Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review of Woman School at Vintage Theater Collective

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Woman School.  Woman School is about a young man named Arnolphe (Adam Soule) that thinks women are untrustworthy, but he wants to get married.  So he makes this thing called Woman School where they teach the women only singing, how to cook, and how to knit.  Then he sends all these women to it, and then he has to choose a wife.   I remember from the beginning Arnolphe says smart women run away from you in the night, but dumb women wouldn't do such a thing, he thinks. But that is not true.  I know a lot of smart women, and none of them run away in the night.  His plan is destroyed when he finds out that his friend's son Horace (Ben Gansky) is actually going to get married to the woman that he is in love with.  Her name is Agnes (Kelley Ristow).

One of my favorite scenes was the scene where the servants (Caitlin Costello and Emily Shain) get their "clubs" (also known as baguettes, which are not as useful as clubs) and then they go to the doors and open them and close them in Horace's face and sometimes close it even on his finger.  And then he grabs a rope and climbs up to the balcony.  I tilted my head so it looked like he was climbing a wall because he was actually just walking along the floor and he was holding on to a rope. Horace when he was going up he did like some action music like da de lah dah dah de dahdah.  Like that kind if music. Then the servants punch him and cut the rope and he falls down.  Then they hit him with baguettes.  He tells them to stop, fixes his hair, but then tells them to go on and they keep going.  I thought that was really funny.

Another of my favorite scenes is the scene where the servants are talking about what it feels like to have your heart broken.  Arnolphe wants to have Agnes for his own, but the servants don't understand it at all.  They think he thinks she's like a big pizza, but that is not true. Not exactly. They said he thinks it is like having a big pizza, but then another eater comes, and then the pizza is gone.  I liked this scene because it is a funny thing that they thought of her like a pizza.

A scene that is very important to the play is the scene where Horace is talking to Arnolphe about the person that he is so in love with because that is when you find out that Horace is in love with Agnes.  Horace was talking about his love and how much he needed money for this girl.  Then he said her name was Agnes and got Arnolphe very very angry.  When he is angry he always says "I feel a little ill, and I need to go take some pills."  And then when Horace leaves him alone Arnolphe says something like "Ooooh. I do not like that guy."  This happens 3 times, and Horace keeps hugging him and chest bumping him and then Arnolphe keeps getting hurt on some part of his body.  Usually his bottom.  It was funny how Horace kept chest bumping him and hugging him and carrying him around the room and singing his lines.

In this part of the play, Agnes is talking to Arnolphe.  And she is telling him that this man came along and kissed her hands and her wrists and her elbows--all around her arms.  And Arnolphe asks, "did he kiss any other part of your body?"  And then she says, "Do they do that?" And I thought that was really really funny because she doesn't even know that men sometimes kiss women's lips. It's funny because she has gone to this place called Woman School which makes her stupid because she only knows how to do a few things that are not very useful in a life. She is real smart in the end because she forgot about Woman School and decided to make herself smart again. You can tell how she is smart because she says, "That woman school thing, I did not like that." I am glad there is no such a thing as woman school because I never want to go there.

They rhymed a lot of things in this play.  I thought it was just interesting how they rhymed everything.  It was kind of like Midsummer Night's Dream, how Puck rhymes everything. It seemed like they were old fashioned, but they also kind of seemed like they were from our time.  They chose the words that meant the same thing as they did in old fashioned language but they sounded like you would say them.  They sounded like it was right now because they used words that we use now.  None of the characters were French French. None of them had a French accent.  I could tell it was a French play because of their names and the writer's name was Moliere.  

You shouldn't treat women like you own their bodies. You should treat women like they are like you. Sometimes people treat women like they are servants, and they are not very nice to them and slap them and spank them and stuff. Some characters (Horace and Agnes) think what I think and other characters (Arnolphe) don't. I think Moliere thought what I thought. Why would the moral of the story be to treat women nicely and not like they are not parts of the world if he didn't think that that was true? People who would like this show are people that like Moliere, rhymes, slapstick comedy, and funny wigs.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review of The Thirteen Clocks at Lifeline Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show, and it was called The Thirteen Clocks. It was about a princess and a Minstrel Prince, and they were in love. It is about an evil Duke that keeps the princess in a tower, and he says that he is her uncle but, as he says in the play, "She's not my niece!" The Golux--the only golux in the world--and the Prince find Hagga to get her to weep jewels to set them on the Duke's table. It turns out well, but the end is kind of scary. But I have seen scarier. If you read the book, you are thinking about when you watch the play--how it relates to the book. It was much much much shorter than the book, but it had all the details in it. It is just exactly like it, only shorter. I think the script was really good and really funny, and it was by Robert Kauzlaric.

