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  • gilwilson 3:19 PM on February 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Photograph 51” By Anna Ziegler 

    photo51“Photograph 51”
    By Anna Ziegler
    Performed by: Matthew Arkin, Maxwell Caulfield, Miriam Margolyes, Jon Matthews, Darren Richardson, Nick Toren
    Length: 1 hr and 58 mins
    Release date: 11-22-11
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    Once again I become cultured for a couple of hours and attend a live play production.  Okay, this one is in the mind thanks to the audio productions of L.A. Theatre Works.  LATW’s releases of theatrical performances in audiobook format are pure genius and a delight to hear.  The performances are always great and the production put in to each one places the listener smack-dab in the middle of the audience.

    This time around I was enlightened with the story of Rosalind Franklin whose x-ray photographs proved the helix shape of DNA, unfortunately for Rosalind, Watson and Krick got all the credit.  But after listening to this Ms. Franklin didn’t seem to concerned with who got the credit, just so science advanced with research to help humanity.

    The real eye-opener of this production was the ill-treatment of female scientists back in the day. It was as though women didn’t have the brains to be scientists.  Yet women such as Rosalind Franklin have/had just as much to contribute (if not more) than any man.  I love how this play does not sledge hammer that point but only subtly points it out.

    This is a must hear for any one that knows of or is a woman seeking a career in the scientific field.  (I’d also venture to say that this is a must hear for anyone.)

    Publisher’s Summary
    Rosalind Franklin was a gifted research scientist who was part of the race to uncover the secrets of DNA in the 1950’s. Her more famous contemporaries Watson and Krick took all the kudos for the discovery of the molecule’s double helix structure – yet it was Franklin’s skill with X-ray diffraction that first uncovered what’s called “the secret of life”.

    Includes an interview with Brenda Maddox, the world’s foremost biographer of Rosalind Franklin and author of Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA.

    Also includes and interview with Dr Pamela Björkman, the Max Delbruck Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology, and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

    Miriam Margolyes as Rosalind

    Matthew Arkin as Caspar

    Maxwell Caulfield as Wilkins

    Jon Matthews as Watson

    Darren Richardson as Gosling

    Nick Toren as Crick

    Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

    Photograph 51 is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.”

    ©2011 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 2:01 PM on February 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Once” Felix and Zelda, Book 1 By Morris Gleitzman 

    once“Once” Felix and Zelda, Book 1
    By Morris Gleitzman
    Narrated by: Morris Gleitzman
    Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
    Release date: 02-02-06
    Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

    Every once in a while we need to view the world from a child’s eyes.   That is exactly what Morris Gleitzman has done with “Once.”  The sad part is that it is a view of one of the most horrific events in the history of our world, the Holocaust.  But the view of the Holocaust through the eyes of actually give you a feeling of hope.

    Felix was take to an orphanage by his parents with the promise that they will be back to pick him up.  When they do return he will know because they will give him a carrot.  One meal Felix looks down in his soup bowl and sees a carrot.  This is highly unusual in that the only chunks found in the orphanages broth are chunks of ceiling plaster.  Felix knows his parents have come for him.

    After searching the grounds he sees no parents, instead he finds Nazis burning Jewish books and yelling at the nuns in the convent.  Jewish books are in danger and Felix’s parents own a bookstore which sells Jewish Books.  Now he must warn them.  Felix sneaks away from the orphanage to find his parents.

    The adventures from there are very dark and sinister, as the Holocaust was, but through the mind of young Felix he just thinks the Nazis hate books.  The atrocities committed by the Nazis through Felix’s eyes are told by the author in such a way that one can appreciate the and love the naivete of young Felix, and keep rooting for him along the way.

    Soon Felix finds Zelda who doesn’t know her parents are dead.  He knows he must protect her and he brings her along on her journey.  The find a man who is struggling to keep a group of Jewish children alive and safe while the Nazis destroy poland.

    From the orphanage to making a Nazi with a toothache laugh to being rounded up and placed on a boxcar Felix is always doing his best to keep people happy.

