Saturday, August 10, 2019

Two Down, Two to Go

Thursday, the Theatre of Western Springs premiered my one-act play The Love Songs of Brooklynites as a part of their New Plays Workshop. We had another performance last night, but if you missed it, you still have two more chances, tonight at 8:00 and Sunday at 7:30.

Performances are in the Cattell Theatre, which is the smaller of the two spaces TWS has, but the theatre can still hold about 100 people. I took a brief tour of the facilities on Thursday, and they're pretty impressive. In addition to their two theatres, TWS also has a sizable scene shop and plenty of storage for costumes.

For the New Play Workshop, however, the emphasis is not on the sets or costumes, but on the scripts and the acting. The Love Songs of Brooklynites is fortunate enough to have Danny Parrott in the role of Chuck and Melody Jefferies playing Abbie. They both have wonderful comic timing and a great chemistry on stage.

Denny Wise directed the production, which is going up with two other one-act plays. The first one, The Theory of Moral Relativity, is by Elisa Manzini and directed by Edward W. Wavak. It shows four strangers brought together for a job interview that is more than it seems. The action is intense, and the performers give the play their all.

The second play, Plenty of Fish, Felons and Fetishes, is by Janet Venzon and directed by Terry Kozlowski. It follows the misadventures of a woman who signs up for an Internet dating site. Haruka Hitchcock plays Gia, the embodiment of the dating site's artificial intelligence program, and she nearly steals the show with her half-human, half-robotic demeanor.

After the three plays, there is a talk-back with the playwrights and directors, which is why I'm attending all four performances. On Sunday, I'll also be at a workshop for local playwrights in Western Springs.

Unfortunately, that means I'll be missing the final performance of Burns Night at the Secret Theatre in Queens, but if you're in New York, maybe you can catch another brilliant cast in a very different comedy.