Curio Theatre Company Presents: The Winter’s Tale

Where do I start? I had the most magical time at this production. I love everything about a Bohemian garden and what’s better than a Bohemian garden?  A Bohemian beer garden and taking my love of all things Shakespeare to another level.  That’s right it was like getting a two for one in fun and theatre at the same time.

I am so grateful for being exposed to Shakespeare in High School. It really changed my outlook in plays and poetry. When you combine it and have an outstanding production like Curio Theatre has, it was amazing. Every last actor, played their part. They really played them well. I was in the front row where I love to be and the action captured me. I left the theatre unable to go to sleep.

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I laughed so hard even though a Winter’s Tale is about Leontes, King of Sicillia gets into a jealous rage thinking that his friend, Polixenes had an affair with his pregnant wife, Queen Hermione. If you never read this Shakespeare classic I won’t spoil it but it includes a lot of turns of events that feature violence, death, betrayal, and forgiveness. It’s true what they say about jealousy, it is a killer. What we think when we don’t control our thoughts turns into negativity and can hurt the ones we love! Nonetheless the pure emotion that each actor gave was amazing. Each actor captured their roles and even if you cant get past the Middle English of the time, if you listen with intent, they played their part enough for you to modernize it and understand it beautifully.

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Taking the production from inside and then outside to the Bohemian Beer Garden was the best surprise I didn’t even know I needed. The air was crisp, the wine was sweet and the actors continued to stay in their parts while we enjoyed the best acting intermission I had ever been too. Curio Theatre, this had to be the best part of my night. I had the most magical time. Everyone who attended smiled from ear to ear the entire time. It was a pleasant experience and if they ever have another production, I want to be in the seat.

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You only have 2 days to catch this treat. That’s right make your Friday night magical by getting tickets for the 8pm show or tomorrow’s final night at 8 as well. You can get your tickets here. One thing that Curio Theatre does is that when you get your tickets they encourage their new ticket initiative and that’s with Curiositix.  This is a new initiative that allows those who would have not been able to see amazing theatre and make it affordable. When you order your ticket at the time of ordering you can select how much you want to give toward the ticket. You can also even pay for your another ticket so that someone who can’t afford it can.  This is making sure that everyone has the opportunity to get that amazing exposure to theatre.  Also if you want to just donate, you can do that here as well.  No donate is too small.

I would recommend this production for over 15 years of age due to scenes of violence against women and adult themes.

Follow Curio Theatre on their social media channels so you don’t ever miss another production.  Who knows you may see me in the audience real soon:

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Thank you to all of the actors for a job well done. Thank you Curio Theatre for having me and thank you Carrie Gorn for the invite!

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” by Kate Tarker; Directed by Dominique Serrand

This is a story about family dysfunction and personal trauma. With that being said let me go ahead and give a small disclaimer that some may find some of the scenes to be off base and hurtful. The play although it discusses serious topics does it in a way using humor as a way to help with self- reflection. The “same muscle used to cry is the same to help you laugh.”  It’s about a family of shepherds who live in the suburbs of Corinth learns that their adopted son Oedipus has become the King of Thebes.  The winds and turns that the story takes the audience  is definitely one for all to see.

Taking one part Greek mythology and snatching stories from current events, this production is definite at the top of must see. I laughed so hard. I know there were parts that were serious and I caught it but I laughed. It wasn’t about making light of personal trauma but seeing the audience get uncomfortable was a good thing. Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable about the events in our past that we shove under a rug, disregard, or even dismiss. From the did it happen to was it my fault are all real emotions that are explored in this play. I loved that instead of being direct it was overt in a way that you couldn’t miss the theme but you had to ask questions and pay attention.  It is also about dealing with your personal demons. The ones we want to blame others (gods). The things that we take part in, allow, are OUR fault. Self-reflection is a personal job. You can damage those around you by reckless behavior.  Be willing not only to accept but change it.

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One of the best part of the night was listening to others talk about what they were seeing during intermission. I love to hear other people’s perception. Most people got it. I also loved how towards the end they had a chat with the actual actors. It was refreshing to hear their take on what they performed. I think a lot of plays should include these types of talks. This production was heavy at points but light enough not to feel burdened when you leave. The actors answered all the questions that we had. I also loved how they didn’t sugar coat the difficult parts even when one patron was so moved to leave. It’s okay to disagree. Everyone’s take isn’t going to mesh with another all the time. However the vibe was completely respectful and we can take a cue in our lives especially on social media in that regard.

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So my overall take is please go and see this. It will make for a wonderful evening. Be ready to think, reflect, and laugh. This was my first time at Wilma Theatre and its visually stunning. It has all that you need. A full café, bar, and ample seating on the inside as well as seating on the outside. No need to stand around you can come get comfortable and enjoy the show. Staff was amazing from will call to the ushers. I had a pleasant time and I can’t wait to go back.

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” will be showing until May 12. Kudos to the Director, Dominique Serrand as well as the Writer, Kate Tarker. All of the actors outdid themselves. They definitely brought the vision to light. Thank you for the chat at the end as well as the pics. I wish not only this production but your future projects continued blessings!!!

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To see the show for yourself, please use this link to do so.

