by Christopher Durang
directed by Olivia Griego
July 19 – 22, 2012
at Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School
224 Polk St., Raleigh
Th. 7/19, Fri. 7/20, Sat. 7/21 at 8:00p; Sun. 7/22 at 2:00p
July 26 – 29, 2012
at Common Ground Theatre
4815-B Hillsborough Rd., Durham
Th. 5/17, Fri. 5/18, Sat. 5/19 at 8:00p; Sun. 5/20 at 2:00p
We had so much fun with “For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls” in Durham, we decided to remount it along with the rest of Christopher Durang’s evening of short plays, DURANG / DURANG!
DURANG / DURANG is six short comedies – the first three dealing with “Theatre,” the last three dealing with “Everything Else.”
“Mrs. Sorken” – A middle-aged suburban matron is scheduled to give a lecture on the meaning of theatre, but has lost her notes. Relying on memory, her comments are dotty, but definitely endearing.
“For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls” – In this parody of The Glass Menagerie, the fading Southern belle, Amanda, tries to prepare her hypersensitive, hypochondriacal son, Lawrence, for “the feminine caller.” Terrified of people, Lawrence plays with his collection of glass cocktail stirrers. Ginny, the feminine caller, is hard of hearing and overbearingly friendly. Brother Tom wants to go the movies, where he keeps meeting sailors who need to be put up in his room. Amanda tries to face everything with “charm and vivacity,” but sometimes she just wants to hit somebody.
“A Stye Of The Eye” – In this parody of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind, cowboy Jake is a rage-oholic who has probably killed his wife, Beth (played by a male). Ma, his feisty, no-nonsense mother with a bad memory, thinks Beth “deserved” it and wishes her own husband were dead (he already is). Jake, also schizoid, becomes his own “good brother Frankie” and goes to find Beth’s family. Beth shows up, not dead, but damaged, and talking gibberish. Jake’s sister, Mae, also shows up, in love with her brother. No problems are solved, but a great deal of “meaning” is in the air.
“Nina In The Morning” – Is a style piece à la Edward Gorey. A tuxedoed narrator presents Nina, a preposterously narcissistic wealthy woman, attended by her butler, a silent maid, and her three children. The interwoven time-frame juxtaposes scenes from Nina’s past misbehaviors with the present morning when she can’t seem to get the butler to bring her a cruller.
“Wanda’s Visit” – Jim and Marsha have been married for thirteen years and are feeling a little bored and unhappy. Wanda, Jim’s old girlfriend, shows up for a visit and becomes the guest from hell. Out one night for dinner, all hell breaks loose in the restaurant as a waiter tries to cope on his first day with the confused threesome.
“Business Lunch At The Russian Tea Room” – Chris, a writer, has a business meeting at the Russian Tea Room with a new Hollywood hotshot, Melissa. At the Tea Room, Melissa pitches insane ideas to Chris who can’t wait to just leave this meeting. Once home, he tries so hard to write up the idea of a priest and a rabbi who fall in love (and other complications) that they appear to him to help him through.
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