Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Casting Call FOR EXTRAS - Low Budget Feature Film in Tubac, AZ

 

From: Sara Jackson <bookingsarajackson@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 3:15 PM
Subject: CALL FOR EXTRAS

 


CALL FOR EXTRAS - Ultra Low Budget Feature F
ilm

 

7:30AM-6:00PM (Can work with half days)

Sunday, March 1

Wednesday, March 4

Sunday, March 8

Wednesday, March 11

Saturday, March 14

Location: Tubac, AZ.

 

Includes IMDb Credit, Meals, and a gas stipend.

Email bookingsarajackson@gmail.com with a recent photo & your availability.

 

 

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ARTS EXPRESS: Joint Audition Call for West Side Story and Sweeney Todd

From: "Karen Wiese (Basecamp)" <notifications@3.basecamp.com>
Date: February 22, 2020 at 3:34:40 PM MST
Subject: Joint Audition Call for West Side Story and Sweeney Todd
Reply-To: karen-wiese-fjxhtYYod3xX@replies.3.basecamp.com



ARTS EXPRESS

JOINT AUDITION CALL FOR WEST SIDE STORY AND SWEENEY TODD

 

Venue:  Junior League, 2099 E. River Rd.

Tuesday 3/3 6:00 – 10:00 pm:  6:00 – 9:00 pm (Vocal/Acting Audition – both shows) and 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Dance Audition – WSS only)

Wednesday 3/4 6:00 – 10:00 pm:6:00 – 9:00 pm (Vocal/Acting Audition – both shows) and 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Dance Audition– WSS only)

Thursday 3/5: 6:00 – 10:00 pm  (Call Backs– WSS only)

Sunday 3/15: 2:00 – 5:00 pm (Call Backs– Sweeney only)

 

WEST SIDE STORY Audition Registration, Rehearsal Schedule and More Information: https://castingmanager.com/audition/info/X3dELo1VZ9tY0ZN

SWEENEY TODD Audition Registration, Rehearsal Schedule and More Information: https://castingmanager.com/audition/info/SNIbxrjKfx6dwkg

 

Roles Available:  All roles available for both shows.  Some paid lead roles.  Understudies may be cast for lead roles

Audition Requirements: Please prepare 32 bars (about 2 minutes) of a musical theatre piece that features your vocal range. An accompanist will be provided. Recorded music with no vocal backing may also be used (bring an aux cord - a speaker will be provided). The casting directors use Casting Manager during the casting process (see registration link above). Please post your headshot, resume and any schedule conflicts to your Casting Manager profile.

Student Actors:  Student Actors under the age of 19 pay $250 in Cast Tuition prior to audition (There is no tuition for actors ages 19+).  SPECIAL DEAL:  The $250 Cast Tuition is WAIVED for student actors that enroll in Arts Express' Summer Classes!  The value of the Summer Classes must be equal to or greater than $250; otherwise the balance of the $250 Cast tuition will be due prior to audition ($250 less Summer Class tuition). Tuition is non-refundable. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TEEN SUMMER CLASSES IS PROVIDED HERE: https://www.arts-express.org/ae-teens/

 

 

 

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Tucson Improv Movement: Cactus Flower Comedy Festival 2020

 

From: Tucson Improv Movement <justin@tucsonimprov.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 7:29 AM
Subject: Cactus Flower Comedy Festival 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are so excited to put on the 4th annual Cactus Flower Comedy Festival featuring female and gender non-conforming performers. A weekend full of storytelling, improv, and standup comedy featuring some of the funniest local & out-of-town comedians and storytellers.  We hope to see you at shows all weekend long, get the all festival pass for $30!

Thursday, February. 27th
7:30 p.m. FST! Female StoryTellers
storytellers: Cat Belue, Mel Blumenthal, Mary Ann Byerly, Shelly Dorsey, Leigh Spenser, Kassandra Klein

9:00 p.m. Improv Comedy
Comedy Corner(UA), Allreddy(Tucson), Harold Omega(TIM), Baby Fish Mouth(TIM)


Friday, February 28th
7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy
I Was Promised Magic(TIM), Ex-Boyfriend(Tucson), RatKween(Phoenix), TIM All Stars
9:00 p.m. Improv Comedy
The Soap Box(TIM) with stories from Randi Dorman, Duo: Jill Bernard(Minneapolis, MN) & Shannon Stott(Austin, TX)
10:30 p.m.- Beginners and Veterans Stand Up Comedy Show
Host Nicole Riesgo featuring Rebecca Tingley, Steena Salido, Cami Anderson, Brandi Dierinzo, Holly Hilton, Molly McCloy.