There are really cool puppet sequences. I really liked the one when the Golux is always doing really funny moves when he is a puppet. He like does a backflip up a wall! He hops from house to house on his hands. The puppets look like the actors; I thought that was really cool. But they can do stuff that humans actually cannot do like do a backflip up a wall. I thought the puppets were super cool and I think they should really use those puppet makers (Chelsea Warren and Melanie Berner) again.

Mildred Marie Langford played Princess Saralinda and Hagga. I also saw her in Sinbad: The Untold Tale and The Ghosts of Treasure Island and I thought her performance in both of them was really good. In one of them she was evil. In Sinbad the Untold Tale she was really evil; she asked for all of someone's blood, and that was disgusting. Princesses in fairy tales are never evil. They don't want people to be like, "The Princess is evil!" and the two-year-old girls would cry because they are really into princesses. I was really into princesses when I was two. It would be kind of interesting to me to have an evil princess, but there were some really young kids there. Hagga and the Princess Saralinda are completely different characters and that means she can play lots of different characters and is really good at them.

Jonathan Helvey played the Duke. He is kind of a mix of scary and fuh-larious. When he is scary is right after when he is talking about feeding the Minstrel Prince of Rags and Tags to the geese. When he is fuh-larious is when he says "Everybody has their flaws, and mine is being wicked" and when he says "You Golux ex machina!" That is going to be my new catch phrase. Whenever I am angry I am going to say, "You Golux ex machina!" I wonder why I didn't think of this earlier. The Golux ex machina is like a God that drops down for every good person and tells them what do do. I thought his performance was really awesome at the very end when the Todal--Shhhhh! Sorry--when the "glob" got the Duke.

The Golux was played by David Guiden and was really really fuh-larious, especially when he said "the only Golux in the world!" and hit people in the face while he turned. He kept saying, "I forget things, you know," and he forgets everything. He had an indescribable cap which suddenly was describable. It looked like an elf's with three tops on it and pompoms all around it and one pompom on top. His hat was not indescribable ever in the play, but the Golux was still awesome. He was so hilarious. He was hilarious when he said, "I am kind of tired of Witches, respecting mother."

Prince Zorn of Zorna was played by Joey deBettencourt. He was very good cast because he was handsome like a prince. The part of the Prince is hard because you have to know how to play guitar and not everyone in the world knows how to play guitar. I don't know how to play guitar, but I do know how to play violin. The scene where he was trying to get Hagga to weep tears was hilarious because he made her weep tears by doing a funny song that is about a billy goat.

Mike Ooi played Hark. Hark is the manservant of the Duke, and he is really funny. There is a really funny scene where the Duke says, "I miss Whisper." And then Hark says,"Uh...You fed him to the Geese." Then the Duke glares, and Harks says, "And I'm sure it was a very delicious meal for them." He was trying to make the Duke feel better about feeding Whisper to his Geese because he glared at him. And that means trouble if the Duke glares at you and you let him. Hark is kind of sad a lot of the time and kind of regular, but sometimes he is hilarious. The funniness comes out of nowhere. Mostly he is like, "I'm with the Duke, I'm evil." But then he can knock your socks off--with laughter.

Amanda Delheimer directed this show. I think it was a very good idea she had to have puppets for the show. I think it is a really funny show and I think this show should be for ages two and up. People who like Princes and Princesses, Goluxes, Evil Dukes, and hilarious stuff would like this show. It was an awesome, awesome show.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review of Old Times at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show called Old Times, and it is at Strawdog Theatre. The play is one of the confusingest plays in the world because Pinter does lots of very confusing plays that take place in small rooms. I wish I could meet him. He died when I was four years old. In this play it is all about this lovely lady named Anna (Michaela Petro) that comes over to celebrate this friendship that she had with this husband's wife Kate (Abigail Boucher) twenty years ago. Then the husband Deeley (John Henry Roberts) falls in love with Anna and tells everybody that they've met before in a place called the Wayfarer's Tavern. We don't know what happens to Anna at the end. She might be d-e-a-d at the end, but nobody knows. It is a mysterious play.

