There seems to be a passion for horror stories that has existed for generations of story tellers and writers. Just why we are fascinated by them is still a mystery to me—having read one Anne Rice novel and no Stephen King. Local author Roy Booth continues to rack up awards, book deals and enjoys productions of his plays. We had already decided that “Dracula” would not be one of the plays we would see at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse this season but I wanted to give good coverage and information about the play for those who read the weekly arts column and those who expect more in depth analysis on this blog. So, on Monday afternoon, I went to a rehearsal of Dracula in the black box theater at Bangsberg and WOW! If this is a rehearsal, we are in for one of the most gripping theatrical productions to ever hit the stage in Bemidji.
The cast is solid, there are no weak players or dead moments when one’s imagination can drift off. Matt Sciple (Renfield) begins the play, sets the stage and transforms from a gentleman to raving lunatic seamlessly (and that takes a lot of effort!). He sustains his energy in delivering rants, philosophical insights and tortuous physical interpretation of the role while verbally dueling with Dr. Seward, the director of the asylum. Matt Goinz plays the young doctor and spurned lover of Lucy, as played by Katherine Tieben a graduate of the BSU theater program. Goinz hasn’t done a dramatic role since BSU’s “Glass Menagerie” and it’s been a long wait for those of us who appreciate his serious side. Ensemble player Aric Furfaro is always a pleasure to see on stage, even as a bit player.
Emma Grochberg is a new comer to the PBP and she is superb as the fiancé of a young lawyer Harker (Ryan Parker Knox) and childhood friend of Lucy. Both women are adept at changing from proper young Victorian women to sensuous vamps trying to seduce and overcome their innocent male victims. Did I say both—Jessie Ladig and Danielle Stadick as ensemble players command the stage when they also become temptresses, gyrating and crawling snakelike toward their intended victims.
Jim Pounds returns to PBP as Professor Van Helsing who is called by Dr. Seward to come and solve the mystery of why his “friend” Lucy is failing in health. Dracula as played by Joseph Papke is sufficiently creepy and believable as the Transylvania count who desires to travel to London and the abundance of “fresh blood.” I am anxious to see the magic that Crist Ballas, as the make-up artist will perform on these players. Ballas was part of last year’s Academy Award winning make-up team for Star Trek. The set, well, the set is incredible, and that’s all I’ll say for the moment. Michael Hoover designed sets for the PBP when it was still at Ruttgers in 1986 and 1987 and is now the Resident Scenic Charge Artist for the Guthrie Theater. With the lighting effects designed by Barry Nelson with over 150 light cues, we are treated to visuals that succeed in suspending reality to that on stage. Jake Endres has composed background music which heightens the suspense and gives those “chills up your spine” moments power.
The dialogue, beautifully written Victorian prose, is a pleasure to listen to and enjoy—especially those moments of sardonic humor which break the tension. Kudos to Zach Curtis for assembling this fine group of actors and adroitly directing this production which I cannot wait to see again! It is not for the fainthearted and the sexuality is explicit and clearly drawn but essential to the nature of the play hence the PG-13. Get your tickets early for it should be a sell-out show.
Crimson Creek opened its show, a comedy “Spelling Bee” set in a fictional school with a fictional spelling bee and fictional quirky adolescents and equally quirky adults. It’s a one act musical comedy. This production is directed by Chris Berg who directed last year’s musical HAIR (outstanding) and musical direction is by Amanda Hill (this past winter’s “Annie”). We have always enjoyed this theater company and supported its shows by attending and contributing to it. Grand Forks is only two hours away, and if you don’t mind driving back at night, it’s very doable. If not, then stay over at one of the many motels and hotels available. The Canad Inn has an in-door water park if that is of interest. “Spelling Bee” will run July 7 to 17 at the Fire Hall Stage and tickets are available through the Chester Fritz Box Office -701-777-4090.
Newest entires always in bold italics- event posting can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
July 4 at 7 p.m. Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending up weather.
July 7 – 17.—–“Dracula,” a play written by Stephen Dietz based upon Bram Stoker original story about the eternal struggle between good and evil.J
July 6-17 Crimson Creek Players–"Spelling Bee" musical comedy at the Fire Hall Theater, Grand Forks,ND. Tickets at 701-777-4090.
July 7 at 12 noon- BACM Dr. Beverly Everett on the organ, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 1800 Irving Ave.NW.
July 7,14,21, 28 at 3 p.m. "The Kitchen Witches" by Caroline Smith, Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 email@example.com for ticket information and reservations. (change of play)
July 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31 at 7:30 p.m."The Kitchen Witches" by Caroline Smith Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information and reservations. (change of play)
July 14 at 12 noon-BACM Lois Simonson on piano, Evangelical Covenant Church, 5405 Hwy. 2 W.
July 17—Summer Pops Concert, BSO. THIS CONCERT IS NOT FREE, $10 FOR ADULTS AND NO CHARGE FOR CHILDREN.
July 18–7 p.m. Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending up weather.
July 21-31—-“Boys Next Door,” by Tom Griffin is a dramatic comedy about four developmentally disabled men who live together in a group home,
July 21 at 12 noon–BACM Glenn Seibel on euphonium and Wayne Hoff on piano, United Methodist Church, 9th and Beltrami Ave.
July 28 at 12 noon–BACM Calvary Musicians, Calvary Lutheran Church 2508 Washington Ave.
August 1 — 7 p.m.,Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending up weather.
August 3-14, Mel Brooks comedy, "The Producers" by Crimson Creek players, Burtness Theater on the campus of University of North Dakota, tickets $18/15. 701-777-4090.
August 4 -14—–“Gypsy,” by Stephen Sondheim tells the story of Gypsy Rose Lee and how she became a burlesque star.
August 4 at 12 noon–BACM Wayne Hoff on the organ, Aardahl Lutheran Church, Co. Rd. 403 (East on Roosevelt Rd. to Van Buren, turn right.)
August 6, 7,8 Family Music Festival at lake Itasca–see www.FamilyBluegrass.com.
August 6, 7,13, 24 at 7 p.m., "Fools Gold,"summer melodrama at the state park by Bemidji Community Theater.
August 11 at 12 noon –BACM Joe Henry on piano and organ, Church of St. Philip, 702 Beltrami Ave.
August 18 at 12 noon–BACM Muff Magelssen,organ; Don MacKinnon, piano and The Other Mountain Remnant Band at First Presbyterian Church, 501 Minnensota Ave. NW.
August 4,11,18,25 at 3 p.m. "The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged" Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 email@example.com for ticket information and reservations.
August 5-7, 12-14, 19-21,26-28 at 7:30 p.m. "The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged" Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information and reservations.
August 25 at 12 noon–BACM Kenneth J. Wold,organ; Mike Fiske, Violin; Leah Kelm, flute; Tracy parthun andLeah Kelm bell trees at Evangelical Free Church, 115 Carr lake Rd. SW.
Sept. 17—Oompah for the Arts, the major fundraiser for Bemidj Area Arts Endowment at the Town and Country Club.
Sept. 24–7 p.m. Desserts by Design, a fundraiser for the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra sponsored by the Orchestra Guild.
Sept. 25–Billy Collins, former Poet Laurete of the U.S., evening lecure, Bemidji High School. More information to follow.
Oct. 22-24– Bemidji-First City of the Arts Studio Cruise
Posted by: artsnews on 11/24/2009 at 2:34 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink | Edit
Tags: artsnews bemidji, bemidji concert series, bsu theater productions, calendar, fundraisers, greater grand forks symphony orchestra, paul bunyan playhouse summer season, summer stock, theater, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra,