Saturday, September 19, 2009

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Tonight is the last night to see You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Boise Little Theater. It's a really cute show and I'd recommend you see it.

Among the principals, John Myers did a fantastic job capturing the sort of self-conscious, neurotic mannerisms that make Charlie Brown Charlie Brown. Autumn Kersey was excellent as the forceful Lucy Van Pelt. And James Ulmen knocked it out of the park with his tap number in "Supper Time."

Paul Kersey, Jessica Staggs and Ben Ulmen did a nice job as Schroeder, Sally and Linus, and Cheryl Blauer, Erin Chancer Smith, Karissa Murrell Adams and Scott Beals rounded out the chorus.

I loved recognizing many of the individual strips I'd read as a kid, and recognizing even more of the constant tropes: the Red Baron, Lucy's Psychiatric Help booth, and Charlie Brown's eternal crush on the never seen little red-haired girl.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel

"Duck Hunter Shoots Angel." As a headline, it's kind of up there with "Bat Boy Sighted in NYC Subway" and "Air Traffic Controllers Guide UFOs."

It's also a hilarious production at Stage Coach Theatre about Sandy, a jaded tabloid reporter for the Weekly World and Globe, which is best known for its stories about a half-man, half-alligator seeking revenge. The Weekly World and Globe sends him on assignment to Alabama to track down two duck hunters who supposedly shot an angel. It's a trip home for Sandy, who left the state, and the love of his life, behind to pursue a journalistic career up north.

The show is beautifully cast. Ben Hammill is likable as Sandy, and Courtney Ransom (the woman he loved) and Marissa Jerome (Kansas, a girl who works a a convenience store) do a wonderful job bringing out his warmer side and transforming his character. Bradley Campbell is delightfully manic and cynical as Sandy's editor, who becomes outraged when other news sources start encroaching on his territory. Larry "French" Brown plays a black photographer for the Weekly World and Globe, and it's his comic timing and reactions to the other characters that make some of the racial humor in the show work so well. Brian Zuber, who portrays Duane Early, is perfect as a hysterical, scheming counterpoint to his character's brother, Duwell. And Curtis Ransom flat out steals the show as Duwell Early, a dim-witted duck hunter afraid for his soul who believes that the Weekly World and Globe is God's truth and also believes the angel he and his brother shot has a mission for him. As an audience member, you want him to be on stage the whole time.

The only weak spot I remember noticing in the show was when a few key lines were rushed and hard to make out near the end in Jerome's crying scene. (Enunciating and crying convincingly at the same time is a tough line to walk.)

The show also had some really nice technical and costume effects, particularly the final moment of the show.

The show's in its last weekend. Definitely go see it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Thursday

A quick reminder, since I'm thinking about it, that today is First Thursday. Pick up a copy of the Boise Weekly to see what's going on at all the local galleries.


