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Sunday, September 23, 2012

"And So It Goes" @ Artists Rep

"And So It Goes" by Aaron Posner is based upon three short-stories from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr's collection "Welcome to the Monkey-House," each revolve around the theme of love. The first of these, "Long Walk to Forever" is about the narrator, Tom Newtom, and his wife Kate (a creation of this stage version.) It's a nice little story, enjoyable and simple... But, the stand-out of the show is "Who Am I this Time?" (also adapted into a film by Jonathan Demme, director of "Silence of the Lambs.") It contains the evening's funniest moments, and some nearly unbelievable acting. It chronicles the love that blooms on the stage of the community theatre within the small Connecticut town, between Harry (Alex Hurt) and Helene, (Kayla Lian) as they perform "A Streetcar Named Desire." Harry is the town's go-to actor, and Helene is a brand-new transplant.  Harry works as a clerk in the hardware store, he is exceptionally ordinary and terribly shy, until he is on the stage.... During auditions, the staff endures performances  from Harry's boss, Verne,(Leif Norby) who turns in a hilariously awful impression of Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski. (Watching Verne warm-up for his embarrassing performance is worth-seeing all by itself....) When it's Harry's turn, he shyly makes his introductions, and then slowly takes off his glasses, by the time he folds them up, he has transformed into Stanley, the famous brute of "Streetcar." (I suppose in some ways actors always transform, but it is rare to see it happen right in front of you, and it's something to behold.) Helene quickly finds that Harry can only express emotion while acting, so they decide to act in everyday life, the piece ends with Harry and Helene in character for "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Tim True does a superb job as the narrator, and nowhere was his talent more evident then when an inconsiderate audience member was not quick enough to turn off the sports radio broadcast he was listening to during intermission. True's improvised digs at the man were some of the best lines of the show, so good in fact that you almost felt sorry for the transgressor. Almost.

See "And So it Goes" while you still can, I had trouble getting in myself, and it only runs from now to Oct 7th......

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