Saturday, February 29th
6:00 p.m. Improv Comedy
Three Headed Monster(TIM), #PurseWine(TIM), Rough Around the Curves(TIM), From the Top(Unscrewed), TIM All Stars
7:30 p.m. Stand Up Comedy
Host: Mo Urban featuring: Jackie Kibler, Andrea Carmichael, Andrea Salazar, Savannah Hernandez, Bethany Evans
9:00 p.m.- Festival Finale
Como Se Dice, The Riveters, Jill Bernard presents Drum Machine

 

 

 

Our Improv Headliners and Instructors
Jill Bernard and Shannon Stott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for Workshops

 

 

 

Get CFCF Show Tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Festival Workshops


*Workshops are open to participants of all genders!

Workshops Saturday February 29th
10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Being A Dream Partner - Jill Bernard
Improv is rarely a solo endeavor. This workshop will focus on how you can become the best possible partner your teammates could imagine. Games and exercises showing how to listen to what your partner really wants, and turn them into a rockstar. If we're all doing this for each other, we're a team of rockstars and we all win!

Your Moment - Shannon Stott
This workshop focuses on identifying and moving through the moments in which you are verbally, mentally and physically holding back on stage. Shannon Stott encourages and guides players to improvise boldly and to take up space in spite of stereotypical feedback from fellow players. Expect to push your improv boundaries.

2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Fireball Theory - Jill Bernard
This workshop presents Jill Bernard's Fireball Theory and offers exercises to help you improvise faster and harder than you can judge yourself. You will learn to metaphorically hit the scene running and outrun the explosion of self-loathing and doubt like an action movie hero outruns a fireball thus defying the laws of physics. Please wear closed toe shoes to this workshop.

Finding Yourself On Stage - Shannon Stott
What happens when you bump into your genuine thoughts, emotions and even your own physicality on stage? Your audience leans in and you connect with them and your fellow players. Shannon Stott helps you lean in to showing up fully as yourself in scenes to connect with your audience, enrich your characters and use what is in you to have a more dynamic stage experience.

 

 

Tucson Improv Movement

414 E 9th Street

Tucson, AZ 85705



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Invisible Theatre presents FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY IN ONLY 50 YEARS!

Invisible Theatre continues its 49th Anniversary Season

with

FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY

IN ONLY 50 YEARS!

Starring

Award-Winning Broadway Star

Steve Solomon

Directed by

Andy Rogow

Executive Producers

Abby Koffler and Steve Solomon

Personal Management

Penny Loafer Productions Inc

TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY!

Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 3:00 PM

The Berger Performing Arts Center
1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ

Invisible Theatre continues its 49th Anniversary Season with a performance of hilarious comedy! Steve Solomon is the author and star of one of the longest running one-man comedies in Broadway history: MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN THERAPY. Steve, using his gift for acting, dialects and voices, brings to life more than twenty oddball people in hysterical situations that we can all relate to. From family friends, from TSA officers to Steve's doctors ... from Brooklyn to Broadway, he is pure joy! You'll recognize these characters from your own life and leave the theater wiping tears of laughter from your eyes!

FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY IN ONLY 50 YEARS, starring Steve Solomon, will play March 14, 2020 at 7:30 PM and March 15, 2020 at 3:00 PM at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 West Speedway Blvd. Tucson, Arizona (on the campus of the AZ State School for the Deaf and Blind).

The single show ticket price for FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY is $45. All seats are reserved. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, active military and students. Rush tickets are available for purchase at half-price one half hour prior to performance time and are subject to availability.

Tickets are available for purchase by calling the Invisible Theatre Box Office at (520) 882-9721 and are also available 24/7 on-line through OvationTix at www.invisibletheatre.com.

The running time is 100 minutes with one intermission.

