations and information: 882-9721.
• Running time: 2 hours, with one intermission.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@azstarnet.com or 573-4128.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Actor re-creates roles he's had, including as white characters

Actor re-creates roles he's had, including as white characters


Actor re-creates roles he's had, including as white characters
April 15, 2009

CHUCK GRAHAM
Tucson Citizen

The Chinese like to say it is bad luck to be born in interesting times.

But even though St. Louis native Ken Page, born in 1954, spent his life and his show business career surviving turbulent racial change, the assassination of several American leaders and the AIDS crisis, he turned the experience into a one-man performance of Broadway hits that has been called "lusty, life-affirming, yet also haunting."



In "Page by Page," actor Ken Page will reflect on his past performances, from high school theater to the role of Old Deuteronomy in "Cats."


The Broadway star has titled his singing autobiography "Page By Page," which he brings to the Berger Performing Arts Center for two performances this weekend, presented by Invisible Theatre.

"Page By Page"celebrates a barrier- busting life that began when he was an African-American teen playing the Jewish tradition-loving Tevye in a Catholic high school production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

When young Page played Horace Vandergelder in his high school production of "Hello, Dolly!" the casting made classroom history as the first interracial couple ever to appear on the school's stage.

In the early 1970s those were big steps, Page recalled, and he's always been very proud of taking them.

Coming of age when national political figures were being murdered for their beliefs, he bemoans the losses of "Martin, Malcolm, Medgar and both Kennedys." Social issues have continued to be important to this performer. In 1973 Page saw his first touring Broadway show, "Seasaw."

"I was mesmerized," he told one reporter. "Not only with the show but with the people in it. They were short, tall, Asian, black, white."

Just three years later Page was on Broadway himself, playing another white guy, Nicely-Nicely Johnson in an all-African American production of "Guys and Dolls." It is Nicely-Nicely, we remember, who sings the show-stopping "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat."

In 1977 Page had the transitional role of the Lion in the African-American adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz," known as "The Wiz." But the next year, Page truly blossomed, winning the Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Fats Waller in "Ain't Misbehavin'."

There's lots more to "Page By Page," including his casting as Old Deuteronomy in the original production of "Cats" in 1982. Borrowing from that experience Page's show also includes "Memory," the signature song from "Cats," which he performs as a poignant remembrance of his peers lost in the AIDS plague.

"I haven't looked at the world in the same way since," he has said.

On the life-affirming side, Page also tells stories of our shared humanity and works through a 25-song list that includes "Summertime Love," "Bloody Mary," "Broadway Baby," "Ease on Down the Road," "Ferry Cross the Mersey" and "Honeysuckle Rose."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Art program focuses on abilities, not disabilities | www.azstarnet.com ®

Art program focuses on abilities, not disabilities www.azstarnet.com ®

Tucson Region

Art program focuses on abilities, not disabilities
By Rhonda Bodfield
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 04.05.2009

Parents of special-education students rarely get to have those precious, scholastic coming-of-age moments, such as watching their children star in school recitals or pitch shutouts for their baseball teams.

If there's a meeting at school, it's often to focus on what their children can't do and how to make the best accommodations.

Susan Claassen works with members of Pastime Players, an art program that provides training in music, drama and dance to special-education students at Catalina Magnet High School. The program got its start in 1984.
KELLY PRESNELL / Arizona Daily Star


So there's something powerful about the annual Pastime Players performance, when parents get to see their children take the stage, regardless of mental or physical challenges, and showcase their ability to recite poetry or Shakespearean lines or to dance hip-hop or to sing "What a Wonderful World."

For Don Romano, it was an experience he had with four of his children, but never with the baby of the family, Danny, who has developmental disabilities.
Danny was a freshman at Catalina Magnet High School in 1990 when he was invited to participate in Pastime Players, said Romano, a 66-year-old bank executive. "I just thought, 'Great.' It was an activity that allowed for an experience that special individuals like Danny just weren't invited to do.

"The whole point of it is to concentrate on what people can do — to focus on their abilities, rather than their disabilities."

Pastime Player Manny Uzueta throws his hands to the sky as he sings during rehearsal for "The Me Inside of Me" at Catalina Magnet High School.
KELLY PRESNELL / Arizona Daily Star


The program got its start as a workshop in 1984 and has grown into an art program that provides training in music, drama and dance to special-education students at Catalina from the ages of 15 to 22. About half of the players are in high school. The rest are graduates who can't leave it behind.

