Friday, May 25, 2012

One man. One woman. Naked, onstage.

Emotionally speaking, of course. Because there's nothing more revealing for an actor than to command a platform alone for 75 to 90 minutes.

If they're bad, there's nowhere else to look, no one to share the blame for lines that fall flat or timing that goes awry. But if they're good, the triumph is entirely theirs -- and we relate to them in a direct, powerful way we can't do when dividing our attention and loyalties among a big cast.

Two actors are giving first-rate performances in just those circumstances this weekend. Mark Sutch plays a Dutch librarian who goes on an obsessive quest for 15 years in "Underneath the Lintel" at Warehouse PAC. (My take on it: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/16/3240163/underneath-the-lintel-sutch-a.html#storylink=misearch.) And Lauren Otis plays a pregnant 16-year-old on a journey to meet the baby's father in "The Edge of Our Bodies" at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre. (My review: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/24/3263665/one-woman-show-is-way-out-on-the.html#storylink=misearch.)

Both shows started in CAST's cozy quarters at 2424 N. Davidson St. "Lintel" was a visitor; "Bodies" is the last show of CAST's mainstage season and runs through June 23. In fact, CAST is importing three more plays, running May 27-June 30 at various times.

"Eliza" is a one-woman piece, adapted from poems by Dede Wilson, starring Pamela Freedy as a Londoner who sails to New Orleans in 1837 and embarks on a turbulent life. "Under the Red Cloak," a choreopoem by Dee Abdullah, deals with women's shared stories of childbirth, pain and healing. Keith Huff's "A Steady Rain" is about two Chicago cops whose decisions to return a panic-stricken boy to his guardian has repercussions. (Details: Go to "buy tickets" at www.nccast.com.)

Charlotte theaters have long been helpful to temporary tenants, from Theatre Charlotte's hosting of the "Just Do It" series to Actor's Theatre of Charlotte's cooperation with everyone from The Light Factory to Sunday morning church worshippers

Yet CAST, which moved into its new digs last summer, has embarked on an especially ambitious and extensive program as a landlord. More power to the company for playing host to such a wide variety of shows; the theatrical spring will be richer for that decision.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

I lived in Britain for
30 years. The British are vile. Don't bother trying to tell them.