    This story will soon be one of your favorites.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Felix lives in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. He is convinced his parents are still alive and that they will one day come back to get him. When Nazi soldiers come to the orphanage Felix decides to escape and make his way home. The journey to find his parents is a long and difficult one, as all of Poland is occupied by the Nazis and a dangerous place for a Jewish boy. Felix manages to live and look after himself and another orphan, Zelda, with the help of a kind dentist, Barney, who is hiding and looking after a number of Jewish children. When the Nazis discover them, Barney makes the ultimate sacrifice for the children, electing to go with them on the train to the death camps, rather than taking the option of freedom offered by a Nazi soldier, one of his grateful patients.
    ©2005 Morris Gleitzman (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

     
  • gilwilson 3:37 PM on February 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “On Two Feet and Wings” By Abbas Kazerooni 

    2feet“On Two Feet and Wings”
    By Abbas Kazerooni
    Narrated by: Abbas Kazerooni
    Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
    Release date: 10-21-14
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio

    To an adult having the task of going to another country getting a taxi to go find a hotel, and then go to the British Embassy to apply for a visa doesn’t sound too bad.  But think of a 9 year-old doing this.  That’s exactly what needs to happen to young Abbas.  In his memoirs, Abbas Kazarooni, takes us on a journey in his world where he was forced to go to Istanbul, Turkey (where he doesn’t speak the language) to avoid being shipped off to fight the Iran/Iraq war.

    The Ayatollahs have lowered the draft age to 10 years old and Abbas’ parents, who were once upper class during the Shah’s regime, don’t want to lose their son to the war and would rather take him to England where he can get an education instead of dying.  The family sells everything they own to go on this sudden trip.

    Once the family arrives at the airport the officials stop Abbas’ mother from leaving the country.  This seems to be only politically motivated to punish Abbas’ family and to keep them from leaving.  Instead the family makes one of the most difficult decisions one would ever have to make.  They decide to send their 9 year old son (soon to be 10) on the trip.

    Young Abbas already has a bit of a reputation of being able to work with what he’s given, and this trip is about to test his spirit.  Carrying with him thousands of US dollars (they are better for converting to local currency), Abbas must first find a hotel where he can stay.

    The cab driver at the airport feels for young Abbas and helps him to secure a hotel room where he won’t get ripped off.  Abbas also finds a friend in the Hotel manager/owner that helps along the way.

    Abbas then has to find a black market money exchange (black market because of better rates).  This has to be done with caution because a 9 year old can be easily ripped off or worse in the city of Istanbul.

    Then to top it all off he has to go to the British Embassy in Istanbul to apply for a visa.  This all takes place within a couple of months.  Abbas makes some friends, creates opportunities for himself and even has a few bad scrapes, but the adventure is the day to day struggle of a young boy navigating a foreign land.

    This book will not have you feeling pity but rather amazement for what a young boy or rather THIS young boy can do.

    Publisher’s Summary
    He is in a foreign country, he is alone, and he is just a boy.… Abbas Kazerooni is not yet 10, but he’s suddenly forced to leave his parents, his friends – his entire world – and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest, and the Ayatollahs who rule Iran have reduced the recruitment age for the army. If Abbas doesn’t escape, it’s almost certain that he will be drafted and die fighting for a regime that has stripped his family of all they have.

    On his own in the strange, often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast – with little more than his wits to guide him. He must conquer difficult things: how to live on his own, how to navigate a foreign city and culture when he doesn’t speak the language, and, most importantly, how to judge who is a friend and who is an enemy. Facing the unexpected as well as the everyday challenges of life on his own, Abbas walks a tightrope of survival – yearning to please the demanding father he has left behind, yet relishing his new found independence.

    His quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and the kindness of strangers allow him to make the best of his dire situation in surprising ways. Does he have what it takes to not only survive against these challenging odds but achieve his parents’ ultimate dream for him: a visa to England, and the safety it represents?

    This compelling true story of one young boy’s courage provides a powerful child’s-eye view of war, political tumult, and survival.

    ©2011 Abbas Kazerooni (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

     
  • gilwilson 1:35 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Molly Sweeney” By Brian Friel 

    molly“Molly Sweeney”
    By Brian Friel
    Narrated by: Jenny Bacon, Robert Breuler, Rick Snyder
    Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
    Performance
    Release date: 02-16-10
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    This is the second story of a blind person regaining sight I’ve listened to in the past month.  Not sure why, but my reading list has led me down the path of disabilities.  The last one I read, “Love and First Sight,” was a YA novel following a young boy who regains his sight in modern times.  This time around it is a play that takes place in a remote Irish village, I’m not too sure of the time period, but it seems that it is during a time where restoring sight is just short of miraculous.