The first scene in the whole entire play is the scene where they are talking about what Anna will be like. They are talking about it and they have a cool fight about what she is like. Their disagreement is that he says, "You haven't seen her in twenty years," and then she says "Well, you've never seen her," which is wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. And Anna was looking out the window, but she wasn't supposed to be there yet. I'm not like, "It's a mistake in the play." I think they thought it was interesting to have someone who wasn't supposed to be there looking out the window. But everything that she had on, including her hair, was black, so that means she kind of blends into her surroundings. Black blends in with the darkness. Deeley has not seen Anna yet, and he doesn't know that he met her before.

There is this scene where Deeley says that the beds are awesome and they are like the awesomest things in the world. And then he says, there's one great thing about these beds, and then he shows them all the ways that you can sleep, "and the castors make all this possible." And I think this part of the scene is funny because most people don't show people how their beds work. Kate is in the bath and they are talking about how Kate gets out of the bath. And they say that she floats out of the bath, she floats out of everything. Everything that they talk about, she floats out of everything. She doesn't just get out. She floats and she floats, and did I mention that she floats. She takes a long time in the bath, and that is an important part of the play because then they get a nice long talk. And they talk about what they should do when she gets out of the bath. There is a really funny part in this part of the scene where Deeley says, "She gives herself an equally good scrub but can she give herself a equally good rub? And this happens to be NOT the case." So then they talk about what they can do to make sure she can be more dry when she gets out of the bath. They both think she is very pretty and they both like her. Anna and Deeley are in love with each other. I think he is in love with both of the girls.

Odd Man Out is a very famous movie. It has to do with this play because there are two versions of the same story about them going to see Odd Man Out. One of them is a true story, and one of them is a false story. The false story is the story that he went to the movie with Kate. An actor in the movie made him fall in love with Kate because he was somebody that brought them together because he said "Wasn't Robert Newton great?" and she says "Robert Newton was great!" and that's how he brought them together. But that is wrong, in my opinion. The true story is, in my opinion, that he actually went out with Anna because she was pretending to be Kate. In the play he says that she was pretending to be Kate at the Wayfarer's Tavern. That means that Anna was the person at the movie too.

In the play they sang this very famous old-timey song that goes like this: "The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea, the way you changed my life, no, no, you can't that away from from me." Whenever Kate comes into the room Anna and Deeley start singing "The way you wear your hat..." because they are talking about her. It is about her because they are saying she is really beautiful and nice and kind. The second she walks into the room she kind of changes their conversation to a different topic, and they stand far apart like they have been doing nothing this whole time. Kate changed their life because she was the one who actually married Deeley in the end. Anna was the one in the Wayfarer's Tavern the whole time; that means that he never saw Kate in the Wayfarer's tavern, so he wasn't in love with Kate the whole time.

In the play, at the very end, there is a scene that is upsetting for most people because there is somebody crying and you see the scene where the man comes over and looks at Anna and she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. I don't think she's dead if she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. It is upsetting to see people cry for most people, except for Estella in Great Expectations. It is confusing because nobody knows what has happened. Maybe Anna has died; maybe she just doesn't want anything to do with him; maybe she is asleep; maybe she is just rude. We don't know what Kate is going to say about what is happening. Nobody knows why Deeley is crying. Maybe he doesn't like the thought of Anna dying because he is in love with her. Maybe he wants to see what's happened to her and that is why he goes over and looks at her. It's kind of cool but kind of scary. It's cool because if you like mysteries this is a good play to go see. It is scary because somebody is crying and you think maybe somebody is dead, and stuff like that.

Old Times is sad, exciting, and funny in some parts. I heard that some people think Pinter is boring, but I don't think so. You have to use your imagination. It is not like you know know know know know everything. Not every play you have to know everything that happened. You want to have a mystery in the story. You want it to be exciting. You don't want it just to go pop! pop! pop! you know everything! I think people that would like this show are people who like mysteries, movies, betrayal, and people talking about beds.

