Friday, October 23, 2009

Art of Murder

Stage Coach Theatre's Art of Murder is a tight, tense, intriguing little thriller.

Because it's such a brisk-paced show, the actors presented a dramatic reading of Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart before the first act began. The actors did a really nice recitation, holding the audience's attention with what was essentially four long monologues.

The show itself has a lot of twists and turns. I was already familiar with the script, so I missed out on some of the suspense for that reason. But in particular, the scenes where that take place in pitch black, with screams and shots and unidentifiable noises, still gave me chills.

Anthony Polidori plays Jack Brooks, a famous hotshot artist who has lost his touch. His dealer can't seem to sell his newest work, Study in Red 4, and Jack is busy making horrible collages of shoes. Jennifer Bertino-Polidori plays Annie Brooks, his wife and an artist in her own right. The play starts off tense when Jack displays his domineering side, trying to force himself on the couple's maid and insisting on seeing Annie's latest work, then criticizing it and telling her to destroy it. Watching Jack's callousness and Annie's seemingly broken spirit in this moment creates a brutish, nasty little scene that sets the tone for the rest of the play.

The other two actors -- the maid, Kate, played by Amanda Jacob, and Jack's art dealer Vincent Cummings, played by Frederic Webb, do a good job. Webb is a little over-the-top at times, but does well depicting growing anxiety as the evening progresses and pulls off his final scene with a nice amount of wounded pride. The Jacob pulls off her part well, including the Irish accent.

The show is in its last weekend. If you're looking to take in a little live theater, Art of Murder is a picture-perfect thriller for the Halloween season.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


  • Oct. 21: Company of Fools presents The Syringa Tree, a one-woman show about the love between two families, one black and one white, who share a house and whose children grow up together under apartheid in 1960s South Africa. The show runs Oct. 21-22, 28-29, and Nov. 4-5 at 7:00, Oct. 23-24, 30-31 and Nov. 6-7 at 8:00, and Oct. 25, and Nov. 1 and 8 at The Liberty Theatre on Main Street in Hailey.
  • Oct. 23 and 24: The Boise Philharmonic and guest pianist Kevin Cole present a concert of several selections by George Gershwin and Leroy Anderson at 8:00 Oct. 23 at the Swayne Auditorium at Northwest Nazarene University and at 8:00 Oct. 24 at the Morrison Center at Boise State University.
  • Oct. 23: Starlight Mountain Theatre presents Little Shop of Horrors, a musical about a carnivorous plant named Audrey II, at 7:30 Oct. 23-24 and 30-31 and Nov. 7 and 13-14 and at midnight Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at The Star Theatre at 1851 Century Way.
  • Now through Oct. 24: Stage Coach Theatre presents Art of Murder, a thriller about an eccentric painter, his accomplished wife, and his plans to do away his art dealer. The show runs Oct. 17-18 and 22-24 at 7:30 Thursday, 8:15 Friday and Saturday, and 2:00 Sunday at the theater at Orchard and Overland in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.
  • Oct. 30 and Nov. 1: Opera Idaho presents Gounod's Faust, the tale of a man who makes a deal with the devil, at 7:30 Oct. 30 and 2:30 Nov. 1 at the South Junior High auditorium.
  • Oct. 31: Humorist David Sedaris will give a reading of his works at 7:30 at the Morrison Center at Boise State University.
  • Now through Oct. 31: Boise Little Theater presents The Mousetrap, an Agatha Christie tale of a group of strangers staying at a remote, snowed-in cabin, when a murder takes place and the guests have to determine who the murderer is. The show runs Oct. 17, 22-24 and 29-31 at 7:30 Thursdays and 8:00 Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2:00 Oct. 25 and 31 at the theater on Fort Street just off Broadway Ave.
  • Now through Oct. 31: Music Theatre of Idaho presents the musical Disney's Beauty and the Beast at 7:30 Oct. 23-24 and 29-31 and 1:30 Oct. 24 and 31 at the Nampa Civic Center.
  • Now through Oct. 31: Prairie Dog Productions presents Tales from the DorkSide 17-18, 23-25 and 30-31 at 7:15 Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 Sundays at 3820 Cassia St.
  • 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. 7: Boise Contemporary Theater presents The Pavilion, a show about a man and his high school sweetheart who split up years ago and are meeting again at their 20th reunion. The show runs Oct. 21-24, 28-31 and Nov. 4-7 at 8:00 Wednesday through Saturday and 2:00 Saturdays at the theater on Fulton Street.
  • Now through Nov. 14: Knock 'Em Dead Dinner Theatre presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music about a would-be nun who becomes governess to seven children around the time of the Nazi invasion of Austria. The show runs Oct. 22-24, 29-31 and Nov. 5-7 and 12-14 at 7:00 Thursdays and 8:00 Fridays and Saturdays at the theater on Ninth Street between Front and Myrtle. Dinner is served at 7:00 Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 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.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Open Studios Weekend

Boise Open Studios weekend starts today! If you're unfamiliar with the event, that's when Boise-area artists open up their studios and homes to the public so you can see their art and their work spaces. The event runs from 6 to 9 tonight and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check Boise Open Studios Collective Organization's website for a link to a .pdf of maps and schedules.

I had a lot of fun last year, but I don't think I'll be able to go this year. I work Saturday and Sunday, and I'm going to be too busy with schoolwork tonight. But I went to the preview night at the Boise Art Museum last night and made a few sketches:

This is "Flying Dream Spirit" by Susan Moore. Yes, it's a flying monkey, but it looks a lot less evil than the ones from Wizard of Oz somehow. The linocut gives a nice textural quality to the thick lines.

This is "Little girl your cat mask is missing (the house will undo you)" by Kelly Packer. I loved the clean lines and spot color.

Several of the artists from my post last year are back, including Zella Bardsley and Tarmo Watia.