Let me introduce myself to all you "Patchers." I've been invited to be the new critic/consumer/general all-around theater "know it all" in Danville and the surrounding areas, but I need your help!
I "get" theatre (degree from Cal, and over 25 years experience in various forms), but my family and I are completely new to Danville! Live theatre is my passion, and my family is starting to appreciate it in the East Bay, too, so I'm always on the lookout for great things to see - for adults and kids alike.
Through this blog, I want to let you in on what's going on, what's child-friendly (and what's not), and what's a must see (and what's not!). You'll quickly find out I'm not short of opinions, but I'd like to start a conversation about live theatre in this area. And so if you're aware of some theatre happening, please let me know.
I know there are plenty of "events" going on, whether it be in the local high school, rented space somewhere, or, as summer comes, in the open air. I want to know about it all (and I'll see a lot of it, for review). My reviews will be honest and "real" - not just a synopsis of the story itself, but more about the directors' choice, the acting, the set design... an insider's viewpoint, and whether I think it's worth seeing or not.
In this economy, you want to spend your leisure budget wisely! You might not agree with my critiques, and that's completely OK. Tell me why, so we can provide context for our readers from different viewpoints.
My first review follows:
Last week I saw Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune (at the Diablo Actors Ensemble). This show only has the two actors, so it requires a lot from them, the majority of it on stage, together.
L. Peter Callender, who played Johnny, was fabulous as usual. I always enjoy seeing him at CalShakes, where he "does Shakespeare" well. Frankie & Johnny is quite different, but he pulled it off. Sondra Putnam, who played Frankie, seemed less experienced, and there were several lines delivered by her that didn't seem believable to me, or particularly convincing relating to the age of Frankie.
DAE is a little "hole in the wall" theatre in Walnut Creek, and they do the best they can with the limited space, and I presume budget. There was a small whiteboard hanging above the set, centerstage. I thought maybe there would be projection utilized, or something would appear on that board at some point; alas, it was as if it was a piece of wood they forgot to take down.
The direction was not innovative or creative in anyway, relying more on overt sexual representations rather than subtleties. BUT... if there's nothing on TV, it's a "nice" way to spend 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon. Purchase your tickets through Goldstar and it's an even better deal!
So that's how it's going to go... if you don't agree, let's discuss it. And if you want me to check out something you're curious about, let me know. I am determined to find good live theatre "this side of the tunnel."