Photos: Chris Ocken

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review of The Count of Monte Cristo at Lifeline Theatre

Once upon a time, I went to a show and it was called The Count of Monte Cristo. It was at Lifeline Theater. The story is about the Count of Monte Cristo that comes to Paris to do some exploring and take his revenge on the four people that ruined his wedding to Mercedes by taking him to jail. It is scary and has lots of stabbing in it. But it is also kind of funny and cool. It is like you are really there because the actors seem so real. The fights were amazingly exciting.

Eugenie was played by Cathlyn Melvin. Eugenie is the girl that is supposed to marry her brother/Benedetto. And Benedetto is not really a prince, but he says he is so Eugenie will marry him. They want his money and he wants their money. I didn't really understand that he was a criminal because they talked so fahn-cy; my mom told me a few seconds ago. Eugenie was a painter and was really smart. She wasn't just pretty; she was also very clever. She figures out that Benedetto is not a Prince and that he just wants her money. She is very good at art, and I think I am kind of like her. I like art and I am good at art. I think she feels that the Count is lying about everything--which he is except for a few times. Eugenie goes off to Italy to paint because they find out that the person she is going to marry is actually a twerp. I think that is better for her, since she doesn't want to get married to anybody. If she had to marry somebody, I think she would marry her friend Albert.

Jesse Manson played Benedetto--the guy who was trying to marry the girl I just talked about. The Count of Monte Cristo saved him from being sent to jail. He was born from his mom when she had had an affair with somebody. When she had the baby, they hadn't gotten married yet, so then she had to marry the banker. The baby was taken away from the mom and buried underground in the yard. And then a gardener or servant or something digs him up, and then he is saved very goodly. That had to be pretty soon after, or he would suffocate. Benedetto is a twerp because he acts so gentlemanlike, like he was an actual prince, but of course he isn't. I have already seen Jesse Manson in another play that was called Watership Down. The other character was funnier and nicer because he was a bird. In this he did a very good job playing a different kind of part, which was very mean and not nice at all. When he got buried you felt sorry for him, but you didn't see him get buried. He acted mean because he had been treated very badly when he was a baby.

Danglar was played by John Ferrick. Danglar was the banker. He was a very snippy, short, chubby person. He made himself look pretty short and chubby in comparison to how he really looks. He just wanted to marry off his daughter to the twerp that I talked about earlier. He cares about money like it is like his wife and daughter. But he doesn't actually care very much about his wife and daughter. He is kind of funny because he is so snippy and cute--it is just hilarious. Like when he was holding hands with his wife, it was so funny because he had such a huge smile and was like "Now you can't take her--too bad." And then, as soon as the Count of Monte Cristo left, the banker and his wife just kept talking. At the end, you feel kind of sorry for him because he has lost his wife, he has lost his daughter, and he has lost his money.

Dana Black played Hermine, and she was the banker's wife. She was killed by her son for no good apparent reason. And when you first see her so bloody, she comes out and you see her, and then Villefort sees her, and then he tried to attend to her, and then her son pops out of nowhere with stripes of blood. She was important to the play because she decides to leave her husband when her daughter leaves because she is actually not in love with her husband; she is in love with Villefort. Villefort gets punished twice; once by being killed, that's one of his punishments, and twice by his love being killed.

Villefort was played Robert Kauzlaric. He was in love with the Banker's wife, and at the beginning of the play he asks the Count of Monte Cristo--"Do you know what Providence is?" I think he asks him that because Providence is the will of God and so, simply, this is what he says, "Do you believe in the will of God?" And then the Count of Monte Cristo says, "Yes." And then he says "The will of God is that you will stay in jail for a long time."

Susaan Jamshidi played Haydee. Haydee was the Count of Monte Cristo's "daughter." She was supposed to be a slave for him when he bought her, but then he kind of adopted her, but with slavery. But she wasn't his slave. In court she comes and shows that she is the Pasha's daughter, and that causes Fernand to be figured out that he caused the killing of the Pasha. I thought she was very beautiful and clever because she figured out that he killed the Pasha. At the beginning, she is walking around with this young man, Albert, and then he gets kidnapped by the guy with the gun who works for the Count of Monte Cristo. Haydee helps the kidnapper by making Albert chase her because of her beauty.

