North Park Playwright Festival Week 2 – North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shop

Among the Missing by Fred Shaner, Chatham, NY and directed by Kelly Lapczynski. This week’s festival started with an excellently acted and directed piece starring Christopher Armour as Detective Hardaway investigating the disappearance of Rose Doory’s (Jamie Haire) husband. In a brief appearance, Dustin Kisler plays Little Bobby, a true misnomer, who takes care of Rose’s every need now. The outcome of the interview is most revealing.

Our Little Angel by Steven Kobar, Torrance, CA and directed by Terry John. It’s Halloween and Greg (Terry John) has brought his two-year-old daughter back from trick or treating. Carol (Karen Menin) has put her to bed. Now the two begin a long, drawn out fight over the spoils. This soon escalates to a shouting match and the war of the sexes begins.

Flight by Esta Fischer, Jamaica, NY and directed by Cary Kenny. Today flying commercially seems more perilous. Just ask Marie (Marissa Vaughan), John (Chuck Hart), Harold (Roberto Mendoza), and Loni (Cynthia Garcia). Words are overheard, are they terrorists, are they foreigner, where is the flight crew? A surprise ending to an amusing piece pleases the audience.

I’m a Dog by Ellen West, Portland, Oregon and directed by Joseph Furrer. Not since the play Sylvia have I witnessed an actress who could act dog-like. Keri Green as Goldie can and does. Her hands form paws, she knows how dogs rub, and how they tell us what they want. Kudos for a job well done. Meanwhile Chuck Hart as bar customer Howie has to put up with a woman who thinks she’s a dog.

Charade by Jason Matthews, Valley Village, CA and directed by Cheryl Livingston. This high energy piece has Bob (Chaz Close), with a wounded hand, and Carol (Janine Ponce), his charade competition partner in a quandary. How can they win the competition with a principal clue provider bound up and immovable. Livingston has her actors in a high frenzy. They are so completely over-the-top, yet so completely believable that we root for them to win.

You Be the Judge by John Anthony Auciello, San Diego, CA and directed by Gilbert Songalia. What happens after a break-up? Man (Alejandro Gutierrez) is convinced that Woman (Marissa Vaughan) is the woman who left him. He pathetically prattles on about his love and she, finally, becomes receptive or just plays along. The end is quite unpleasant.

Bertie May Taggart’s Dagfacit Dog by Michael Thomas Tower, San Diego, CA and directed by Jonathan Sturch. Director Sturch has his hands full with a cantankerous Addie (Lucy Ann Albert) and peace officer Joe Don (Michael Thomas Tower) keeping a balance between the two. A dog is missing, chicken gizzards are on the table. After the proper amount of bantering, she offers him a gizzard or two. This surprise ending may not be a total surprise.

This week’s offering gave the audience several fine examples of new playwrights. It was a fun evening. The festival plays for two more weeks with many more plays. I do hope you can attend.

Next week’s offerings include:

The Cliff Thing by Christopher Buckley and directed by Philomena Schubert

Scrambled by Brett Hursey and directed by Nicholas Calabria

Christmas Tree by Michael Hemmingson and directed by Paola Hornbuckle

Darkness Cut by Shannon Murdoch and directed by Gilbert Songalia

Jenny and Cosmic Honey Scene by Jenifer Whisper and directed by Jack Nalbandian

Cut by Jeanne Bejos and directed by Jeff Bushnell

Laid by Mathew Bailey and directed by Terry Schmitz

Technical Staff

Jeff Bushnell

Date Reviewed: October 19, 2007

Dates: Friday and Saturday thru November 3, 2007

Running Time: Two Hours

GB Productions

North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shop

2031 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, Ca

Box Office Phone 619 647-4958

Robert Hitchcox is a playwright, critic and fiction author, who reviews live theatre.