- Jerry MouawadCo-artistic DirectorImago Theater, Portland, Oregon
- Tony BroomArtistic DirectorSerendipity Players, Vancouver, Washington
- Paul RoderCo-Artistic DirectorThe HART Theater, Hillsboro, Oregon
- Jan Sedlácekstarosta obce Križánky(Mayor of Križánky, Czech Republic)
- Newsletter after performance at Comeniuszentrum Ebersdorf, Germany
- Miz KittyArtistic DirectorMiz Kitty's Parlour Vaudeville Novelty Show, Portland, Oregon
Our Book Reviews
RUSH IN TO SEE FOOLS
Broadway crowds, used to the urbane sophistication of Simon's usual fare, gave the show a poor reception when it opened in 1981. However, Fools has been delighting less rarefied audiences across the country for the last 33 years, and the current production at the HART clearly illustrates why. The story is absurd, the premise ridiculous, but Simon's words, shaped by Director William Crawford and delivered by a strong cast, are genuinely laugh-out-loud hilarious.
In a solid 10-person cast, clear comic standouts are Gary Romans (Dr. Zubritsky), Dalene Young (his wife Lenya), and Helena Greathouse (Yenchna, the peddler). Romans' delivery, sense of timing, and fluid facial expressions elicit some of the biggest laughs of the evening. Young is his perfect foil – a wide-eyed, good-hearted, slow-witted version of Imogene Coca. Greathouse – earnestly offering flowers as fish from her wagon (why should she suffer just because the fishermen had a bad day?) – plays her role with the intensity of Lady MacBeth, but coming from her, it's a lot funnier.
The roles of straight man and ingénue are generally limited in comic potential by their functions. Mitchell Stephens (the teacher Tolchinsky) and Sarah Thornton (Sophia Zubritzky) overcome this handicap with a combination of acting ability and, let's face it, sheer cuteness. Thornton's shining moment, when she demonstrates that she has nearly mastered the art of sitting down, is riveting, and Stephens frequent asides draw the audience into the bizarre, Brigadoon-ish village in which he finds himself.
Nobody plays bewildered better than Tony Smith, and as "Something Something Snetsky," the Shepherd, he carries on his grand tradition. Brandon B. Weaver's clipped delivery (as the evil Count Gregor) bristles with befuddled menace. Thomas Wikle, Debby McKnight, and Jerry Hathaway fill out the cast with the requisite quirkiness.
Fools may be joke-riddled, but the HART was dead serious about the set – it is cleverly designed for ease of movement, and the interiors and exteriors are painted and papered to perfection – even in a relatively short show, audiences appreciate fast scene changes!
Fools runs through Sunday, September 21st, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays at H.A.R.T. Theater, 185 S.E. Washington, Hillsboro. For More Information Visit This Site