July 10 - August 3, 1997
|Audie - Patrick Ryals
Emily / Nurse E - Lauren Hollingsworth
Charlie / Dr. C / Gumshoe Priest - Mark Auerbach
Sister Fran / Dr. B / Beth - Danielle Surrette
Dr. D / Street Lady / Investigator - Daria E. Mauldin
Moe Perlman / Scott Kellerman / Kenny - Adam Bitterman
|Produced for Sacred Fools by Brett Vadset
Written by Paul Mullin
Directed by David P. Moore
Assistant Director - Robert d'Entremont
Costume Design by Laurie Kay
Lighting Design by John Sylvain
Prop Master - Tara Beth Connoly
Assistant Prop Master - Gerald McClanahan
Sound Design by Joel Zighelboim and Jeff C. Kunins
Original Music Composed and Performed by
Joel Zighelboim and Jonathan A. Dyke
Production Stage Manager - Rik Keller
Paul Mullin's offbeat tale shows one man's descent into wrenching sadness and self-examination. David P. Moore's production is a standout -- not just because of Mullin's edgy dialogue or Patrick Ryals' gutsy, multilayered performance in the central role. It's also fueled by the play's unpredictability -- an enchanting quality that sustains to the final scene.
Set inside what may or may not be an exclusive psychiatric hospital, Audie (Ryals), a gruff, alcoholic junk-bond trader, awakens (or does he?) to a diagnosis of Korsakoff's Syndrome -- a rare form of amnesia that, with sleep, causes him to forget all that transpired during the day. Each morning, Audie's doctors and therapists (if they really are such) present him with a script filled with scenes from his life. (Where they got that info is anybody's guess.) Fantasy and reality collide in Audie's living nightmare, leading to his day of judgment. Leaping back and forth between Audie the patient and Audie the living train wreck, Ryals does not disappoint. Menawhile, using a minimalist set of props and settings, director Moore artfully moves his players who, with the exception of Ryals, play multiple roles. Adam Bitterman and Lauren Hollingsworth are also particularly grand as, respectively, Moe Perlman, junk bondsman extraordinaire and Audie's daughter, Emily.
- Jim Crogan
The Sacred Fools Theater Company is well on its way to becoming a major force on the L.A. theatre scene with its latest production, Paul Mullin's poetic play Tuesday. The fact that the show is only the group's second offering is a wonderful indication of things to come.
Audie McCall suffers from an extremely rare form of amnesia called Korsakoff's Syndrome which causes him to forget everything he knows each night when he goes to sleep. Of course, he doesn't know that, so to him every morning is an exercise in confusion, frustration and discovery. The medical staff that is treating Audie comes up with a unique approach to help him recover his memory -- they force him to play-act scenes from his life using a makeshift script. But what Audie realizes on this particular day of therapy is that sometime it's not worth visiting the past, no matter what the benefit. Playwright Mullin definitely starts off on the right track, keeping the audience in the dark almost as often as Audie himself. But the mysterious mood dissipates as the therapy sessions begin, when the writer sacrifices some of the poetry of the piece in order to provide more literal exposition. The re-enacted flashbacks are convincing and compelling, but early on they seem a bit self-conscious and randomly inserted, and consequently could still be tightened. Director David P. Moore has staged this "day in the life" drama with sensitivity and flair, maintaining an intimacy between characters and audience while utilizing every nook and cranny of the sprawling Heliotrope venue. The uncredited hiospital setting instantly transforms into a number of diverse locations, in part thanks to props from Tara Beth Connolly and Gerald McClanahan. The lighting desitgn by John Sylvain is exciting at times, but doesn't always clearly define the various playing areas. Sound design by Joel Zighelboim and Jeff C. Kunins is more consistently crisp. Live music by Jonathan A. Dyke and Zighelboim is an invaluable aid in creating ambience and filling some overly-long scene transitions. Lori Kay does an imaginative job with costumes.
Even more compelling than the technical look of the production is the excellent acting ensemble. Patrick Ryals is accessible and versatile as Audie, effortlessly changing back and forth from his unassuming patient persona to his more aggressive former self. The rest of the cast play multiple roles with style and humor. Among their assignments, Danielle Surrette shines as Audie's former wife and a helpful nun; Mark Auerbach has an imposing presence as Audie's doctor and a shadowy gumshoe; Lauren Hollingsworth goes from precocious little girl to sensual young lady as Audie's daughter; and Daria E. Mauldin portrays a determined street lady with plenty of panache. Adam Bitterman is particularly impressive as Audie's little brother and his former no-nonsense boss.
Tuesday bodes well for a new group trying valiantly to attract audiences wtihin the Southland's crowded theatre scene. This playgoer, for one, will, not miss Sacred Fools' future offerings.
- Elias Stimac
1997 DRAMALOGUE AWARDS
|DIRECTION - David P. Moore|
|PERFORMANCE - Patrick Ryals|