"Perfect Comedy Timing!"
NY Post

"One of the funniest evenings in the theater!"
-Mesa Examiner

"Solomon is a master of sound and voices"
-Courier Times

 

ABOUT THE PEOPLE

STEVE SOLOMON

Author, Actor, Comedian

Steve Solomon

 

A native of Brooklyn, Steve grew up in the multi-ethnic neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay. This was the perfect training ground for a dialectician and comedian. Steve learned at an early age how to use his gift for imitating accents to his advantage. Using his gift for mimicry, he would fool most people with his antics. Steve remembers the day he played "hooky" from school. Back then the truant officer would call each parent and verify the fact that their child was home. Steve, using a rough growly voice took the initiative and called the school. He asked for the truant officer's office. The officer answered, "Can I help you?" Steve, using as deep a voice as he could muster said, "Yes, Steve won't be able to come into school today, he's sick." The truant officer said, "And who am I talking to?" Steve cleared his throat and answered, "Um, this is my father speaking!"

 

He also realized that he was a prolific writer of jokes and stories; real jokes and cranked them out for special events at the local Church and Synagogue. Motivated solely by his mother's desire to have a REAL career: Teacher, Government employee, butcher ... Steve became a Physics teacher and eventually an Assistant Superintendent of Schools an Long Island, New York. He loved teaching but couldn't deal with the bureaucracy and the politics.

He left his academic career behind and ventured into the business world. After a noble effort and a very severe economic and emotional downturn, his back was to the wall. What a year: a business collapse and a divorce. Literally, with no money, a dream and Jane at his side he turned his attention to his latent love of making people laugh. As Steve puts it, "I decided to follow my heart and become an impoverished comedy writer and performer." The key word there was ... impoverished. The comedy club circuit was no place to be starting a career at fifty-five. In "show business" age is everything. After years of struggling Steve's epiphany was that comedy clubs were no place for an (almost) senior. His goal? Create something that no one has done before.

Motivated by his new manager Abby, Steve created his first show, the three-time award winning Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish ana rm 4n : nerapyl The show was met with rave reviews to sold out crowds throughout the country and overseas, and has become one of the longest running one-man comedy shows in history.

Steve has written four additional sequels to his original hit: MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH AND I'M STILL IN THERAPY: his hilarious holiday show MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH AND I'M HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, THE BATTLE OF THE BROADWAY COMEDIANS and CANNOLI, LATKES & GUILT ... THE THERAPY CONTINUES. Last year, Steve rewrote his original hit show and brought back some of his audience's favorite characters in all new, updated hilarious scenarios. Steve's shows are currently touring the United States, Canada, and South Africa and have received critical acclaim including winning The Connecticut Critics Circle Award, The San Francisco Drama Desk nomination, Broadway.com "Best new off-Broadway play". Broadway World, "Audience Favorite Play" His latest project, FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY, is a real-life Rocky Story — a book and screenplay about his (late in life) adventures in the entertainment business. Enjoy!

 


ANDREW ROGOW (Director) holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Andy is currently a member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. He was the founder and Artistic Director of the Different Drummer Music Theater in Chicago, the only musical theater ensemble company in the country at the time. While there, he produced and/or directed such musicals as WORKING, an avant-garde production of THE FANTASTICS, and the Chicago premiere of the 1940's RADIO HOUR, which ran for six months at the Palmer House Hotel. Mr. Rogow is an award-winning actor who has worked all over the country. Favorite roles include Che in EVITA, Hysterium in A FUNNY THING ... FORUM, Ned in THE NORMAL HEART, and Pooch in GOOD NEWS. While living in Las Vegas he also worked as a singer at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino. Before joining the Hollywood Playhouse staff he was the Artistic Director of Cue Productions, based in New York City, which specialized in Jewish musicals. He directed their productions of SEYMOUR GLICK IS ALIVE BUT SICK which allowed him the opportunity to work with comedy legend Steve Allen, SOPHIE, TOTIE AND BELLE, and MEET ME AT THE PITKIN. During his tenure at the Hollywood Playhouse he has directed Sally Struthers and Dawn Wells in ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE, the world premieres of THE COMET'S TALE, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, HARRY AND THELMA IN THE WOODS and critically acclaimed productions of THE FANTASTICS, MAN OF LA MANCHA, A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, for which he received a Carbonell Award nomination for Best Director. Mr. Rogow is a member of Actors' Equity Association and The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. He also sits an the Board of Directors of the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and is the President of the Theatre League of South Florida. Andy is the original director of Steve Solomon's "MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN THERAPY".