    The play is performed through a series of monologues from the three main characters, Molly, her husband, Frank, and Dr. Rice.    From what I gathered the two men have no real interest in how Molly feels about all this and judging from the tragic end, I would say Molly is not too happy about the promise of a sighted life.

    Dr. Rice seems to be only interested in gaining back his standing in the medical world.  Alcoholism has taken most of that away from him, but now he may be able to redeem himself.  So his interest is very selfish.

    Molly’s husband, Frank is pushing her to the surgery with no concern for her feelings or risks.  While Molly has led a happy life for 40 years, all while sightless.

    The two men never really care about how Molly would be able to handle the sudden influx of visual information.

    The complete lack of interaction between the characters helps to solidify the lack of concern from all but Molly.  There’s a moment when Molly get’s angry and delivers a scathing monologue, but with no one listening it is a perfect example of how her feelings are never considered.

    The performances in the L.A. Theatre Works production are once again perfect and the production puts you once again in the middle of the show.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Molly Sweeney, by the great Irish playwright Brian Friel, tells the story of married couple Molly and Frank, who live in a remote Irish village. Molly has been blind since birth, but now a surgeon – Mr. Rice – believes he may be able to restore her sight. In a series of interwoven monologues, Molly Sweeney takes us into the minds of three people with very different expectations of what will happen when Molly regains her vision.

    ©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 4:17 PM on January 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Lucy” By Damien Atkins 

    lucyLucy
    By: Damien Atkins
    Narrated by: Lucy DeVito, Roxanne Hart, Geoffrey Lower, Sarah Rafferty, Raphael Sbarge
    Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
    Performance
    Release date: 02-02-10
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    I have recently found myself exploring books and stories that deal with the human condition in relation to disabilities.  Not sure why this is but it just seems to wind up on my listening/reading list this way.  I’ve gotta get back to my sci-fi reading soon.  Until then I will explore humanity.  This time around the story revolves around autism and how it affects the family.

    Never having had to deal with anyone in the spectrum, I really have no point of reference on this.  I do know people with autism and friends with autistic children, but I have never had to experience this first hand.  That being said understand that this review will not consist of how the story addresses autism but rather how the story is told.

    One thing to note is that this is an L.A. Theatre Works production and that the performance is beautiful.  The acting and performance as a whole is stellar.  I have never had a bad experience with any LATW production.

    Lucy is a 13 year old who has autism.  She has lived all her life with her father but at 13 there are certain things puberty brings that the father doesn’t think he’s capable of handling.  So he leaves Lucy with her mother.  This part of the story was a bit sketchy for me, but it was necessary for the rest of the play to continue.  I just couldn’t see a dad pretty much abandoning his child.  Sure, it was with her mother but the mother was out of the picture for nearly all of those 13 years.

    As the rest of the story goes, Lucy’s mom struggles with learning how to deal with the schedules and emotions of a child with autism.  The mother also begins to obsess over her guilt of not being there for Lucy.  Soon Lucy’s mother, who is an anthropologist begins to theorize that autism is the next step in the evolutionary process of humanity.  So much so that she makes this the subject of a book that has been in demand for some time from her publisher.  The problem is she starts letting Lucy do what she wants, pretty much, and Lucy’s welfare comes into question.

    What I found most interesting in this performance were the insights where the playwright gave Lucy monologues in which she could step out of her own brain and express her normality.  I was intrigued by these and at the same time emotionally stirred.

    Nice performance but I see some holes in the story.

    Publisher’s Summary
    In a thought-provoking new play, 13 year old Lucy, who suffers from autism, moves in with her estranged, misanthropic mother. Having lived her entire life with her father, Lucy, as well as her mom, struggle with all the difficulties of such an arrangement.
    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Lucy DeVito, Roxanne Hart, Geoffrey Lower, Sarah Rafferty and Raphael Sbarge.
    Lucy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

    ©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 3:41 PM on January 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Love and First Sight” By Josh Sundquist 

    loveandfirstsightLove and First Sight
    By: Josh Sundquist
    Narrated by: Pat Young
    Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
    Release date: 01-03-17
    Publisher: Hachette Audio

    I have to admit at first while listening to this audiobook, I was worried I had grabbed another whiney angsty teen novel.  For the most part YA fiction can be some really nice stories and story telling but many of them fall prey to the “let’s make a romance novel for kids” genre.  This one starts in that direction and you do get a bit of the whiney but not necessarily from the lead character, Will Porter, but from some of his friends.  What I, at first, got from Will was that he was a smug know-it-all and being blind made him better.  I’ll talk more about the love interest later.

