Aug 17-Sep 02, 2018
|Director & Producer|
|Set & Lighting Designer|
|Light Board Operator|
|Sound Board Operator|
|Poster And Tee Shirt Design|
No kitten about it, 'Indoor/Outdoor' is purrfect
- Mike Cook, Las Cruces Bulletin
You wouldn't think a cat could make you laugh and then make you cry and, in between, tell you all the things that really matter in life.
But Samantha can.
She's the lead character in "Indoor/Outdoor," which opened this past weekend at Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St. downtown, and continues through Sept. 2. The play's run doubles as a fundraiser for Las Cruces' cat adoption and spay/neuter organization, the Cat's Meow.
It's love at first sight when Shuman (Scott Brocato) rescues Samantha (Tiffany Tyson) from an animal shelter and gives her a home as an indoor cat. But then it's trouble at first bite as Sam shows her displeasure with her new life and longs for the outdoors, especially after she meets an alley cat named Oscar (Joshua Taulbee).
It takes a cat whisperer named Mathilda (Autumn Gieb) to explain to Shuman what Sam really wants (or at least really thinks she wants). But then it's up to Shuman to convince Mathilda that a cat deserves her freedom.
A few '80s tunes, a lot of laughs and a cat flap later, you can sense the happy ending on its way. But playwright Kenny Finkle, director Ceil Herman and their marvelous Samantha have a richer, sweeter, more memorable ending in mind that I'm not about to spoil here.
All four players in this ensemble - as felines and frail people - are simply wonderful.
Tyson is so cat-like - catching a mouse, knocking over the trash, climbing on the furniture - and so very human in the simplicity of her wants and the complexity
of her needs. Brocato brings a depth and vulnerability to Shuman that you don't expect but come to love. Gieb, as she always does, brings color and flavor and delightfulness to the therapist that ministers to both Samantha and Shuman, and also to the mother cat and the several human characters she plays.
Taulbee is a very cool feral cat, especially in the shades, but he's also wonderful in the other smaller roles he plays. His brief phone bit as Michael Jackson earned a round of applause on opening night and his mouse in a hoodie is inspired.
I also give credit to costume designer Lana Eckman for her
"role" in making this show work. She dresses her actors in a way that is both understated and emphatic. And the simple technique she gave Tyson to transform Samantha into an old cat was brilliant.
Karen Ross gets credit as both stage manager and the person who came up with the idea of making the play as a fundraiser for the Cat's Meow Adoption Center of Las Cruces.
Go see "Indoor/Outdoor" and find out for yourself what a fun and touching show this is.
Remaining performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Aug. 24-25 and Aug. 31 and Sept. 1; 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Aug.
26 and Sept. 2; and 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 30.
Tickets are $15 regular admission, $12 for students and seniors over age 65. All seats for the Thursday, Aug. 30 performance are $10.
For reservations and more information, call 575-523-1223 and visit www.no-strings.org.
Items requested by The Cat's Meow that playgoers can bring to any performance include Natural Balance LID Dry cat food salmon and pea, Fancy Feast canned cat food classic type, Friskies canned food pate, Dr. Elsey's ultraunscented litter, turbo
scratchers and Tractor Supply 4health All life stages cat formula dry food. Cash donations for The Cat's Meow are also welcome. And, the center, 2211 N. Mesquite St., also recycles cans.
No seating plan has been posted.