Friday, September 04, 2009

A Life in Theater

The Richmond Theatre Critics Circle awards gala is in 6 weeks. Have you bought your tickets yet? Next week, I’ll have a couple exciting announcements to make regarding the event: we’ve lined up a few more award presenters that should pique your interest and there’s a special bonus gift that every attendee will have a shot at winning. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, shows are due to start opening any day now. In recent years, Swift Creek Mill has been the first company out of the starting block, premiering its fall show in late August. This year, it’ll be the Firehouse, with “Boy’s Life” hitting the stage next Thursday.

I saw this show in New York many years ago, and frankly came away not particularly excited about it. However, the Richmond production has many reasons arguing for serious consideration (many of which allow me to pimp the awards show even more…)

Among the stars are Landon Nagel and Maggie Marlin, two RTCC award nominees for their starring turns in Barksdale’s “Children of a Lesser God” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” respectively. Mr. Nagel was also a stitch during the 1st RTCC awards gala with his hilarious duet with Jason Marks from “Guys and Dolls.” I’ve only seen Ms. Marlin in musicals – she was an exceptional Velma in VCU’s “Chicago” – so I’ll be curious to see her in a straight role.

Joe Carlson, a 2008 RTCC nominee, put in a fervent performance as Laertes in “Hamlet” this past spring and summer for Richmond Shakespeare, one that fostered some fervent advocacy among the RTCC members this year. Mr. Carlson’s intensity makes nearly everything he does worth watching. Also featured will be Alison Haracznak who has highlighted productions by Henley Street, Sycamore Rouge and most recently for the Night Light Collective. She is another actor who is never boring on stage.

The fearless leader of these talented folks and the rest of the cast will be Morrie Piersol, who directed the winner of Best Play at last year’s Artsies, “The Late Henry Moss.” Mr. Piersol seems to be particularly talented at getting exceptional performances from his cast, “Henry Moss” picking up two acting awards as well. Firehouse’s fall offering tends to be a particular favorite among us RTCCers, with “Eurydice” being one of the most nominated shows from last season.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, the sound design of “Boy’s Life” is being provided by Bryan Harris, a nominee for his work on “Eurydice.” I can still hear the crystal clear sound of drops echoing through the theater during key moments of that production, an essential aural element in the show.

It all adds up to what looks like a winning starter to the 2009-10 season. Break a leg, “Boy’s!”

1 comment:

To you forever from me to you said...

wait until you get a load of Andrew Donnelly as Phil !