    I pulled up my bootstraps and kept rolling with this book only because of the author’s description of how it is being blind.  I have several blind friends (it’s because of one of those friends I started listening to audiobooks in the first place) and I have never really understood what their life is like.  Josh Sundquist writes about that experience through Will Porter and gave me a better understanding of what a sightless world is like.  Concepts such as perspective and colors were explained to me in ways I never would have even considered and then when Will gets the miracle surgery restoring his eyesight, the learning HOW to see floored me.  I’ve since talked this over with one of my friends and he said that it sounded like some of the reasons he has not considered gaining eyesight if the chance arose.  Sundquist’s descriptions are very thought provoking.

    The problem with this story is there is a bit of a forced love interest.  Will meets new friends as he tries to be mainstreamed in a “normal” school.  Apparently Will was a big deal at his school for the blind, now, not so much.  He becomes friends with kids on the Quiz Team and begins to fall for a girl who seems to be hiding something.  After gaining sight he learns she has a huge birthmark on her face.  At this point he feels betrayed in that no one told him about her face.   Here’s where the book pretty much lost me again.

    What I got from the book is the awesome descriptions of life from a blind person’s point of view.  What I disliked were the two-dimensional portrayals of human love and interaction.

    Publisher’s Summary
    In his debut novel, YouTube personality and author of We Should Hang Out Sometime Josh Sundquist explores the nature of love, trust, and romantic attraction.
    On his first day at a new school, blind 16-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?
    As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty – in fact everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
    Told with humor and breathtaking poignancy, Love and First Sight is a story about how we relate to each other and the world around us.

    ©2017 Josh Sundquist (P)2017 Hachette Audio

     
  • gilwilson 4:20 PM on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Locomotion” By Jacqueline Woodson 

    locomotionLocomotion
    By Jacqueline Woodson
    Narrated by: Dion Graham
    Series: Locomotion, Book 1
    Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
    Release date: 02-02-12
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio

    Happiness, sadness, a little anger, but never pity.  Those and other emotions are what you will go through when reading/listening to this book.  Lonnie Collins Motion lost his parents in a house fire at the age of seven.  When placed in foster homes he and his sister were split up.  Life is not easy being young and black in the city.  Soon Locomotion is taught that he can express himself through writing, especially poetry.  From there the sky’s the limit.

    Now, don’t get me wrong his life isn’t all rosy in the end, it just seems he is able to cope a little more.  Mostly due to him having an outlet (writing) for his frustrations, but also because he is a quick learner and learns how to get along in life.  Being a series of books and this only the first, it’s easy to grasp that Locomotion will constantly be learning how to deal with life.

    Many times while listening to this audiobook, I found myself smiling a huge smile while at the same time a tear or two would run down my cheek.  This is not only because of the words written by Jacqueline Woodson, but some of the credit needs to go to the narrator, Dion Graham.  Dion was able to present the story from the psyche of a young boy that seemed like Locomotion was reading these poems and prose directly to me from his book.

    Publisher’s Summary
    When Lonnie Collins Motion was seven years old, his life changed forever. Now Lonnie is eleven and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. And suddenly, Lonnie has a whole new way to tell the world about his life, his friends, his little sister, Lili, and even his foster mom, Miss Edna, who started out crabby but isn’t so bad after all. Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical voice captures Lonnie’s thoughtful perspectives of the world and his determination to one day put a family together again.

    ©2003 Jacqueline Woodson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

     
  • gilwilson 3:59 PM on December 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Lenin’s Embalmers” By Vern Thiessen (produced by LATW) 

    leninLenin’s Embalmers
    By: Vern Thiessen
    Narrated by: JD Cullum, Simon Helberg, Gregory Harrison, Jon Matthews, Rufus Sewell, John Sloan, Mark Jude Sullivan, Jocelyn Towne
    Length: 1 hr and 11 mins
    Performance
    Release date: 12-05-18
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    Yet another  L.A. Theatre Works production finds its way loaded onto my iPod. (yes i still use one.)  Before talking about this particular performance, I have to talk about the quality of LATW’s productions.

    LATW takes the time to do it right.  Not only do they have great actors but the crew doing the recording and editing of each of these performances are beyond superb.  The background folks don’t tend to get a lot of credit, so I’m going to rectify that  a bit.

