Dec 07-Dec 23, 2018
No credits have been posted.
"Life and Beth"is spirited holiday fun
- Mike Cook, Las Cruces Bulletin
Charles Dickens isn't the only British author who wrote about ghosts at Christmas, and Jacob Marley isn't the only spirit that shows up for the holidays.
In Sir Alan Ayckbourn's "Life and Beth," now in production at the Black Box Theatre, Beth Timms is a recent widow just trying to survive Christmas with help from her son and his new girlfriend, her sister-inlaw and the local vicar.
In answer to a somewhat misdirected prayer from said vicar, Beth's late husband, Gordon, also shows up. Gordon doesn't moan and wail so much as he nags and nitpicks.
Whereas Marley was a bit ragged and rattled chains; Gordon, who was a health and safety officer in life, wears an orange vest and writes on a clipboard, citing improvements Beth needs to make in her life. (He has apparently already made a lot of upgrades in the afterlife.) The cast includes some Las Cruces theatre veterans and newcomers portraying an interesting mix of the grieving, the tippling, the confused and the downright looney as they gather in Beth's sitting room (this is a British play!) and kitchen.
Nancy Sorrells is Beth Timms, who has lost her cat on top of everything else; Nicole Jones is her sister-in-law, Connie, who drinks a bit too much; Joshua Taulbee is David, the vicar, who may be attracted to Beth and is most certainly attractive to Connie; Luz Francisco is Beth's son, Martin, who finds Christmas tree lights a challenge and can't turn off a madly glowing reindeer on the front lawn; Jazmin Buchman is Martin's girlfriend, Ella, who watches all the goings on in speechless wonder (or, possibly, horror); and Scott Brocato is Gordon.
As director Autumn Gieb pointed out, this isn't your typical Christmas offering. It's a comedy, but one that makes you think about families and relationships and all the subtexts of life that the holidays bring out.
Gieb and her cast and crew find those subtle cracks crevices in the script to let the light through. I enjoyed and appreciated their work on a story that is more than it appears on the surface.
The show continues for two more weekends at Black Box Theatre, 420 N. Main St. downtown.
Remaining performances are at 8 p.m. Friday- Saturday, Dec. 14-15 and 21-22; 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 16 and 23 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20.
Tickets are $10/15 and are available at www.tktassistant.com/ Tix/?u=NSTC.
No seating plan has been posted.