ABBY KOFFLER (Producer). With 35 years' experience as an Arts Presenter in South Florida, MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN was the first time out for Abby as a Producer. Abby met Steve sixteen years ago while he was doing stand-up comedy and after many lunches and long talks, they became good friends. Recognizing Steve's enormous potential and his ability to do more with his talent, she prodded him to work with her to create a vehicle that would better showcase those abilities and, as Steve remembers it, she gave him only two hours to come up with a title for it. Together they created the title and the concept of MY MOTHER'S ITALIAN, MY FATHER'S JEWISH & I'M IN THERAPY. Over a number of years, a lot of hard work and a very successful road tour, their dream of presenting the show in New York City came to fruition. The show ran for almost two years and after six thousand performances the show has become one of the longest running one man comedy shows in history! Abby continues to manage Steve's career.

 


TICKETS AND INFORMATION

TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR FOR INFORMATION:

To charge tickets by phone, call our Box Office at (520) 882-9721.

You may also visit the Box Office in the Invisible Theatre Lobby (1400 N. First Avenue at Drachman).

To buy tickets online 24/7, go to www.invisibletheatre.com and click an the OvationTix logo.

Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS:

The Berger Performing Arts Center is fully accessible to patrons using wheelchairs or with other mobility challenges. Seating areas to accommodate persons using wheelchairs are located in the theatre. If patrons require special seating they should inform the Box Office at (520) 882-9721.

ABOUT THIS PRESS RELEASE:

This mailing list is for members of the professional media and allied organizations who have requested e-mail press releases from The Invisible Theatre. If you no longer wish to receive e-mail press releases or if there is someone else with your organization that should be added to our list, send a message to cathy@invisibletheatre.com or phone Alayna at (520) 884-0672 with your request.

ONLINE MEDIA MATERIALS:

Photos of Steve Solomon, FROM BROOKLYN TO BROADWAY, are attached to this press release. They will also be available at www.invisibletheatre.com beginning February 25, 2020. Photo credit is courtesy of the artist.

Invisible Theatre

1400 N. First Avenue at Drachman
Tucson, AZ 85719
Box Office — (520) 882-9721
Administration — (520) 884-0672
Fax — (520) 884-5410
www.invisibletheatre.com

 

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Arizona Repertory Theatre presents The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

March 16, 2020 to March 29, 2020

VENUE: Marroney Theatre

https://theatre.arizona.edu/shows/the-two-gentlemen-of-verona/

Best friends Valentine and Proteus embark on different paths in life only to run into each other again when they both fall in love with the same woman. The Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, his first comedy and also one of the most rarely performed plays in the canon. The play centers on a host of themes that Shakespeare would spend the rest of his career wrestling with, betrayal, disguise and love. Featuring one of his most beloved clowns, The Two Gentlemen of Verona provides an opportunity to see a master playwright just beginning to flex his genius.

by William Shakespeare

BUY TICKETS 

 

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Immediate call for Spotlight operator for Carousel - paid

Spotlight operator for Carousel  -  This week through the weekend, and next week with one school performance mid week

 

Contact Karen Wiese at karen@arts-express.org

 

 

Here's the schedule.

 

Carousel - Berger Tech Week/Show Schedule

 

Tuesday 2/25  Tech Run:  4:00 – 10:00 pm

 

Wednesday 2/26 Dress Run: 5:00 – 10:00 pm

 

Thursday 2/27 Dress Run: 5:00 – 10:00 pm

 

Friday 2/28 Show: 5:00 – 10:00 pm

 

Saturday 2/29 Shows: 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm

 

Sunday 3/1 Show: 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm

 

Wednesday 3/4 School Days Show:  8:00 am – 1:00 pm

 

Friday 3/6 Show: 5:00 – 10:00 pm

 

Saturday 3/7 Show: 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm

 

Sunday 3/8 Show and Load-Out:  12:00 noon – 6:00 pm

 

 

 

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WINDING ROAD THEATER ENSEMBLE- 2020 Auditions

 

From: Winding Road <windingroadte@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2020 6:23 PM
Subject: Winding Road - 2020 Auditions

 

WINDING ROAD THEATER ENSEMBLE ANNOUNCES

OPEN AUDITIONS FOR ITS 2020-2021 SEASON

 

Includes casting for the company's April 2020 10-minute play festival, plus two main stage shows and multiple Winding Reads scheduled for production between September 2020 and May 2021

 

Tucson, AZ, February 23, 2020 – Winding Road Theater Ensemble is holding open auditions for its upcoming 2nd Annual "Eight 10's in Tucson" play festival as well as its Main Stage and "Winding Reads" productions for the 2020-2021 season. Auditions are by appointment only and will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2020 and Sunday, March 8, 2020. Callbacks are scheduled for March 9, 10, & 11, 2020.