Under the direction of Susan Claassen, the managing artistic director of the Invisible Theatre, students learn under the tutelage of artists twice a week. Their training culminates in a musical montage called "The Me Inside of Me," which encourages its audience to see that everyone has gifts to offer — if they aren't limited by expectations.

"I saw the arts not only as an integral part of the school day, but I also felt that it would liberate their abilities," said Claassen, the prophet of empowerment.

Long before "Yes we can" got contemporary traction as the rallying cry of the Obama hope campaign, her students shouted it in response to her questions.

"Sometimes people are limited in what they see," she'll intone. "They'll say, 'Oh, you can't do this or you can't do that.' When they say that to us, what do we say?"
In unison, 20 voices respond: "Yes we can!"

Claassen is unapologetic about setting the bar high. "We never want anyone to tell us we're less than whole. We never want people to say we're 'good for special ed.' We're good because we're great entertainers."
"Such Good Friends," a documentary on the Pastime Players, will be unveiled later this month. Viewers meet six of the players and their families.

They'll hear about parents whose new-baby bliss dissolved into tears when they learned of their child's challenges.

They'll meet pictures of courage.
Students who can't read memorize every line.
Students who can't move their feet use hand taps instead.
Some have survived more than two dozen surgeries.
At least one didn't survive.

Meg Hudman learned about the program at a Special Olympics event three years ago. She'd already graduated from school, so she came on as a teaching assistant.
"I help out the kids," she said. "Some of them can't talk, so I use my voice for them."
The 27-year-old's learning disability doesn't keep her from writing poems every year for the show. This year's focus is on heroism, she said, adding that her own personal heroes are her mother and Claassen.

"Susan was willing to take the time and show people that we may have a disability, but we're still as equal as anyone else," Hudman said. "At Catalina, the kids see us as equal, but in the world, we've still got a long way to go."

The Pastime Players have performed in Phoenix and in Orlando, Fla. A powerful moment for Claassen was when the students performed for elementary pupils, and, afterward, the children asked what the performers' disabilities were. It wasn't obvious to them.

Filmmaker Cyndee Wing is in the process of culling 100 hours of footage she's collected over five years. She hopes the film will spread from Tucson to festivals around the country. "This has the potential to go far and wide. It's a celebration of kids, but it's a reality check, too," she said.

The experience changed her own life, sending her back to school at 54 to be able to offer therapy to autistic students.

"I saw the need for families to have a vision for their children. These parents believe in their children, but getting others to believe in their children is a big challenge."
Her experience also has taught her more about gratitude.
"You can't help but be touched by a child who can barely walk or balance who is putting on tap shoes," she said.

"The next day, when you're moaning and complaining about your life, the vision of that child will come back to you and lift you. If they can work as hard as they do with the challenges they have, it makes you realize that you can certainly lift yourself up to your own challenges."

On StarNet: Visit the online edition of this story at azstarnet.com/metro to see a video showcasing the Pastime Players performance group.

Contact reporter Rhonda Bodfield at 806-7754 or rbodfield@azstarnet.com

Friday, April 3, 2009

SUCH GOOD FRIENDS, A Documentary Chronicling The Invisible Theatre Of Tucson's Pastime Players To Be Shown 4/26

SUCH GOOD FRIENDS, A Documentary Chronicling The Invisible Theatre Of Tucson's Pastime Players To Be Shown 4/26

Thursday, April 2, 2009; Posted: 09:04 PM - by BWW News Desk

Such Good Friends is a documentary chronicling the Invisible Theatre of Tucson’s Pastime Players. For over 25 years, Susan Claassen, artistic director of the Invisible Theatre, has spearheaded this arts project. She, Gail Fitzhugh and a dedicated group of artists teach theatre, music and dance twice a week to exceptional education students. Verl, Danny, Beth, Janna, Meg and Jennifer have been members of this performance troupe. Their connections and ultimate friendship tells the story of two very different worlds coming together through the power of the arts.

Such Good Friends will be playing at the Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ) on April 26, 2009 at 1:00pm (doors open at 12:30pm). Watch the Pastime Players walk down the red carpet at 12:45pm. Tickets cost $20.00 ($10.00 for students and groups of ten or more). For tickets or information call (520) 882-9721 (to charge by phone) or visit the Invisible Theatre lobby (1400 N. First Avenue).

The Steinway Piano Gallery Gala opening featuring Amanda McBroom in Concert with Michele Brourman will take place at the new Steinway Piano Gallery (3001 E. Skyline Dr. at Campbell
Tucson, AZ). Tickets cost $50.00 per person.

