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www.azstarnet.com ® | Straight from the Art

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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 a…

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

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

THEATRE

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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 …

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

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

Accent 'Leaving Home' takes you backBy 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 …