Posts Tagged ‘stc’
Bah, humbug! Nothing new here.
Second Saturday is coming up:
The time honored tale of Ebenezer Scrooge finding his humanity through visions of Christmases past, present and future is fancifully told by Michael Laun as he directs the Sacramento Theatre Company’s musical version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, with adaptation by Richard Helleson and music by David De Berry. Matt K. Miller leads as Scrooge with a large supporting cast that shows off the big-budget majesty. The costumes couldn’t be brighter or the sets and effects more lavish, but a big part missing from some performances was a truth that seemed to hide behind the production values. The music and accents need to be tighter and some actors need to pull back on overly bombastic performances. But it’s still a fitting tribute to an important Christmas staple.
A Christmas Carol, 7 p.m. Wednesday, 12:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$40. The Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org. Through December 24.
Originally published in SN&R on 12/8/11.
Originally posted on The Sacramento Press on 10/10/10:
The Sacramento Theatre Company kicked off their 2010-11 “Return to the Classics” season Saturday with Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” directed by STC Artistic Director Matt K. Miller.
The play, set in midsummer 1895, gives scene to the characters of Wilde’s epic farce of mistaken identities. Two playboy best friends discover they both have scapegoat alter-egos, and antics ensue when both fall in love with ladies who believe them to be the alter-ego of the other. It’s complicated, twisted, wonderful and comical, but in the end it all gets sorted out as the two men find out the vital importance of being earnest/Ernest.
The text has always served as a conduit for extreme social commentary, and also has a ragingly funny outcome filled with witticisms, syllogisms and silver-tongued slapstick. The entire piece works as an almost flawless comical masterpiece, weaving love interests with imaginary friends with playboys and the upper class.
STC’s production has its good points. The set is simple and at the same time very aesthetically pleasing. A few chairs, a fountain, a fireplace–nothing more than what is required for a scene in Wilde’s most famous play.
The true powerhouse performances belonged to Jason Kuykendall as John/Ernest Worthing/Moncrieff and Lucinda Hitchcock-Cone as Aunt Augusta Bracknell. The two have similar strengths but play their parts in vastly different ways.
Kuykendall has a voice comparable to Jonathan Pryce and uses it as a brilliant device for the timing in his lines as Jack. Hitchcock-Cone, who plays a constantly pursed-lipped auntie, steals every scene with the smallest scoffs at predicament. Her charm lays not in what she says but what her character doesn’t say.
Chemistry is never far from the stage as all three couples clicked with each other, most especially the young, imaginative Cecily and the jittery over-the-top man-about-town Algernon Moncrieff, played respectively by Lyndsy Kail and Theo Black.
One of the biggest qualms of the production lay in the costumes. Often difficult on the eyes and some pieces out of period, the oddball clothes leaves a bad taste in the mouth. One chief example of this was the peach – or rather Pepto-Bismol – colored dress that introduces the character of Gwendolyn, played admirably by Katherine C. Miller.
The second problem seems to happen with many community theater sites: that of the English accent. While a good third of the cast has it down pat, the rest leave much to be desired in their lilts.
The edits of the script took out a couple of scenes entirely, but the production came off as a streamlined, well-flowing piece.
The play runs through Oct. 31. For more information, visit here.
MAX’S RATING: A CHORTLE, A MISTAKEN IDENTITY AND A SENSATIONAL DIARY
Photos Courtesy of Maria Christie Photography:
1. The Conditions – L to R: Theo Black, Lyndsy Kail, Jason Kuykendall, Lucinda Hitchcock-Cone
2. The Handshake – L to R: Jason Kuykendall, Lyndsy Kail, Theo Black
3. The Proposal – L to R: Katherine C. Miller, Lucinda Hitchcock-Cone, Jason Kuykendall