  • Sept. 11: Alley Repertory Theater presents Collective Soul, a launch party and preview night for their next season, at 8:00 at the Visual Arts Collective behind the Woman of Steel Gallery on Chinden. It includes excerpts from some of their upcoming productions, including Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, the musical Landlocked by local musicians Heather Bauer and Thomas Paul, and Skit/Skit, a short piece by cartoonist E.J. Pettinger.
  • Sept. 11: Soprano Rochelle Bard and baritone Ken Mattice will give a recital of songs, arias and duets from operas and showtunes at 7:30 at the Egyptian Theatre on Capitol and Main.
  • Sept. 11-13: The Boise Art Museum presents Art in the Park at Julia Davis Park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. About 270 artists will have booths at the event.
  • Sept. 11: Music Theatre of Idaho opens the Neil Simon's Sweet Charity, a musical about a girl who flits in and out of relationships. The show includes numbers such as "Big Spender." The show runs Sept. 11-12 and 17-19 at 7:30 and Sept. 12 at 1:30 at the Nampa Civic Center.
  • Sept. 11: Encore Theatre Co., Etc., opens Gepetto & Son, a musical version of Pinocchio. The show runs Sept. 11-12 and 18-19 at 7:30 at the Holly Street Performance Hall, formerly the old science lecture hall, at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa
  • Now through Sept. 12: Stage Coach Theatre presents Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, a comedy by Mitch Albom about a tabloid reporter tracking down the story of two Alabama duck hunters who believe they shot an angel. The show runs Sept. 3-6 and 10-12 at 7:30 Thursdays, 8:15 Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 Sunday at the theater in the Hillcrest Shopping Center breezeway at Orchard and Overland.
  • Now through Sept. 12: Starlight Mountain Theatre presents the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The show runs Sept. 4-5 and 11-12 at 7:30 at Starlight Amphitheater in Garden Valley.
  • Sept. 17: The Langroise Trio and tenor Corey McKnight perform music by Idaho composer Jim Cockey at 7:30 at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. Other C of I faculty will also perform.
  • Now through Sept. 19: Boise Little Theater presents You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, a musical based on Charles Schultz's comic strip, Peanuts. The show runs at 8:00 Sept. 11-12 and 18-19, 7:30 Sept. 10 and 17, and 2:00 Sept. 13 and 19.
  • Now through Sept. 20: Boise Art Museum hosts an exhibit called Devorah Sperber: Threads of Perception. Sperber arranges spools of colored thread in such a way that, when viewed through an optical device, recreates a famous work of art.
  • Sept. 25-26: The Boise Philharmonic and Boise Master Chorale perform a symphonic tone poem by Gustav Holst called The Planets at 8:00 at the Northwest Nazarene University Swayne Auditorium in Nampa on Friday and at 8:15 at the Boise State University Morrison Center Saturday.
  • Sept. 25: Prairie Dog Productions presents Tales from the DorkSide Sept. 25-26 and Oct. 2-3, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25 and 30-31 at 7:15 Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 Sundays at 3820 Cassia St.
  • Sept. 29: Ballet Idaho presents an interactive introduction to ballet for children and adults in its Family Series version of Swan Lake, Idaho and Yes Virginia, Another Piano Ballet at 4:00 and 7:00. Kids get to learn the story behind the ballet, meet the characters, get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the ballet and learn a few easy dance moves.
  • Sept. 29: Frank Deford, the author of The Entitled, a novel about celebrity, sex and baseball, will give a reading at 7:30 at the Egyptian Theatre at Capitol and Main. Deford is a six-time Sports Illustrated U.S. Sportswriter of the Year, a Hall-of-Famer for the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters, and a frequent contributor for NPR's Morning Edition and Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
  • Now through Oct. 3: The Idaho Shakespeare Festival presents A Tuna Christmas, a two-man comedy with 20 characters from small-town Tuna, Texas who are trying to salvage the Christmas pageant and win the yard decorating contest despite a mysterious saboteur. The show runs Sept. 9-13, 16-20, 23-27 and 30 and Oct. 1-3 at 7:30 Wednesday through Saturday and 7:00 Sunday at the theater on Warm Springs.
  • Now through Oct. 11: Tying It Together, an exhibition of drawings by Garden Valley artist James Castle, is on exhibit at the Boise Art Museum along with a short documentary about Castle, who was born deaf, never learned to read and write, and prefers to make his drawings on discarded scraps of paper and cardboard.
  • Now through Nov. 8: Boise Art Museum exhibits sculpture by Ann Weber called Corrugated. The pieces are made from cardboard, are woven into giant gourd-like spires, and are up to 16 feet tall.
  • Now through Nov. 15: Boise Art Museum presents Kid Stuff, an exhibit of art geared toward children by artists Deborah Barrett, Alexander Calder, Michael Corney, Benjamin Jones, Marianne Kolb, Marilyn Lanfear, David Gillhooley, Marilyn Lysohir, Renda Palmer and others.
  • Now through March 14: Boise Art Museum presents Patchwork, a collection of quilts from the early 1800s through the mid-20th century.