Chris Daley, he plays Albert. He is Mercedes's son. He is going to marry Eugenie but then her father decides to marry her off to some other, "richer," guy. He is important because he is one of the Count of Monte Cristo's friends. He challenges the Count to a duel because the Count of Monte Cristo is trying to destroy his father. Nobody really likes the idea of challenging the Count of Monte Cristo to a duel because he is the main character and you want him to not be killed. Like in all plays you don't want the main character to be killed--except in Richard III and Julius Caesar. Albert, you don't think he's going to be killed because the Count of Monte Cristo has promised that he will not kill Mercedes son.

Jennifer Tyler played Mercedes. Mercedes is the wife of Fernand. She was about to get married to the Count of Monte Cristo--but he wasn't the Count of Monte Cristo then. She always acts kind of miserable because she liked the Count of Monte Cristo better than her other husband, but she also liked her life better with her other husband Fernand when he was a fisherman. You felt sorry for her because her son was going to war; you felt angry at her because she wouldn't marry Edmond. I think when the slave girl says to the Count of Monte Cristo, "We still have to wait." And then he says, "Wait. For what?" That means the "what" is getting married to Mercedes because that is the last thing they need to do. That would make everybody happy because he has always wanted to marry her. I wish people that were still alive in the play got married (except for the banker) because then it would be a really happy ending. Nobody gets married. That just makes it have a sad ending.

Don Bender played Abbe Faria, and he is a hilarious character. Once he had read so many books, and then he talked to the Count of Monte Cristo. And then he pretended to read, but he just knew so much that he was just looking at his hands. He has just memorized it. He keeps turning the page of his hand. It was really funny and hilarious that he did that. He is like a father to the Count of Monte Cristo because he is so nice to him and makes him learn everything that he knows--and that's a lot. When the Abbe Faria dies, I felt really sad. The Count of Monte Cristo screams "Nooooo!" at the same time that another person is dying, the banker's wife, and Villefort screams "Noooo!" at the exact same time as the Count of Monte Cristo. It was really cool. The director made the decision to do that, and I thought that was a great idea for the director to do that. The director was Paul Holmquist. I think he is very good director; he also directed The Moonstone. The Moonstone I also saw, and that was one of my favorite plays.

Fernand was played by James Anthony Zoccoli. He also played the kidnapper. He shot himself in the head after the intermission because he's unhappy that they found out that he let the Pasha be killed and sold the Pasha's daughter for slavery. And then this guy in the audience just right after he shot himself in the head was like "Geez." I was like, you ruined that complete moment. I am just so angry at that person. I think Mercedes and her son actually wanted to leave Fernand behind because they actually weren't very happy with the husband and the father that they had. When he was the kidnapper, I thought he was kind of a nice kidnapper only once because he said he would give him food and water if he would give him money. That's kind of nice because he is not saying you can't have any food or water if I kidnap you.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Christopher Hainsworth) is both a bad guy and a good guy. You understand why he would want revenge, but he does it in a kind of inappropriate way. Sending them to jail would be more appropriate. One of the most expressive scenes in the play was the grape scene. In the grape scene the Count of Monte Cristo would not eat the grapes that Mercedes gave him. It was very confusing because you find out it is an Eastern custom after the intermission. You think he is just being mean and weird. I think it showed that "I do not like your husband." This character is determined, rude, rich, only not nice to the people he wants revenge on, and scary. Hard and fun to play--that's what I think it is. And also Merecedes' character because it is hard to pretend that you are in love with some who wants revenge on other people and one of them is your other husband. I thought the Count of Monte Cristo was going to die, but he didn't, and I was happy about that because I liked the character because I think he is an interesting character.

The writer of the play, Christopher M. Walsh, I think did a very good job writing this play. He read the book, and then he started doing the play. It is so long, it would take you about 2 years to finish that book. But it must have taken 5 years to write the book. He had to make the choices of what to use and what to not use by doing his favorite things in the play from the book and doing the things he thought were interesting in the book. This play makes me want to read the book.

I think this play should be for ages 9 and up, but I am a very brave 7 year old. The play is blood-curdling, awesome, and heartbreaking. People that would like this play would like revenge, love stories, fights, and stage blood. People should see this play. It is awesome.