The Invisible Theatre's Pastime Player's Annual Show, The Me Inside of Me, is set to take place at the Catalina high school auditorium (3645 E. Pima, Tucson, AZ) on April 27 at 7:00pm. This event is free of charge.

In the documentary, we witness how they have changed the lives of the other individual participants and a community. We also see how this project has changed their lives. We meet their families and follow them as they embark on adulthood. We watch them as they make choices and struggle with the rigors of putting together their theatrical performance – The Me Inside of Me. Yet, it is much more than a film about a theatre project in an inner-city public school. It is an unforgettable journey from heart to art.

Each story is a triumph over the odds. Some make it to the final performance - others don’t. Some students make it in life - others don’t. Some are defined by their disability and others by their ability. Such Good Friends is what makes the difference.

In speaking about this project, Susan Claassen says “Project Pastime exemplifies an innovative program that proves the idea that when artists, teachers, administrators, funding agents, students and parents come together we really can make a difference! It has been my dream to make a film that showed the world that we are only limited by limited expectations - Expect the most and that is what you will get! When I contacted my longtime colleague and award-winning filmmaker, Cyndee Wing, she immediately came on board. As a direct result of working on this documentary, Cyndee went back to school and supplemented her Master’s Degree in Education in a post-graduate program and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This program has been life-changing for everyone involved.”

This documentary is the culmination of five years of filming. Our most recent collaborators are Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourman. When asked why she would write the theme song for the film, Amanda replied, “First of all, I would follow Susan Claassen to the ends of the earth. I think she is an astounding force for good and for art on the planet. Being able to participate with the Pastime Players is good art! And inspiration. And hope. And most of all, it is an example of the major importance participating in theater plays in the lives of young people. It is imperative that theater be brought back into the schools to feed the imagination and creative inspiration of every student. Theater jump starts the confidence in all young people, especially these fabulous kids in the Pastime Players. I am honored to be included in the project!”

Harriet Tubman said “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” It is the Invisible Theatre’s hope that this film will be an inspiration for other communities around the world to create similar projects and to reach for the stars."

Over a decade before the Presidential campaign of 2008, the Invisible Theatre’s Pastime Players adopted the motto “Yes, We Can!” to help motivate our public school Special Needs programming. During the Pastime Player’s inspiring musical performance, those three words come to life in a way that leaves no heart untouched and no soul unstirred!

The Invisible Theatre’s Pastime Players, under the direction of Susan Claassen, started as a workshop in 1984 and has grown into a prototype of innovative arts education programming that focuses on ability rather than dwelling on disability. The project is centered at the culturally diverse Catalina High School in the Tucson Unified School District. The students (aged 15-22) receive instruction from the artists of the Invisible Theatre in music, drama and dance. The year-long instruction culminates in the production of an original musical called The Me Inside of Me.

No wonder there are outstanding ovations at each performance! No wonder these students have gained the respect and admiration of their peers and esteemed professionals including everyone from Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth to the award-winning actor, Kathleen Chalfant!

The Pastime Player’s Touring Troupe has performed throughout Arizona in such diverse venues as the state legislature, Raytheon Corporation, The City of Hope – National Spirit of Life Dinner and at the Senior Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Audiences have ranged in size from 20 to 5,000. The Pastime Players handled themselves brilliantly in each of these unique settings. The Pastime Players also help to educate a community about the special gifts we all have to share and showcase the best of America’s public education.

The Pastime Players exemplifies an innovative project that supports the concept that when artists, teachers, legislators, administrators, funding agents, students and parents come together as a community, we really can make a difference! We are only limited by limited expectations: Expect the most and we get the most!

Some consider what these young people have achieved as mere dreams, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!”

The Pastime Players have proven her right.

The Invisible Theatre (IT) of Tucson, founded in 1971, is a non-profit 501©3 organization and is dedicated to producing quality theatre and arts education experiences for all facets of the community in an intimate setting that showcases local professional talent and guest artists. IT takes its name from the invisible energy that flows between a performer and audience, creating the magic of theatre. Film-IT productions is a part of the Invisible Theatre - Artistic Director, Susan Claassen and Associate Artistic Director, James Blair.