    So picture a live performance play.  All the monologues, dialogues, set-pieces, music, and sound effects required to put the audience into this world and enjoy a bit of visual art.  Now take away all that visual stuff and well then play has to stand on its audio performance only.  LATW’s engineers and editors still manage to place the audience into the world of the stage performance without relying on set pieces, lights, facial expressions, or stage blocking.  The audio recordings of all their performances that I’ve had the pleasure of hearing have never let me down and always manage to transport me to the world of the play.

    In this play we explore the resilience of the human spirit, ever-changing war games, and the importance of always having vodka on hand.  Sometimes humanity seems very stupid, especially in the political world.  This play points out how certain progroms set to eradicate a race of people from the Earth are completely stupid and come back to bite humanity in the but.  In this case the Jews in Russia were lesser humans, yet those lesser humans come in to preserve the Russian/Soviet leader forever.

    A little dark humor, a little history and great production make this a play worth hearing.

    Publisher’s Summary
    After Vladimir Lenin’s death, Stalin orders two Jewish scientists to preserve Lenin’s body for all time. If they succeed, the rewards will be considerable. If not, it’s the gulag – or worse. Based on real events, Vern Theissen’s nimble dark comedy exposes the absurdities of Soviet life under Stalin.

    Lenin’s Embalmers is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world.

    Starring, in alphabetical order: JD Cullum as Vlad; Gregory Harrison as Lenin; Simon Helberg as Boris; Jon Matthews as Krasin; Rufus Sewell as Stalin; John Sloan as Agent 2; Mark Jude Sullivan as Agent 1; Jocelyn Towne as Nadia

    Associate Artistic Director, Anna Lyse Erikson. Senior Radio Producer, Ronn Lipkin. Recording Engineer and Editor, Erick Cifuentes. Sound Designer and Mixer, Mark Holden for the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood. Directed by Martin Jarvis.

    ©2018 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2018 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 4:34 PM on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Impact Point” By Simon Rosser 

    impact pointImpact Point
    Robert Spire Thriller, Book 2
    By: Simon Rosser
    Narrated by: David Loving
    Series: Robert Spire, Book 2
    Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
    Release date: 02-21-19
    Publisher: Schmall World Publishing

    Take a little bit of an eco-thriller, throw in some sci-fi, espionage and adventure and you have “Impact Point” by Si Rosser.  There were times it felt like the Da Vinci code without the code and all the religious references.

    Overall this book deserves a high rating, the audio book maybe not so high.  The reason for this is that the narrator, David Loving, would read and sound like he was running out of breath for nearly every paragraph.  It nearly got so annoying that I almost quit listening, however the story itself was powerful enough for me to power through and be rewarded with a fun adventure through science and madmen.

    We start out with a couple of blue whales beaching themselves, one in Wales, and one in South Carolina, US.  Robert Spire, the hero of the story watches as it happens in Wales, and upon discovering the news of the second whale in the U.S. he meets a marine biologist and they soon determine the cause of death being olivine poisoning.  Olivine is a rare mineral found in metorites.  This soon leads to the discovery of a group of people set out to destroy mankind in a passive way.  The group has discovered a comet that is destined to hit the Earth causing an Extinction level event, but they manage to hide it until it is too late.

    Robert Spire and the co-horts he gathers on the way discover this conspiracy and race to save all humankind.

    Not an edge of your seat adventure but definitely an adventure that is obviously well researched and will keep you listening.

     

     

    Publisher’s Summary
    Siberia, 1908: A massive explosion occurs above the Tunguska region – known as the Tunguska Event – releasing the equivalent energy of 185 Hiroshima nuclear bombs. An asteroid impact or comet fragment is thought to have been the cause. It happened then, and it will happen again….

    Mysterious whale deaths….

    Wales, UK – When a blue whale gets washed ashore and dies in front of Robert Spire on his local beach, the UK’s Department of the Environment and local population are ill-prepared. When a second whale washes up dead on Myrtle Beach on the opposite side of the Atlantic, the scientific community realizes it has a mystery on its hands, and questions need answering.

    A quest for meteorite fragments….

    Environmental lawyer Robert Spire, newly recruited to the UK’s Global Environmental Command Unit – GLENCOM, flies over to South Carolina to investigate. While there, he teams up with marine biologist Dr. Sally Rivea, also assigned to the case. Meanwhile in Nevada, US, ex-Marine Travis Dexter is on the run after he discovers the body of his employer – philanthropist Julian Smithies – murdered in his home. The only object missing: a recently discovered, rare, and valuable space meteorite, its origin unknown.

