Let the sun shine

Some random thoughts from the Theater Dog Pound:

— Caught up with Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s hilarious and beautifully sung production of Urinetown and was delighted with some of the innovations of director Jeff Collister and his crew. Enjoyed the Phantom of the Opera reference (a candelabra coming out of sewer grate). But what I LOVED were the protestors’ signs, which read: “Faire PiPi Sans Payer” and “Free to Pee…You and Me.”

— Next summer’s Mountain Play is going to be Hair. That’s right: audiences on the slopes of lovely Mount Tamalpais will be immersed in the Age of Aquarius. This seems rather remarkable for a company that usually traffics in ye olde showes like Oklahoma! or West Side Story. Visit their Web site for information.

— At this week’s opening night of Sweet Charity, American Musical Theatre of San Jose’s energetic artistic director Tim Bair joked with the audience about the fact that the company’s financial struggles had been in the news lately. Then he said, “But I look good, don’t I? But don’t worry. The suit’s from the Salvation Army.”

— Also caught up with Marin Theatre Company’s season opener, Orson’s Shadow about Orson Welles directing Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright in a production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. The play by Austin Pendleton is kind of a muddle, but there are some sturdy performances by local actors Liam Vincent, Zac Jaffee, Amy Resnick, Nicholas Hormann, Steve Irish and Deborah Taylor Barrera.

— Haven’t seen too many of the new fall TV shows, but I did catch “The Class” and was delighted to see New York theater actress Julie Halston in a funny role as a main character’s loud, bellowing New Yawkish mom. Also on “The Class” is Jesse Tyler Ferguson from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (he was hippie boy Leaf Coneybear). Pleased to see Donna Murphy (Wonderful Town, Passion), however briefly, on NBC’s stellar “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” She seems to be playing Bradley Whitford’s agent/lawyer/assistant, so perhaps she’ll be back.

I know it’s not theater related, but if you’ve seen new TV stuff you like, please share with the whole class.

2 thoughts on “Let the sun shine

  1. *shyly raises hand*
    I’m tv illiterate (is there a better word for people who can’t watch?) ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘The Office’ seem to be popular in conversations I can’t participate in for lack of input. I tried to watch ‘Studio 60’ but got voted down by other viewing household members. I’ve caught a few episodes of “Project Runway” and loved them. Tim Gunn’s “Make it work” is just as sexy as Heidi’s “Are you in or out?”

    I like the sun title to this blog of randomosity. Reminds me of Jason Mraz’s “Bright Eyes.” *clears throat and sings*
    oh let the sun shine in
    and face it with a grin
    cause oh smilers they never lose
    oh and frowners they never win
    oh, oh, oh let the sun shine in
    again, again, again
    face it with a grin
    open up your heart child and let the sun shine in

  2. My dear, poetic Tracy: There’s really no such thing as “TV illiterate.” In fact, the less TV you watch, the more literate you are, so take heart. The fleeting pleasures of “Project Runwwy” (G, Michael!) or “Grey’s Anatmoy” (“You have a choice to make” — like there’s really a choice, Dr. McDreamy) are all well and good for TV addicts such as myself, but you probably have an actual life, and TV isn’t necessary. Lucky you.

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