MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS

by Athol Fugard

Master Harold and the Boys jpgJune 9-25

Set in 1950 on a rainy day in a run-down South African tearoom, apartheid is the law of the land. Two black men, Willie and Sam, dance as they clean the floor, practicing for an upcoming ballroom dance competition. In walks Hally, a 17-year-old white boy, who Sam has helped with his homework since Hally was little. They get into a deep discussion about who is the most important social reformer in history. "Fugard creates a blistering fusion of the personal and the political." - The New York Times

BOATWRIGHT

 

by Patrick Tovatt

Boatwright 909kbApril 13-29

A Bunbury World Premiere, the romantic comedy in two acts is in the old style --where the guy gets the girl or the girl gets the guy -- depending on your point of view. But, in this buoyant romp, the guy is a bit long in the tooth, and the girl is no spring chicken either. Recently retired to a ramshackle, out-of-the-way corner of waterfront, Ned is content to quietly pursue his three passions: building boats, writing songs and designing his own demise. A mysterious young customer in his boat shop abruptly catapults him into an entirely new life, full of music, love and responsibilities.

St. Nickaklaus and the Hanukkah Christmas

by Juergen K. Tossmann

St. Nickaklaus and the Hanukkah ChristmaDec 1-17

Klaus Klurman, aging actor and Jewish Holocaust survivor tries to come to terms with his failing memory and his relationship with his adopted African-American son, estranged daughter, and smoked-up-son-in-law. While the family struggles with Klaus's beginning stages of dementia, the action takes a hilarious and bizarre twist as the power of the spirit touches this unusual holiday celebration.

 

 

 

 

December

1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 - 7:30pm

3, 10, 17 - 2:00pm

"Tossmann’s script is a poignant, insightful comedy that revels in theater riffs and wordplay, but never hides its eyes from the reality of the situation.......The production gets fine performances from Tyler Madden as Klaus’ gay, African-American adopted son, Rebecca Henderson as Klaus’ married daughter and Tossmann as Rebecca’s loony pot-smoking husband.......Klaus is a powerful, egotistical man battling his emerging age, his physical vulnerability and the looming dementia that coexists with his still formidable intellect. Orme brings him to life in a mercurial performance constructed of meticulously crafted physical and vocal detail — a palsied hand, a mental short circuit that carries him abruptly to a long-ago rehearsal for Othello. It’s a delightful piece of acting — all the more because it doesn’t feel much like acting at all....Marty Rosen/ Leo Weekly

 

Tyler Madden’s Fritz was a great balance of loyal son and brother but also a frazzled caregiver. He treated all of the scenes as if he had been part of similar real-life scenarios. Juergen Tossmann’s Frank was a hoot. While donning a Santa hat that had a marijuana leaf on it, he brought whimsy into a serious family situation. While the character of Frank seemed to be over the top at times, it fit more than hindered the flow of the show......Louisville has been very fortunate to have Matt Orme display his craft for decades now, and he seems quite at home on the Bunbury Theatre stage. His depiction of Klaus was both heartbreaking and revelatory, making no apologies for what he was and what he is becoming. When he shouts, “An actor has to have passion”, his booming voice hovers over the audience like a whispering wind.

Bob Bush is one of the best scenic designers in Louisville theater, and he and his props person, Hannah Greene, knocked it out of the park with this modern living room design. With a lighted Christmas tree featuring a Star of David as a topper and a menorah on the mantelpiece, one had a feeling you could be in a swanky downtown apartment celebrating the occasion.

Annette Skaggs/ Arts-Louisville

RED

RED

by John Logan

WINNER OF THE TONY AWARD

RED FINAL POSTERFebruary 16- March 4

Raw and provocative, RED is a searing portrait of an artist's ambition (Mark Rothko) and vulnerability, as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting. A 2010 Tony Award winner, the play is "intense and exciting...a portrait of an angry and brilliant mind that asks you to feel the shape and texture of thoughts....'Red' captures the dynamic relationship between an artist and his creations." - New York Times

 

 

 

 

 

Show Dates and Times -

We will be holding panel discussions and talk-back sessions on various days during the run of the performances. * indicates - Panel Discussion ** Indicates Talk Back Session

FEBRUARY

Fri 16 -7:30

Sat 17 - 7:30

Sun 18 - 2:00 **

 

Thur 22 - 7:30 **

Fri 23 -7:30

Sat 24 - 7:30

Sun 25 - 2:00 *

 

MARCH

Thur 1 - 7:30 **

Fri 2 -7:30

Sat 3 - 7:30

Sun 4- 2:00

 

RED premiered at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London on December 3rd 2009, Michael Grandage, Artistic Director.

Original Broadway Production produced by Arielle Tepper Madover, Stephanie P. McClelland, Matthew Byam Shaw, Neal Street Productions, Fox Theatricals Ruth Hendel/ Barbara Whitman, Philip Hagemann/Murray Rosenthal and the Donmar Warehouse.

