Peter Shaffer's fanciful tale of an eccentric tour guide and her propensity for embellishing the truth receives an impressive production in the hands of director Phoebe Moyer and her delightful cast.
Presented by Role Players Ensemble, "Lettice and Lovage" runs through Nov. 9, at Danville's Village Theatre, 233 Front St.
It is a pleasure to watch Sylvia Burboeck as Lettice, an eccentric Elizabethan enthusiast who loves to spice up dull historical fact. Burboeck gracefully switches accents and physical characteristics as she easily portrays the various historical characters who live in Lettice's vivid imagination.
Beth Chastain as Charlotte Schoen has the unenviable task of firing Lettice when her wild historical embellishments as a tour guide become too much. Chastain manages to find a lovely depth and humanity beneath Schoen's businesslike exterior as her friendship with Lettice grows.
In a much too small role, Elinor Bell shines as Schoen's secretary, making one wish she would return to the stage. Also creating a memorable character is John Blytt as Lettice's defense attorney. His pivotal scene with Lettice and Schoen practically steals the show.
Set designer Robert "Bo" Golden has once again shown his artistry in the creation of three distinct sets, highlighted by Lettice's highly theatrical basement apartment.
Costume designer Lisa Danz must have had a ball finding/building Lettice's colorful outfits contrasted by the business attire of the other characters.
For tickets to this highly entertaining piece of theater, call 925-312-3400 or go to www.roleplayersensemble.com.
Lots of plays will be opening soon, starting with Concord playwright Kathryn G. McCarty's adaptation of Joseph Fabry's novel "Swing Shift."
According to McCarty, most of Fabry's relatives perished in the death camps of Nazi Europe. Fortunately, Fabry emigrated from Austria to the United States in time to escape their fate.
While working at the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards during World War II, the Austrian lawyer and writer began to compose a series of short stories based on his friends and co-workers at the shipyards.
"Many of the issues that Mr. Fabry wrote about such as terrorism in the Kaiser Shipyards and what it means to be an American are still relevant 70 years later," says McCarty.
This is McCarty's second major work exploring the history of the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards. Her popular musical "Rivets" was produced in Concord as well as three times on the SS Red Oak Victory, the last surviving Victory ship built at the Kaiser Shipyards.
Produced by Galatean Players, "Swing Shift" runs Oct. 25-Nov. 10, on the SS Red Oak Victory, 1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A, in the Port of Richmond. Call 925-676-5705 or go to www.galateanplayers.com.
This is your final chance to catch Clayton Theatre Company's "The Robber Bridegroom." The bawdy Southern fairy tale set in 18th century Mississippi closes Oct. 26.
For more information, call 925-222-9105 or go to www.claytontheatrecompany.com.
Those old wagon wheels will be rolling into Antioch's El Campanil Theatre on Oct. 26, as the Vagabond Players present a rootin' tootin' spoof of the old Wild West with Tim Kelly's "Wagon Wheels a-Rollin.'"
Audience members are encouraged to boo villain Smiling Slide Claggett and to cheer for the hero in this silly comedy.
"Wagon Wheels a-Rollin" has two performances only — 8 p.m. Oct. 26, and 2 p.m. Oct. 27. Call 925-757-9500 or go to www.elcampaniltheatre.com.
Eric Kunze, Broadway star of "Les Miz" and "Miss Saigon" also comes to the El Campanil Theatre this fall. On Saturday, Nov. 2, the award-winning performer presents an evening of song and "behind-the-curtain" tales of his celebrated musical theater career.
Presented in association with Esses Production, "An Evening with Broadway Leading Man Eric Kunze" begins at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 925-757-9500 or go to www.elcampaniltheatre.com.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.