Playwright Paddy Chayefsky was a complex man. Born in New York City in 1923, he served in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart medal after he was wounded by a land mine near Aachen, Germany. Early on he fell in love with television as a medium. He wrote one of his most famous plays, Marty, specifically for TV. His male leads were vulnerable just like him, tortured just like him, and insecure just like him.
We have been turned into a nation of shut-ins. We have been given a time out by circumstances and sent to our rooms. Spring has been called off. Possibly summer, too. We are planning for the fall. What to do with our newfound and unwelcome free time?
This new virus sprang on us with lightning speed and devastating virulence. We learned about it despite the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to conceal it. Remember Dr. Li Wenliang, the 34-year-old doctor who warned his colleagues to suit up because this thing is dangerous. He was arrested and jailed for spreading rumors and disrupting the peace (or whatever they call it), both felonies. He died at age 34 in a Wuhan hospital. That’s communism. Kill people or pay any other price. Keep the narrative of happiness and tranquility and economic progress going because to do otherwise is to threaten their hold on power. Mercifully, with the WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) breathing down their necks we are giving the Chinese Communist Party no choice but to give us good, valid data…finally.
To understand Noises Off it helps to know Murphy’s Law and O’Toole’s Commentary on Murphy’s Law aka O’Toole’s Corollary. Murphy’s Law says if anything can go wrong, it will. O’Toole’s Corollary says Murphy was an optimist. And if the purpose of theater is to hold a mirror up to ourselves so we can see clearly who and what we are then Noises Off tells us we are all doomed.
One of the thinkers forced to think by that catastrophe is a young talented British playwright Lucy Kirkwood. Her play The Children inspired by that nuclear catastrophe premiered in London in 2016 and in New York on Broadway in 2017. It will be performed by the Brüka Theater in Reno opening February 7th and running through February 29th.
Doctor X is a certifiable, industrial-strength nogoodnik making Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi look like Mary Poppins. She sees her face like a squirming bowl of worms. I have no idea what that means. Okay, let’s take it to mean that she does not see herself as a good looking gal. The love of her life (the nurse) has a face like a china plate. Maybe that means she has a face like a beautiful piece of Wedgewood china, like a creamy white cameo against a field of pale, delicate blue. Okay, that makes sense. Let’s go with that one, too.
This play is an ensemble piece, a fast-paced tragedy and comedy that will leave you touched by the humanity of it all and laughing uproariously at its comedy. But it is different from ordinary plays. Ordinarily, a play lays some groundwork by showing us the characters and the situation. Then the playwright builds some tension and some conflict. In the denouement at the end the conflicts and tensions are resolved, and all the loose ends are tied up. The play has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The Reno Chamber Orchestra opens its 2019/20 season Saturday, October 19th at 7:30 PM and Sunday, October 20th at 2 PM under the baton of its second candidate for permanent conductor Donato Cabrera. They will choose from the 6 finalist candidates in the Spring of 2020.
Casey is a happy-go-lucky guy who is employed at Cleo’s, a bar in Florida’s Panama City Beach in the panhandle. He earns his living, such as it is, as an Elvis Impersonator. He wears Elvis garb and lip-syncs to Elvis music. His life is about to change. Cleo’s is going down the financial toilet, and so is Casey’s career. Bar owner Eddie, desperate for more revenue, brings in two female impersonators, Tracy and Rexy, to replace him. It looks like he’s out of work.
This Saturday, August 15, 2019, the dragon boats will race, 20 of them in all, in Reno’s and Sparks’ third annual Dragon Boat Festival. They will race 4 boats at a time beginning at 8:30 AM at the Sparks Marina. The last race is set for 2:30 PM.
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