 
Mark Rothko
Born Marcus Rotkovitch in the town of Dvinsk, Latvia, then part of the Russian Empire, Mark Rothko immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of ten, settling in Portland, Oregon. A gifted student, Rothko attended Yale University on scholarship from 1921-23, but disillusioned by the social milieu and financial hardship, he dropped out and moved to New York to "bum around and starve a bit." A chance invitation from a friend brought him to a drawing class at the Art Students League where he discovered his love of art. He took two classes there but was otherwise self-taught. Rothko painted in a figurative style for nearly twenty years, his portraits and depictions of urban life baring the soul of those living through The Great Depression in New York. The painter Milton Avery offered Rothko both artistic and nutritional nourishment during these lean years. In the 1930s, Rothko exhibited with The Ten, a close-knit group of nine (!) American painters, which included fellow Avery acolyte, Adolph Gottlieb. Success was moderate at best but the group provided important incubation for the Abstract Expressionist school to come. The war years brought with it an influx of European surrealists, influencing most of the New York painters, among them Rothko, to take on a neo-surrealist style. Rothko experimented with mythic and symbolic painting for five years before moving to pure abstraction in the mid 1940s and ultimately to his signature style of two or three rectangles floating in fields of saturated color in 1949. Beginning in the early 1950s Rothko was heralded, along with Jackson Pollock, Willem deKooning, Franz Kline and others, as the standard bearers of the New American Painting--a truly American art that was not simply a derivative of European styles. By the late 1950s, Rothko was a celebrated (if not wealthy) artist, winning him three mural commissions that would dominate the latter part of his career. Only in the last of these, The Rothko Chapel in Houston was he able to realize his dream of a truly contemplative environment in which to interact deeply with his artwork. RED presents a fictionalized account of Rothko’s frustrated first attempt to create such a space in New York’s Four Season’s restaurant. Rothko sought to create art that was timeless; paintings that expressed basic human concerns and emotions that remain constant not merely across decades but across generations and epochs. He looked to communicate with his viewer at the most elemental level and through his artwork, have a conversation that was intense, personal and, above all, honest. A viewer’s tears in front of one of his paintings told him he had succeeded. While creating a deeply expressive body of work and garnering critical acclaim, Rothko battled depression and his brilliant career ended in suicide in 1970.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE

by Jeffrey Hatcher & Mitch Albom

Based on the book by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie Resized imageOctober 6-22

Mitch is reunited with his professor, Morrie, and what starts as a simple visit, turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a last class in the meaning of life. "Unforgettable! No matter how well you tell the story, the play makes it more vivid, more shattering, more humorous." - New York Magazine

"Making the language of the boo crisper, cleverer and more palatable....aphoristic wisdom, expressed with gallows wit." - The New York Times

"A touching life-affirming, deeply emotional drama with a generous dose of humor."

Starring: J.R.Stuart & Zac Taylor

DATES AND TIMES:

October 

6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 - 7:30pm

8, 22 - 2:00pm

 

Reviewed by Keith Waits for ArtsLouisville

 

Entire contents copyright © 2017 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

 

Mitch Albom’s book Tuesday’s With Morrie told of the renewal of a friendship with one of his college professors in the months before the old man dies from ALS. It was a bestseller and popular television movie, and it remains an appealing inspirational story. The stage adaptation, by Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher, keeps the schmaltz at bay for most of its length with humor grounded by J.R. Stuart’s performance in the title role.

 

Reunited sixteen years after graduation, Mitch (Zac Taylor) is a busy sportswriter whose competitiveness has led to success but not happiness. He was close to Professor Morrie Schwartz (Stuart), whose mentorship is characterized by compassion and a New Age humanism. Morrie has gained a degree of fame after being profiled by Ted Koppel on Nightline, and Mitch works to overcome his guilt at neglecting the friendship through visits every Tuesday.

 

It is a simple, tw0-character interaction, staged with attention to detail in the design work, particularly in the subtle lighting design by Gerald Kean.

 

Morrie’s “lessons for one” is chock-full of homilies dropped like one-liners, and Stuart’s instincts as an actor are so sure and true that he maintains his expert comic timing even amidst the sentimentality. Zac Taylor is sincere and heartfelt as Mitch, but Morrie is what matters. As a director, Stuart makes certain the audience connects with Morrie as just as Albom did, which means he allows his own performance to dominate appropriately. As Morrie deteriorates, Stuart never overplays the exigencies of the disease but delivers enough realism to register recognition in the audience.

 

For me, as drama, Tuesdays With Morrie goes a step too far in milking the sentimentality, but if, as a memoir, we accept Albom’s account as honest and heartfelt, then this is nothing less than a love story, so perhaps the emotional intimacy is exactly right.

 

And there is a solid foundation in Morrie’s lessons. In the face of his imminent demise, the two men discuss mortality, with Mitch ill at ease but Morrie almost welcoming it with no regrets: “Taking makes me feel like I’m dying, giving makes me feel like I’m living.” Morrie never stops giving, and who can argue with that?