This year's auditions will focus on casting for two Main Stage productions for the 2020-2021 season: an American theater classic (to be announced); "Assassins", a musical by Stephen Sondheim; and the 3rd Annual Eight 10s in Tucson 10-minute play festival. In addition, the Company will be casting for "Winding Reads", staged readings of full-length plays.

Auditioners should come prepared with a current headshot and résumé, as well as either a two-minute monologue or a one-minute monologue and a one-minute song (about 32 bars). An accompanist will be available. Singers are expected to bring sheet music in an appropriate key and clearly marked for audition. There will be no playback equipment available. 

Performers must visit www.windingroadtheater.org to schedule an audition appointment for either March 7 or March 8, 2020. Performers who attend open auditions on a "walk-in" basis are not guaranteed an opportunity to audition and will be seen only as scheduling permits.

Winding Road is committed to diverse casting. Actors of all backgrounds, ages, and gender identities are encouraged to apply.

OPEN AUDITIONS 

All performers: Saturday, March 7, 2020, 10:00am - 1:00pm & 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Actors only: Sunday, March 8, 2020, 10:00am - 1:00pm (no accompanist available)

All performers: Sunday, March 8, 2020, 2:00pm - 5:00pm

 

CALLBACKS

Musical Theater performers for "Assassins": Monday, March 9, 2020 : 6:00pm - 9:00pm 

Actors for Main Stage & Winding Reads: Tuesday, March 10, 2020: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Actors for 2020 "Eight 10s in Tucson": Wednesday, March 11, 2020: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

 

LOCATION

Sky Islands High School

6000 E 14th Street

Tucson, AZ 85711

(off Wilmot, South of Broadway, behind the Park Place shopping center)

 

Winding Road Theater Ensemble is a non-profit Tucson-based theater company. Co-founded in 2008 by Glen Coffman and Toni Press-Coffman, the Company is committed to telling dynamic theatrical stories that illuminate the human condition and celebrate theater's power to entertain diverse audiences. More information is available at the Company's web site, www.windingroadtheater.org

# # #

 

 

The TheatreLab & Conservatory presents its WINTER 2020 FESTIVAL OF PLAYS

 

From: philipgbennett@yahoo.com <philipgbennett@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2020 2:27 PM
Subject: Ad - Winter 2020 Fest 2.23.20

 

WINTER 2020 FESTIVAL OF PLAYS

Bennett Theatrelab & Conservatory

America’s Premier Playwright

Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill

 

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4505795

www.BennettTheatreLab.com

 

The TheatreLab & Conservatory is co-producing our Winter 2020 Festival of Plays with the Scoundrel and Scamp Theatre Company to celebrate our 12th year in Tucson! We will be presenting nine performances of two productions: A Showcase of One Acts and Scenes, and Eugene O'Neill's Masterpiece, Desire Under the Elms.  

Purchase Tickets:  Brownpapertickets.com 

Search for:  Winter 2020 Festival of Plays

www.BennettTheatreLab.com  --  520-468-1664

This year’s Showcase is designed to entertain and to offer a selection of comedies and dramas both contemporary and classical (including Euripides and Shakespeare).

We wish to give the Conservatory’s outstanding student actors from all three years of training an opportunity to perform before a live audience.

The Showcase featuring: 

Dolores Claiborne - Bella Vivante, Teresa Shade (A demonstration of Psychophysical Active Action Analysis)

Orphans - Conlan J. Salgado, Jorge Taborda

Hoodlum on the Roof - Diane Dubé, Michael Laurio, John Muller

Universal Language - Jorge Taborda, Katie Burke

Medea Scenes and Shakespeare Scenes:

Callie Hutchison, Kevin Visbal

Katie Burke, Abigail Dunscomb, Jorge Taborda, John Muller, Bella Vivante, Lance Guzman, Conlan Salgado

Showcase performance dates:

Preview - February 28th, 7:30 p.m.

Opening - February 29th, 7:30 p.m.

Closing - March 1st, 2:00 p.m.

Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill featuring: 

Callie Hutchison,  John Muller, Oscar De La Rocha, Lance Guzman, Jorge Taborda, Michael Laurio, Katie Burke, Diane Dubé, Elizabeth Falcón, and Bella Vivante.

A father whose cruelty drives his sons into desperate revenge, his first two wives into the grave, and a third wife into forbidden seduction.  The play’s classical catharsis purges and transforms into forgiveness and the uplifting power of love.

‘Desire’ based on Euripides’ play Hippolytus, and the Greek myth Phaedra, exquisitely explores the tragic excesses of greed and passion, offering an eternal lesson.

Play Review: ‘Desire Under the Elms’ an emotional, visceral ride.”  Glendale News Press.

Desire Under the Elms Performance Dates:

Preview - Friday, March 6th, 7:30 p.m.

Opening - Saturday, March 7th, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 8th, 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 12th, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 13th: *We will NOT have a performance of Desire Under the Elms on Friday, the 13th of March.*

Saturday, March 14th, 7:30 p.m.

Closing - Sunday, March 15th, 2:00 p.m.

 

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

SUSAN CLAASSEN IS BRILLIANT IN "BECOMING DR. RUTH" ONSTAGE

By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com

 

photo by Tim Fuller

Dr. Ruth (Susan Claassen) invites the audience into her Manhattan apartment for a little reminiscing.

How can such powerful brain chemistry be activated by the mere mention of Invisible Theatre's own Managing Artistic Director Susan Claassen doing a one-woman show portraying celebrity sex therapist Dr. Ruth?

So powerful, indeed, that when Invisible Theatre announced it would produce such a show, tickets sold so fast additional performances were added before the show even opened!

It won't surprise anyone if the run gets extended further at IT's theater because, on the opening night of “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” Claassen's performance as a cast of one was absolutely brilliant.

She wasn't just acting like she was the colorful sex therapist, she became Dr. Ruth, the diminutive warrior in red-framed glasses dedicated to the importance of education...regardless of the subject.

The playbill credits Annette Hillman and Fred Rodriguez as co-directors.

To discover how such an openly curious and candid person can be created out of so much good old-fashioned cheerfulness in dreadful times, playwright Mark St. Germain carries us down deep through all the layers of disappointment and determination she endured, straight to the 1930s childhood of Karola Ruth Siegel, a German girl of Jewish faith living in Frankfurt with her parents and grandparents.

Thus, the first three-fourths of “Becoming Dr. Ruth” becomes a fascinating series of scenes and descriptions from those complex times as felt through the eyes of a young person enduring the social pressures of Adolf Hitler's rise to power, the isolation of Germany's Jewish community and the destruction of World War II, followed by the political Cold War, society's re-structuring and the creation of Israel in 1948.

But history is just the backdrop. Cleverly the playwright has created an album of short scenes as the child grew into an independent young woman who learned early the power of education and the nourishment of a positive attitude.

Claassen navigates this landscape with subtly evolving body language and European accents that begin with her early family life in Frankfurt, included Hebrew when she moved to the new nation of Israel in 1948 and served in the military, added French when she studied and taught in Paris in the 1950s, and then after moving to the United States in 1956 learned American English by constantly reading True Confessions magazine.

There were two constants in all this. The first was her desire to keep getting more education (and winning more scholarships). The second was her belief from an early age that – just like her favorite movie star Shirley Temple – she could always cheer up anyone's spirits.

The genius of St. Germain's play and Claassen's performance is that right before our eyes we watch as the Jewish child Karola in horrifying times transforms and grows into the young European woman who would later become, at age 52 in 1980, the nation's most entertaining grandmother and explicit educator on the traditionally forbidden subject of sex.

At one point Dr. Ruth assures us her attitudes toward sex are very old-fashioned. From the beginning of her midnight radio show on New York station WYNY she wanted nothing to do with questions about sexual perversity or bestiality (“I'm not a veterinarian,” she quiped).

While this stage portrait does include some genuinely funny quotes from Dr. Ruth's unique handling of sex advice, “Becoming Dr. Ruth” is exactly what the title implies.

It isn't so much about sex. It is definitely very much about having the courage to keep sticking your neck out, no matter what.

The show runs through Saturday, Feb. 29, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m., weekend matinees at 3 p.m., in the Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.

Reservations are a must. Tickets are $35, with group discounts available. For additional details and reservations, 520-882-9721, or visit invisibletheatre.com