New Theatre for Now 1997

New Theatre for Now 1997 (Mark Taper Forum; 860 seats; $ 37 top) Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum presents "New Theatre for Now 1997," two one-act plays: "Demonology" by Kelly Stuart and "The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite" by Quincy Long, both directed by David Schweizer. Producer is Corey Madden. Original music, Peter Golub; set design, Christopher Barreca; lighting design, Geoff Korf; costume design, Maggie Morgan; sound design, Jon Gottlieb. Opened and reviewed May 7, 1997; runs until May 18. Running time: 2 hours, 50 min. Casts: "Demonology," Rocco Sisto (DeMartini), Lola Glaudini (Gina), Matthew Glave (Collins), Kathleen Glaudini (Child); "The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite ," Wolfe Bowart (Foley Guy), Gregg Henry (Raymond), Frederick Coffin (Merle), Matthew Glave (Junior), Susan Tyrell (Patsy/Helene/Darlene), Rocco Sisto (The Stranger), Elizabeth Berridge (Marie), Peter Golub (Piano Man). The success of the two new stageworks being offered by the 1997 edition of the Mark Taper Forum's New Theatre for Now series has as much to do with the phenomenal production accouterments surrounding the plays as they do with the works themselves. In fact, it is impossible to separate Kelly Stuart's "Demonology" from the super enhancement provided by the original music of Peter Golub and designs of Christopher Barreca (set), Maggie Morgan (costume), Geoff Korf (lighting) and Jon Gottlieb (sound). Stuart has fashioned a male-dominated corporate world ruled by DeMartini (Rocco Sisto), an emotionally repressed martinet who converses in a regimented form of corporate-speak. The level of feminist enlightenment lacking in the company is graphically personified by fellow exec Collins (Matthew Glave), a grotesquely foul-mouthed chauvinist who believes the ideal clothing for a female is "two band aids and a cork." Their world is invaded by the beautiful and well-endowed secretarial temp Gina (Lola Glaudini), who unleashes an escalating frenzy of fantasies within DeMartini when he discovers she is also a breast-feeding mother who must periodically express her milk for later consumption by her new-born. Stuart makes her point early and often that DeMartini's flights of fancy have nothing to do with any overt actions by Gina, who is simply a bright and ambitious working girl with problems of her own at home. Though Stuart's statement becomes somewhat redundant, director David Schweizer admirably balances the flow of action that moves intriguingly between DeMartini's fantasies and the realities of Gina's efforts to make a permanent place for herself in the stupefyingly insecure atmosphere of this corporate jungle. Sisto is perfect as the office honcho whose cold and domineering facade is barely skin-deep and very believably is reduced to the level of a floor-groveling mass of raw nerve-endings. Glaudini's Gina inhabits all aspects of DeMartini's visions of her, whether it be the bright and perky workmate or the dominatrix-clad fantasy he calls Zena. Also lending solid support are Glave as the leering Collins and Kathleen Glaudini as the childlike apparition who is another manifestation of DeMartini's unwholesome fantasies. The real plus in this production is the magnificently antiseptic glass and steel office setting by Barreca, complemented by Korf's lighting and Morgan's costumes. The mood-enhancing music of Golub is also a great plus. Deserving special mention is Gottlieb's use of a hilariously synthesized elevator-music version Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow of your Smile" to signal each character's entrance and exit from DeMartini's office. Quincy Long's "The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite" is a low-level hoot that can be likened to the Three Stooges meet "Fargo" --- with music. The action centers on three inebriated north woods low-life lumbermen --- Raymond (Gregg Henry), Merle (Frederick Coffin) and Junior (Matthew Glave) --- whose barroom kidding of a near-catatonic stranger (Rocco Sisto) leads the three on a series of improbable adventures, including an accidental shooting and a 200 mile journey to a religious retreat in Canada to reconcile the stranger with his estranged wife Marie (Elizabeth Berridge). Long has a gifted ear for the macho-driven, almost illiterate conversational interplay of these forlorn figures and director Schwiezer, in sharp contrast to the previous play, allows the action to unfold at the actor's discretion. This certainly heightens the sense of these characters flopping through life with no idea of what is going to happen to them in the next 10 minutes let alone for the rest of their lives. Henry's Raymond is masterful as the group leader who creates urgency out of nothing and by the force of his determination carries the other two. As the goofy, go-along-with-anything Merle, Coffin lends a truly comical presence (he harmonizes pretty well, too). In sharp contrast to his lecherous presence in the previous play, Glave's Junior is quite believable as the often put-upon innocent who only wants to be accepted by the other two. Academy Award-nominee Susan Tyrrel ("Fat City") offers brief but memorable cameos as a crippled barkeep, a terrified leader of a religious order and a wildly flirtatious waitress who actually dumbfounds Raymond. Berridge provides an understated comedic tour de force as the world-weary young wife who has neither the energy nor the inclination to respond to Raymond's slapstick seduction efforts. Almost all the onstage action is pantomimed by the ensemble making the wonderful sound effects of Wolfe Bowart immensely effective in carrying the sense of location and presence. Accompanied onstage by the composer on upright piano, the infectious barroom feel of Golub's songs are as spontaneous and as incongruous as the action, and it all works. AU: Julio Martinez