For more information on future shows or any other information for Wilma Theatre

 

Untitled; by Inua Ellams

No you’re not seeing a typo. Untitled is the name of the play. I love attending any production by Inis Nua because any time I am there, everyone and I mean everyone treats me with love and a sense of family. In addition it’s always great to see amazing talent bear their souls before an audience.

Untitled is a monologue about Nigerian twin brothers (played by Keith Illidge) born on Nigeria Independence Day. During their naming ritual one twin hollers out so much that after several attempts, he is unable to be named. A naming ceremony is almost in parts similar to that of a baby being christened in western culture. Names have meanings. Giving your child a name that evokes purpose is important. Having the twin not being named questions the twins’ purpose. Thus the plight begins.

It’s easy to have two separate actors play off of one another’s emotions to convey a message. It’s even harder to play two parts by the same actor that require different sets of emotion. Without giving you too much information, the twins are being raised in 2 different homes. As a twin myself I would find it hard to portray myself as well as my twin and keep the two different emotions straight without overlapping which twin is to be played by whom.

I definitely saw so much pose in Keith Illidge’s acting. I honestly think monologues help you to see the actor’s range. Untitled was engaging not just because it was written so well but because Keith single handily brought the story to life. I was engaged and the set was super alluring. FYI if you attend and you must, don’t be shy. Sit in the front. Be prepared to watch as Keith effortlessly brings the audience in as if they had rehearsed it all along. Right from the start of the show I saw the audience holding back from answering questions as Keith was performing. Keith was the teacher in a way except there weren’t students hiding from being seen. Keith’s energy pulled you in from the beginning until the end.

I like to listen to the responses at the end. I usually sit and wait as people exit. I heard most of the responses of wanting more. I also heard someone mention how incredible the set was. The set was truly amazing. Kudos to production for making the details matter.

Overall you really are doing yourself a favor by going on the Link and getting tickets for you and bringing a few friends. You don’t want to miss the opportunity as this production will last until May 12th.

While watching Untitled ask yourself the question of can your future be determined by your past, your upbringing and/or traditions alone?! Untitled is a thinking piece.

Also a special treat Inis Nua also has the work of Yemisi Ajayi, Nigerian textile artist that can be viewed before or after the show in the lobby!

Special shout out to the sponsors, production staff, playwright Inua Ellams, Honorary Producer, Louis Bluver, and Director Jerrell Henderson. I also want to shout out for the opening night spread provided by Amis Trattoria and Powers; the official whiskey of Inis Nua. I have to admit the whiskey and the food was phenomenal.

Bob: A Life in Five Acts

I had the opportunity to attend Bob: A Life in Five Acts on Saturday and it was a phenomenal comedic play. Bob is wondering various parts of America trying to be a “Great Man” he encounters many relationships that ultimately brings him to discovering he’s never alone. This play is written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Michael Osinski.

This comedic play is definitely worth going out to see. One it’s incredibly funny mixing a lot of pop art, music, dance, etc. to the stage. Bob who starts his life literally in a White Castle bathroom is born into a traumatic hardship. We see that just like in real life, hardships don’t have to define us and along the way he learns a lot about what it means to thrive, what’s important, and how separation can create hope.

A word to the wise because it is comedic I would come in with an open mind. This is not the play to bring a child as there are scenes that may not be suitable for a young audience. The play is interactive meaning I found myself openly reacting with the characters. I found myself thinking about what life was like if I felt abandoned and how would I respond. Would I be able to be positive in a negative world? Isn’t that our fight daily? We have to take the good with the bad and know that even when we have hit rock bottom, we are still connected.

How the tables turn and the paths cross for Bob during his journey was illustrated colorfully. I enjoyed watching Bob interact during the various stages he made until adulthood. How his life was somber as a child although he had to deal with events most kids today don’t readily have to deal with.

During stage plays it’s always amazing to watch not just for meaning but how interactive the characters seem to be with one another. The best productions come from the closest cast members. This was no different. Even after the play during the reception, you can see that not only had they come together simply to put Bob on, they were definitely a family. Shout out to the play for having one of most diverse cast I’ve seen in quite some time.

Here’s how you can come and not just watch, but be apart of the production:

Bob: A Life in Five Acts will be showing until March 27, 2019. All shows are pay what you decide. This means you pay after the show according to what you feel, can afford or feel led. I would encourage you to attend and definitely donate and give. It makes for a great date night to do something different and get out in Philly. It also makes for a great group trip as well.

It’s performance is at the Proscenium Theatre, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia PA

You can reserve your tickets Here

Please arrive early as you will not be able to be let in during the performance and the production is about 130 minutes with one 10 minute intermission. There are drinks available for purchase before the show and during intermission.

Cast:

Paul Harrold as Bob

Dan D’Albis as Chorus

Frank Jimenez as Chorus

Claris Park as Chorus

Sabriaya Shipley as Chorus

Special thanks to the amazing cast and production members, Azuka Theatre, Kevin Glaccum, producing artistic Director, Harmelin Media, production sponsor, Two Roads Brewing company for sponsoring the reception drinks, and all the donors both foundation, corporate and individuals!