    A future global cataclysm….

    On the island of Exuma in the Bahamas, four sport divers make a startling discovery at the bottom of Mystery Cave blue hole. Sixty miles offshore in the Caribbean Sea, drilling on the Proteus oil rig turns to disaster as the drill bit snaps as it strikes something hard on the ocean floor. Dr. Rivea, at a loss to explain the high levels of the mineral olivine discovered in the whale’s tissue samples, accompanies Spire to the Caribbean in search of answers, but when they get there, the mystery only deepens as they unearth a conspiracy with cataclysmic consequences….

    Robert Spire is propelled into a fast-paced action-adventure thriller.

    ©2014 Simon Rosser (P)2019 Chris McDonnell, Simon Rosser

     
  • gilwilson 3:59 PM on December 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Clue: On Stage” adapted by David Abbinanti, adapted for the stage by Jonathan Lynn, Hunter Foster, Eric Price, Sandy RustinShow  

    cluecoverClue: On Stage
    based on the Paramount Pictures motion picture, based on the Hasbro board game Clue
    adapted by David Abbinanti, adapted for the stage by Jonathan Lynn, Hunter Foster, Eric Price, Sandy RustinShow

    During the months of September and October of 2019 I was deeply immersed in the Clueniverse as I was cast as Colonel Mustard in the Lincoln Trail College Theater Production of “Clue: on stage.”  During this time with my fellow cast members we basically knew no other life other than memorizing lines and continuous rehearsals.

    When the college announced that this was to be there fall performance, I knew I absolutely had to be in this production.  In fact on my audition sheet I wrote in large letters and all caps; “I HAVE TO BE IN THIS SHOW!!!”  I guess it worked because I got cast and began growing my mutton chops to be the best Colonel Mustard I could be.

    The fun part about this play is that it is based on the Movie which was in turn based on the board game.  The movie stars Tim Curry as Wadsworth, the butler, and many other great comedic stars.  My role, Colonel Mustard, was played by Martin Mull in the movie.  He did the role as no one else could and at times was very subtle in his humor.  You see when this was announced as the fall show and before auditions I went back and watched the movie for a good laugh.  It held up over the years and did not let me down on the humor.  It still holds up.

    As I read the play I noticed there was a bit of difference between my Colonel and the Martin Mull Colonel.  Mine was more of a bumbling fool according to the script and Mull’s Colonel was more of a clueless fool (pardon the pun).  There were times when I couldn’t find the right way to deliver a line or maybe just make the line land harder, so I would go back to the movie hoping for a little help.  But, there was no help to be had, I wasn’t playing my Colonel as Martin Mull did so I kept saying thanks but no thanks.  And went on to create my own.  It seemed to work out, I got all the laughs in the right places.  There were a couple of times where I took a fall on stage, not scripted, and was able to play it off as part of the character.  (I have the scars to prove those falls were real.)

    So basically while the play is based on the movie there are plenty of differences to make this play stand on its own.  The characters are all the same beloved characters from the game and movie, but some of the lines have been switched to different characters delivering them.  Then there is the ending….nope….I won’t talk about that.

    I was honored with a great pool of talent when it came to the other actors and the director so I don’t think those performances could have been any better.  We killed it every night. (literally and figuratively)

    This play is a great whodunit that allows the audience to try to figure it out all the while the characters on stage entertain in such a hilarious way.  The lines are all perfectly written to extend suspense where needed and to provide a laugh in both subtle and hit you on the head with a candlestick ways.

    Support local live theatre go see this show if it hits near you.   Even better get a troupe together and put on the show for some great laughs.

    Play Details
    It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Each of the guests has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well . . . dead. So whodunnit? Join the iconic oddballs known as Scarlet, Plum, White, Green, Peacock, and Mustard as they race to find the murderer in Boddy Manor before the body count stacks up. Based on the cult classic film and the popular board game, Clue is a madcap comedy that will keep you guessing until the final twist.

    Comedy | 90 – 100 minutes
    5 f, 5 m (10-20 actors possible: 5-10 f, 5-10 m)
    Set: Various rolling set pieces imply different rooms in a mansion.
    Standard Edition ISBN: 978-1-68069-902-9

     

     

     

     

     
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