With:
Casts: "Demonology," Rocco Sisto (DeMartini), Lola Glaudini (Gina), Matthew Glave (Collins), Kathleen Glaudini (Child); "The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite," Wolfe Bowart (Foley Guy), Gregg Henry (Raymond), Frederick Coffin (Merle), Matthew Glave (Junior), Susan Tyrell (Patsy/Helene/Darlene), Rocco Sisto (The Stranger), Elizabeth Berridge (Marie), Peter Golub (Piano Man).

New Theatre for Now 1997 (Mark Taper Forum; 860 seats; $ 37 top) Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum presents “New Theatre for Now 1997,” two one-act plays: “Demonology” by Kelly Stuart and “The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite” by Quincy Long, both directed by David Schweizer. Producer is Corey Madden. Original music, Peter Golub; set design, Christopher Barreca; lighting design, Geoff Korf; costume design, Maggie Morgan; sound design, Jon Gottlieb. Opened and reviewed May 7, 1997; runs until May 18. Running time: 2 hours, 50 min. Casts: “Demonology,” Rocco Sisto (DeMartini), Lola Glaudini (Gina), Matthew Glave (Collins), Kathleen Glaudini (Child); “The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite ,” Wolfe Bowart (Foley Guy), Gregg Henry (Raymond), Frederick Coffin (Merle), Matthew Glave (Junior), Susan Tyrell (Patsy/Helene/Darlene), Rocco Sisto (The Stranger), Elizabeth Berridge (Marie), Peter Golub (Piano Man). The success of the two new stageworks being offered by the 1997 edition of the Mark Taper Forum’s New Theatre for Now series has as much to do with the phenomenal production accouterments surrounding the plays as they do with the works themselves. In fact, it is impossible to separate Kelly Stuart’s “Demonology” from the super enhancement provided by the original music of Peter Golub and designs of Christopher Barreca (set), Maggie Morgan (costume), Geoff Korf (lighting) and Jon Gottlieb (sound). Stuart has fashioned a male-dominated corporate world ruled by DeMartini (Rocco Sisto), an emotionally repressed martinet who converses in a regimented form of corporate-speak. The level of feminist enlightenment lacking in the company is graphically personified by fellow exec Collins (Matthew Glave), a grotesquely foul-mouthed chauvinist who believes the ideal clothing for a female is “two band aids and a cork.” Their world is invaded by the beautiful and well-endowed secretarial temp Gina (Lola Glaudini), who unleashes an escalating frenzy of fantasies within DeMartini when he discovers she is also a breast-feeding mother who must periodically express her milk for later consumption by her new-born. Stuart makes her point early and often that DeMartini’s flights of fancy have nothing to do with any overt actions by Gina, who is simply a bright and ambitious working girl with problems of her own at home. Though Stuart’s statement becomes somewhat redundant, director David Schweizer admirably balances the flow of action that moves intriguingly between DeMartini’s fantasies and the realities of Gina’s efforts to make a permanent place for herself in the stupefyingly insecure atmosphere of this corporate jungle. Sisto is perfect as the office honcho whose cold and domineering facade is barely skin-deep and very believably is reduced to the level of a floor-groveling mass of raw nerve-endings. Glaudini’s Gina inhabits all aspects of DeMartini’s visions of her, whether it be the bright and perky workmate or the dominatrix-clad fantasy he calls Zena. Also lending solid support are Glave as the leering Collins and Kathleen Glaudini as the childlike apparition who is another manifestation of DeMartini’s unwholesome fantasies. The real plus in this production is the