L to R: Daniela Vestal, Garrick Garcia, Juanita Salazar
L to R: Daniela Vestal, Garrick Garcia
L to R: Garrick Garcia, Juanita Salazar, Daniela Vestal
L to R: Joe Denk, Garrick Garcia, Daniela Vestal
L to R: Daniela Vestal, Joe Denk, Garrick Garcia, Juanita Salazar
L to R: Juanita Salazar, Garrick Garcia, Joe Denk
Sep 15-Oct 01, 2000
|Assistant Stage Manager|
'Seascape' is see-worthy theater
- By Cheryl Thornburg , Sun News [ Friday, October 22, 2000]
The premier production of the new Black Box Theatre is a giant step in the evolution of the local theater community. Edward Albee's Pulitzer prize-winning play "Seascape" is thought provoking as well as entertaining and director Ceil Herman has chosen first-rate area actors to bring it to life.
The storyline seems simple at first, as a retired couple, Charlie (Joe Denk) and Nancy (Juanita Salazar) relax on the beach and discuss how to spend their "twilight years."
Nancy wants to get out and do things, while Charlie basically wants to just take it easy. As they banter, it is obvious that they care about each other, but have different ideas abot "retirement."
Denk is, as always, capable and charming as the laid-back Charlie, and works well with Salazar, who is aged somewhat for this role with skillful makeup.
Their relationship is so believable that some senior audience members commented that the dialogue was all too familiar.
The first act at first seems a little slow, perhaps deliberately so, as the couple bickers and reminisces. It's interesting - but not extraordinary - and then the lizards arrive.
The moment the lizard couple scurries onto the stage - it's magical. Incredible costumes and makeup by Deborah Brunson and Kristin Walcott coupled with some of the best acting even seen in local theater transport the audience into another realm.
Garrick Garcia and Daniela Vestal play the lizard couple, Leslie and Sarah, who have just emerged from the ocean and are exploring their options on land.
These have to be two of the most challenging roles ever for actors - throughout the play they are on all fours, scurrying and stretching as lizards do. What is absolutely uncanny is the reptilian body language these two mimic - it is a performance not to be missed.
Director Ceil Herman said Garcia and Vestal studied nature tapes of lizards in preparation for their roles and it paid off handsomely.
In addition to the difficulty of the roles, all the actors must deal with the incredible intimacy of the new theater. At times the first row audience members are a matter of inches from the actors - and they never break character. It makes for very initmate and exciting theater.
Albee's script and subject matter, focusing on evolution as well as relationships, is what the drama is all about, and this production of it, with its superb costumes and fine acting is what keeps live theatre alive.
The No Strings Theatre Company with Ceil and Peter Herman at the helm, is giving theater lovers much to look forward to in the coming year and especially now that the new theater at 430 N Downtown Mall has opened its doors.
"A Life In The Theatre" by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, David Mamet, will be the next No Strings Theatre Company production.
The play will be directed by Michael Wise. Performance dates will be Oct. 27 through Oct. 29, Nov. 2 through Nov. 5, and Nov. 9 through Nov. 12.
"Seascape" performances continue today, Saturday, and Sunday and Sept. 28, 29, and 30 with Thursday and Sunday performances at 7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
A special matinee performance will be given Sunday Oct. 1 at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 for regular admission and $6 for students and seniors (over 65).
Discount packs of 5 coupons which can be used for any No Strings Theatre Company production ($30 regular/$25 student/senior) are also available at the box office.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by phone at (505)-523-1223 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Bright new theatre called 'Black Box' hosts great performance
- By Dia Fox Taylor , The Bulletin [September 21, 2000]
The Black Box Theatre at the north end of the Downtown Mall is now open! For their first offering, Ceil and Peter Herman present an exciting, often hilarious, thought provoking and sophisticated play. Last Friday night's opening performance of "Seascape" by Edward Albee, directed by Ceil Herman, played to a sold-out audience that sat in rapt attention as this unusual story unfolded. "Seascape" covers - or tries to cover - the gamut of human emotions and life in general - a rather large, but surprisingly successful, undertaking for one play. .
Nancy and Charlie, a newly retired married couple vacationing at the seaside, argue without rancor about what to do with themselves now that they have time on their hands. Nancy, skillfully rendered by Juanita Salazar, wants to beach hop, see California, the Copa Cabana and, in general, live. Salazar's face lights up when, as Nancy, she dreams of as-yet-unvisited places and works hard at trying to pump some enthusiasm into her dozing lump of a husband on the sand dune. Joe Denk quite ably huffs and puffs his way through the part of Charlie, who would much prefer to vegetate than scamper hither and thither all over the known world. Denk, who has a long list of plays in his repertoire, brings his comfortable, easy acting ability to this role and uses his very mobile face to excellent advantage. In the middle of a tense discussion about their life together, Charlie and Nancy are suddenly confronted with two sea creatures who have come ashore to explore this strange other world. After a hilarious scene in which the two couples unintentionally terrify each other, they begin a dialogue. Leslie, the male creature, played by Garrick Garcia, wants to know more about life as humans experience it, but is very protective of his mate and takes care not to venture too far from the familiar. Sarah, the female played by Daniela Vestal, explains about their life and habits, echoing Nancy in her enthusiasm and daring.
The two women reach a rapport almost at once, slowly drawing out the more reticent males. Leslie and Sarah are the epitome of the mated-for-life, just as Nancy and Charlie, but with some startling differences. Imagine, if you can, trying to explain human reproduction to a six-foot, egg-laying lizard - even one who speaks English. Garcia and Vestal imitate the moves of your garden-variety lizard so well that sometimes it's hard to remember that these are people in costumes. Both bring to their roles an excellent stage presence and move with apparant ease on all fours. Both couples work well together and are entirely convincing as long-time married folk. Mention must be made here of the costumes and make-up for the sea creatures. It is superb and quite realistic, and is part of what made them so believable. Kudos to Meredith Loring, costume artisan, Jennifer Perotta who constructed them, and designers Deborah Brunson an Kristin Walcott. Outstanding work! Listening to the dialogue, one might find at times that the phrases Albee has written for his characters are somewhat stilted. He is a master with words but sometimes the dialogue is a bit far-fetched. People don't normally talk the way Albee writes, particularly when the subject matter delves into the deep and profound. How would you explain evolution to a couple of lizards? Not the way Albee does it, I bet. Even so, it's a fine production - well directed, well acted, full of laughs and original ideas thoughtfully and engagingly presented.
"Seascape" continues September 21-24, 28-30 and Oct. 1. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., Thursday performances begin at 7 p.m and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Reserve tickets by calling 523-1223 or by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
No seating plan has been posted.