Grandiose is “The Addams Family,” the tour thereof, concluding the season this weekend at the Benedum for the CLO. I couldn’t get to it, which I understand has been tightened up and considerably rewritten, but I do remember Broadway, and for all its schlock (I expect that hasn’t changed) it’s a lot of fun – even for Chas Addams fans who would probably rather think of him as a cult taste, not a great big Broadway/Benedum show.
Big, or rather medium, or maybe medium big, is the Chekhov Festival at PICT. I liked “Three Sisters” a lot, because, after all, it is a very great play, somewhere between soap opera and classical tragedy, and PICT does it proud. Those Prozorov women always break me up, but they’re always different, too, as the play reflects different facets in different productions. This one is big because it’s a big play, but it’s part of an even bigger Chekhov Festival, one of four major productions, right through the end of August. (There’s even a vodka tasting tonight. Too bad we missed it.)
By the way, I want to brag that I knew the translator, Paul Schmidt, in college, and even acted with him – a brilliant, funny man, who accomplished a great deal and still died too young.
Teenie is as teenie as they get, “Toyer,” a melodrama from about 20 years ago by Gardner McKay, directed by Charlie Wein as what can only be called living room theater. It’s a noir thriller staged in the living room of a South Oakland apartment, just 10 chairs and the two actors, right there with you.
The story is that there’s been a serial terrorist, a man doing things to women that I don’t want even to describe. Our hero is a psychiatrist (the beautiful Morgan Wolk) who has been trying to work with the surviving women, and then Peter (the very plausible Jamie McDonald) worms his way into her apartment. Is he the Toyer himself, or is he a Toyer copy-cat, or (for example) an actor who sees his encounter with her as an ambitious scene, or is he something else? And what is she, in relation to all that?
This same combo staged the show a year ago and brought it back because the demand exceeded the available seats (well, duh) and also because they wanted to make some changes in a rather klunky script. They’ve done that, and although I saw it last year, I was even more impressed this time, and properly intrigued and terrified, even though I sort of remembered how it would turn out.
I recommend seeing it at the 11 pm show. Shudder. A very intimate encounter with some fine acting.
Aug. 3 and 4, 8 and 11 pm; Aug. 5, 8 pm. $10. Reservations required: 412-334-2633.