magnificently antiseptic glass and steel office setting by Barreca, complemented by Korf’s lighting and Morgan’s costumes. The mood-enhancing music of Golub is also a great plus. Deserving special mention is Gottlieb’s use of a hilariously synthesized elevator-music version Johnny Mandel’s “The Shadow of your Smile” to signal each character’s entrance and exit from DeMartini’s office. Quincy Long’s “The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite” is a low-level hoot that can be likened to the Three Stooges meet “Fargo” — with music. The action centers on three inebriated north woods low-life lumbermen — Raymond (Gregg Henry), Merle (Frederick Coffin) and Junior (Matthew Glave) — whose barroom kidding of a near-catatonic stranger (Rocco Sisto) leads the three on a series of improbable adventures, including an accidental shooting and a 200 mile journey to a religious retreat in Canada to reconcile the stranger with his estranged wife Marie (Elizabeth Berridge). Long has a gifted ear for the macho-driven, almost illiterate conversational interplay of these forlorn figures and director Schwiezer, in sharp contrast to the previous play, allows the action to unfold at the actor’s discretion. This certainly heightens the sense of these characters flopping through life with no idea of what is going to happen to them in the next 10 minutes let alone for the rest of their lives. Henry’s Raymond is masterful as the group leader who creates urgency out of nothing and by the force of his determination carries the other two. As the goofy, go-along-with-anything Merle, Coffin lends a truly comical presence (he harmonizes pretty well, too). In sharp contrast to his lecherous presence in the previous play, Glave’s Junior is quite believable as the often put-upon innocent who only wants to be accepted by the other two. Academy Award-nominee Susan Tyrrel (“Fat City”) offers brief but memorable cameos as a crippled barkeep, a terrified leader of a religious order and a wildly flirtatious waitress who actually dumbfounds Raymond. Berridge provides an understated comedic tour de force as the world-weary young wife who has neither the energy nor the inclination to respond to Raymond’s slapstick seduction efforts. Almost all the onstage action is pantomimed by the ensemble making the wonderful sound effects of Wolfe Bowart immensely effective in carrying the sense of location and presence. Accompanied onstage by the composer on upright piano, the infectious barroom feel of Golub’s songs are as spontaneous and as incongruous as the action, and it all works. AU: Julio Martinez

New Theatre for Now 1997

Mark Taper Forum; 860 seats; $37 top; Opened and reviewed May 7, 1997; runs until May 18.

Production: Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum presents "New Theatre for Now 1997," two one-act plays: "Demonology" by Kelly Stuart and "The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite" by Quincy Long, both directed by David Schweizer. Producer is Corey Madden. Original music, Peter Golub; set design, Christopher Barreca;

Creative: lighting design, Geoff Korf; costume design, Maggie Morgan; sound design, Jon Gottlieb. Running time: 2 hours, 50 min.

Cast: Casts: "Demonology," Rocco Sisto (DeMartini), Lola Glaudini (Gina), Matthew Glave (Collins), Kathleen Glaudini (Child); "The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite," Wolfe Bowart (Foley Guy), Gregg Henry (Raymond), Frederick Coffin (Merle), Matthew Glave (Junior), Susan Tyrell (Patsy/Helene/Darlene), Rocco Sisto (The Stranger), Elizabeth Berridge (Marie), Peter Golub (Piano Man).

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