#31. As a writer, I have many unfinished stories. I get an intriguing idea for a book or play. I start to create. My characters get names, personalities, and objectives. As they become real to me, I hear their voices in my head and I work to record it. I strive to put it in words. They become real people with real problems living in my imagination. And for awhile, I am captivated by their existence. Some go on and get an ending to their story. Some get stuck in my head and never receive closure.
The Hypocrites presents the world premiere adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR. It’s Audience Appreciation Night at The Hypocrites. The touring cast for “Pirates of Penzance” is having a ‘put-in.‘ It seems real but it’s actually a ‘put-on.‘ The show is about a rehearsal getting interrupted by 6 characters looking for their drama to be completed. The pretend “Pirates” cast are intrigued by who they think are actors. The ensembles decide to work together to create a play. But who is acting? SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR is a witty play-within-a-rehearsal-within-a-play-of-actors-playing-actors-playing-characters.
The Hypocrites have a great sense of humor. The show teases out the real life change in leadership from Sean Graney to Halena Kays. The rehearsal actors react to the news Graney is not directing their ‘“Pirates” show. They are a little put-out by having to work with the new Artistic Director. And a lot more disconcerted to hear they are being directed by another actor. This starts the show on a playful note because the play is actually being directed by Kays. The rehearsal ensemble, Brennan Buhl (director), Laura McKenzie (actor), John Taflan (actor), Ryan Walters (Stage Manager) are hilarious. They poke fun of the caricatures of their theatrical roles. That’s surreal entertainment!
The show is performed in surround-action. Audience members are sitting in swivel chairs and adapt to the focal point. Kays stages it effectively using all the nooks of the Chopin space. When the ‘6 characters‘ make their entrance, they are actually in the other room posed to perfection like the “Addams Family.” The family, Larry Garner, Samantha Gleisten, Ted Evans, Steve Baston, Michael Milito, Ada Gray, is creepy, spooky and altogether ooky. They look like death in their mourning attire with matching platinum hair and casper skin. The clash between the colorful “Pirates” cast and the family of gloom is perfect comedy meets drama. SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR is funny and sad, lighthearted and tragic, complete and unfinished. But mostly, it’s just damn clever
I did wonder if this show would be entertaining to non-industry folk. Assuring me of her enjoyment, Jen describes it with ‘awesome set design.’
Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission.
At Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division
Based on the play by Luigi Pirandello
Adapted by Steve Moulds
Directed by Halena Keys
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 3pm
Thru March 11th
Buy Tickets at www.the-hypocrites.com