Cyndee is currently the director/camera/editor of Such Good Friends, working with Invisible Theatre’s Film-IT Productions. Cyndee has worked with the Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and Museum shooting interviews for their Cornerstone Project. Cyndee directed and edited the documentary film “Toka”, which premiered at the 1994 Arizona International Film Festival and won the Best Short Documentary award at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco in the same year. She served as director/editor for Morning Light Productions, a company that produced primarily Native American documentaries and educational videos (1994 to 2005). Cyndee was the editor for a 15 minute narrative film, “Trusting Souls” which won a Cine Golden Eagle and served as project director and editor for the film “Pride and the Power to Win”. This documentary was selected for screening at the Two Rivers Native Film and Video Festival, received a Certificate of Merit from the Chicago International Film Festival and has screened at numerous state and national educational conferences and film festivals. In 2001 Cyndee was producer and editor of the Discovery Channel documentary “Mastodon In Your Backyard”. She has been an adjunct faculty member for Pima College since 1985.

Amanda McBroom is an award-winning American singer, song-writer and cabaret performer. One of the songs she has written is the Golden Globe winning “The Rose,” which Bette Midler sang in the movie of the same name. She also wrote some of the songs in The Land Before Time film series with Michele Brourman. Amanda starred in the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and European productions of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris, and made her Broadway debut in the Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields musical, Seesaw. She is the daughter of actor David Bruce.

The Loft Cinema is s a nonprofit, community-supported cinema that honors the vision of filmmakers, celebrates ideas and promotes the appreciation and understanding of the art of film. It is Tucson’s premiere venue for art films – independent, foreign, alternative and classic narrative films and documentaries.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One-man show explores how Nijinsky elevated ballet, then crashed

One-man show explores how Nijinsky elevated ballet, then crashed


One-man show explores how Nijinsky elevated ballet, then crashed

CHUCK GRAHAM
Published: 03.05.2009
Before Michael Jordan there was Vaslav Nijinsky.

Ballet history is full of stories about how Nijinsky could hang in the air for what seemed like forever. He leaped . . . he stayed up there . . . end of story.

But the story does have another side. In Russia at the beginning of the 1900s, the main role of male ballet dancers was to lift the female dancers, to hold these petite tutu princesses high enough for the most dramatic display of the female form.

The flamboyant Nijinsky, with all that leaping ability, wasn't content to be just another lifter. He wanted to upstage the ladies, get some spotlight time of his own. In 1910, he shocked European audiences with his performance as the Wind King Vayou. He was 20.
Just nine years later, he would become a patient at a mental asylum in Switzerland.

"Nijinsky was the first male dancer who was important, so he has always been an influence on me," said Ricardo Melendez, a dancer/actor from Puerto Rico.

Melendez is performing "Nijinsky's Last Dance" next weekend at Invisible Theatre.
"When I came across the script by Norman Allen I immediately wanted to do it: To join the disciplines of theater and dance."

Melendez is uniquely suited to this task. He was a teen studying acting in Puerto Rico when he was given a dancing role in "Pinocchio."

"I was hooked," he remembers happily.

Melendez worked hard, won dance scholarships to study in the United States and, three years later, signed his first contract to be a New York City dancer. His résumé includes stints with the Alvin Ailey Dance Ensemble and the dashing Ballet Hispanico.
"Nijinsky's Last Dance" didn't include much dancing as it was originally written. Melendez took care of that shortcoming, adding the classic ballet choreography that Allen describes in the script.

Now, Melendez has a one-man show that portrays eight characters, lasts 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission. Included are the historical figures of Auguste Rodin, the sculptor, and Sergei Diaghilev the arts impresario, who was Nijinsky's conspicuous lover for a time.

That last dance in the title is performed in the disturbed dancer's head as he sits in the asylum, clinging to his sanity by remembering highlights of his past.

"There are lots of pictures of him dancing, so we know what he looked like," Melendez says. "The ideas he forged were perpetuated through Isadora Duncan and, later, Martha Graham."
Nijinsky was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which began mildly but became increasingly worse.
"Remember, the early 1900s were a time in the art world when painters and sculptors were exploding with new ideas. Nijinsky was a part of that excitement, too," Melendez says.

"I think originally his mental state is what made him such an imaginative dancer. Not only could he leap and hang in the air, but he could project the characters of dancers like no other."

Along with those invigorated audiences of 1910, Melendez loves the same rush of excitement performing in small, up-close and personal spaces - spaces much like the intimate stage of the Invisible Theatre.

"That response with the audience is always so immediate," he says. "This is storytelling at its most basic, with less technology but a stronger personal connection."
Photo courtesy of Invisible Theatreadditional information

additional information
IF YOU GO
What: Invisible Theatre presents "Nijinsky's Last Dance," performed by Ricardo Melendez
When: 7:30 p.m. March 12, 8 p.m. March 13-14, 3 p.m. March 15
Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
Price: $25, discounts for groups of 10 or more
Info: 882-9721, www.invisibletheatre.com