The Satirical “Squirrel Dialogues” and Thought-Provoking “Red Suit” Make For Dynamic Theatre
North Hollywood has the Secret Rose Theatre where Emrys Entertainment presents two original one-act plays - one will make you chuckle with the sarcasm that is the voice of animals, and the second with make you think a lot about your perception of various things like Santa Clause, your family and the devil himself.
Cleverly written and dutifully directed by Jonathan Emrys, both plays take on a commentary of faith, friendships, loyalties, families and so much more. One is a commentary on humans from the animal’s perspective called “The Cat and Squirrel Dialogues” and the other is a commentary on an individual’s belief systems versus reality called “The Man In The Red Suit.” What was really fresh was their approach, using most of the same cast for both productions with such very different, dynamic results.
I thought I would take each performer and discuss their parts in both while trying to reveal as little of the plot as possible so as to entice you to go see these plays. I will list the separation of characters as SQUIRREL for “The Cat and Squirrel Dialogues” and RED representing “The Man In The Red Suit.”
|Keith Walker Boos, Michaela Qvale, Matt DeHaven, Martha Brigham, David Tucker, Gregory A. Thompson|
David Tucker is a very focused actor who, when on stage, keeps his soul and intensity very clear for the audience to follow and his energy seems unbounded. SQUIRREL: David is a very ornery and proud cat who has to deal with a new neighbor, another cat, who, in an ego bruising sort of way, is trying to impress her. His physicality is amazing while watching him take on the feline nature of the character ‘Tom Cat’. RED: As Perry, David really shines with a personal growth as his character comes to terms with his belief systems, including what he thought was Santa Clause, the devil and even the life of his daughter. He is again amazing to watch and you can’t help but feel his anguish when you do.
SQUIRREL: Playing Maury Dove, Keith Walker Boos is an amazing physical performer and he shines with all his physical actions in this piece. His expressive eyes and mannerism will keep you laughing as he learns of the new neighbor cat that has just moved in. RED: Keith then shows a whole new light of his sadistic nastiness as he plays the ‘Dark Angel’ himself, the devil. It’s obvious that Keith is having fun with this role as he taunts and teases David’s character into doing or not doing what he thinks he should.
SQUIRREL: Playing one of the title characters, ‘Red Squirrel’, Gregory A Thompson has a unique walk and stance with his hands and he shows a great amount of fear as a squirrel would around the ‘new cat’ in town. RED: Gregory is also the other ‘red’ suit in this production playing a very whimsical, almost Yoda-like, charming version of Santa Clause. This Santa seems to have a mission, but is very coy in letting that particular detail out.
Martha Brigham is an actress worthy of keeping an eye on. SQUIRREL: Martha plays ‘Little Kitty’ the new neighborhood cat that has moved in with more attitude than her collar can wrap around. Martha and David have some fun ‘catty’ scenes together. RED: Martha then plays a calming, esoteric but gentle character called ‘Lady in the Green Dress’ and it’s fairly open game as to who and what she represents. Martha really glows with a wisdom and serenity that helps David’s character find focus and eventually peace.
SQUIRREL: Michaela Qvaela plays Goldie Finch with a lot of fervor and force as the one who questions the new kitty cat in the neighborhood and her real intentions. RED: Michaela then dawns a haunting persona as a caroler who is chilling to watch as she recites her prose.
Matt Dehaven is a very comical and broad spectrum performer. SQUIRREL: (listed as Mathilda Ramsbottom in the program) plays the most hysterical and pitch perfect cat owner, Mrs. Switzer. With the most colorful costume, Matt’s over the top and vibrant interpretation of a woman who is dealing with her attitude-filled cat (David Tucker) is just hysterical to watch. I can tell Matt is having a blast playing her. RED: He is also another haunting caroler who’s deep resonance can vibrate the theatre as he too reads the prose.
“The Cat and Squirrel Dialogues” is a simple take on the personalities and opinions of humans that animals may have about us and more for the farce of all of it while “The Man In The Red Suit” might actually make you think of things you might not have thought about before, or at least in the way you are used to. An entertaining night of theatre will be had for anyone who attends the Secret Rose Theatre performances of these two original and inventive one-acts. Check them out at www.facebook.com/TheManInTheRedSuit.
|Martha Brigham, David Tucker, Gregory A. Thompson, Michaela Qvale, Matt DeHaven, Keith Walker Boos|
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