Cory Asbill (Horace) and Christa Popovich (May) in Time Flies
Dusty Payne (Gorph), Chevonne Cook (High Priestess) and Cory Asbill (Cannaphlit) in Babel's in Arms
Cory Asbill (Cannaphlit), Dusty Payne (Gorph), and Morgan Aldrich (Business Woman) in Babel's in Arms
Dusty Payne (Tom) and Morgan Aldrich (Maria) in Dr. Fritz or the Forces of Light
Christa Popovich (Bebe 1), Chevonne Cook (Bebe 2), Jaime Gonzales (Bill 1), and Dusty Payne (Bill 2) in Enigma Variations
Jul 01-Aug 10, 2003
Here's the buzz on "Time Flies"
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Las Cruces Sun News [ Aug 1, 2003 ]
Make the time to see "Time Flies and Other Plays," the current production at the Black Box Theatre. Perfect casting, perfect timing and a perfectly zany, but intelligent script, make this a great escape from the summer heat or the doldrums.
The production consists of five one-act plays by David Ives, a playwright known for his wit, skill with language and slightly skewed outlook on life. Ives takes mundane or insignificant scenarios and turns them into hilarious, and often thought-provoking theater.
Director Geoffrey Bleeker has taken this treasure, peopled it with a talented ensemble cast, and turned it into a joyous, laugh-filled night at the theater.
The first play alone is worth the price of the ticket. "Times Flies" features Christa Popovich and Corey Asbill as two mayflies who have met at a party, are attracted to each other and then discover via a TV show with David Attenborough that they will only live for 24 hours.
Their frantic rush to date, mate and enjoy life before they die is the most delightful bit of insanity that I've ever seen on stage. Popovich and Asbill turn this highly improbable insect life crisis into a sexy, funny romp that humans can enjoy and relate to. The two have great comedic timing and create a chemistry that is akin to high-test pheromones.
Attenborough is played by Jaime Gonzales.
Ives takes a sharp turn for the second offering, "Dr. Fritz, or the Forces of Light," in which a young American tourist gets food poisoning and goes to a very unusual South American doctor who speaks many foreign languages, has very strange habits and talks to God.
Morgan Aldrich, plays the doctor and handles this bizarre character and the numerous accents with ease. Dusty Payne plays the puzzled patient who tries to sort out the doctor's weird behavior and makes some discoveries along the way. Ives' play may at first seem sacrilegious, but in the end has an interesting and positive outlook.
Payne and Asbill pair up in "Babel's in Arms" as two biblical slaves assigned to build the "Tower of Babel." Along the way, they invent things like the lever and words for whatever they invent.
The thought processes as these two assess their situation are delightfully quirky and Payne and Asbill deliver the characters with gusto and tongues-firmly-planted-in-cheek . Also featured in the play are Jason Estala as a eunuch, Chevonne Cook as a priestess and Aldrich as a business woman.
"Enigma Variations" is puzzle of a play, replete with replication of characters and dialogue. The repetition is a challenge for the actors and the audience as Ives plays with ideas about parallel universes and doppelgangers. The double couples are played by Popovich and Gonzales and Cook and Payne.
In "Captive Audience," Ives takes on our obsession with television as a couple, played by Popovich and Asbill, turn on their TV and are drawn into a "Twilight Zone" situation by the TV announcers, played by Aldrich and Gonzales. Again, Ives takes an ordinary situation, gives it a bizarre twist and provides compelling, and entertaining theater.
For those unfamiliar with Ives' plays - this is the perfect time to get acquainted - think Gary Larsen's cartoons, with a little bit of "Northern Exposure" humor and philosophy thrown in. Ives' use of language and his unique take on life and the universe are intriguing and this No Strings Theatre production does his work justice.
In order to pull it off, a solid production team is necessary. They are Crystal Herman, costume designer; larrychandler, scenic designer; Peter Herman, lighting designer; Ceil Herman, producer and Meganbob McKinney, stage manager.
"Time Flies and Other Plays," continues through Sunday, Aug. 10 at Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall. Ticket prices are $8 regular and $7 students and seniors over 65 and all seats on Thursday are $5.
Performance times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with 7 p.m. performances on Sunday, Aug. 3 and Thursday Aug. 7. There will be a Sunday matinee on Aug. 10 at 2:30 p.m. The plays contain some adult language.
No seating plan has been posted.