Stage Talk by Carol Viescas
‘Little Shop of Horrors’ — No Strings Theatre Company presents the smash hit musical by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman through Oct. 29 at Black Box Theatre in Las Cruces. Directed by Diane Thomas. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Sunday Oct. 129; and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. Tickets: $15 ($12 students and seniors over 65; $10 all seats Thursday. Reservations: (575) 523-1223.
A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi hit “Little Shop Of Horrors” has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years.
‘Bloody Shakespeare’ — The UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance student organization, The Playmakers, present a 30-minute journey — part haunted house, part classic theatre — to the darkest corners of Shakespeare’s mind 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, and Monday through Friday, Oct. 30-Nov. 3; and 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Fox Fine Arts Studio Theatre. Tickets are $14 ($12 for UTEP faculty, staff and alumni with card; military and non-UTEP students; $9 UTEP students). Some shows are sold out. Information: 747-5118, theatredance.utep.edu or on Facebook.
Murder, witchcraft, and poetry blend into a ghoulish mix as guests walk from one macabre chamber to the next. Proceeds benefit the student scholarship fund.
‘Jugface’ — The Border Theater presentation is 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 3-5, at Glasbox, 201 Poplar. Door open at 7:30 p.m. Ticket information: 412-5283 or bordertheatre.org.
‘Rumors’ — El Paso Community College Theater Ensemble opens its fall season with the Neil Simon comedy Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 3-5 at EPCC Transmountain Campus Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North. Directed by Matthew Smith. Show time is 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $15 ($10 non-EPCC students and military; $7 EPCC students and staff, and seniors); available at the door. Box office opens two hours prior to each performance.
“Rumors” is about a couple hosting a celebration, but when guests arrive the wife is missing and the husband has shot his ear. Nobody knows what truly happened and in the end all the guests are complicit in a cover-up.
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ — Sun City Musical Theatre, 3733 Shell Suite C, presents the Richard O’Brien musical Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 3-4. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. plus special interactive midnight shows Saturdays. Tickets: $15; $12 students and military; $10 age 12 and younger (parental advisory strongly recommended; adult content). Audience participation bags: $5. Information: suncitymusicaltheatre.com or on Facebook.
The outrageous musical comedy features a Transylvanian transvestite, a cryogenically preserved motorbiker and Frankenstein’s monster in Greek god form. This sexual parody of horror and science fiction films premiered onstage in London in 1973, becoming the popular cult classic film in 1975.
Shakespeare Festival — Shakespeare on the Rocks presents “Antony & Cleopatra” Oct. 28-29 in the first of three weekend shows of its annual festival Oct. 28-Nov. 12 at the Chamizal National Memorial, 800 S. San Marcial. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $10 ($8 for full-time students with valid id, seniors 65 and older, active military; $6 group rate,10 or more. Information: 474-4275,firstname.lastname@example.org, shakespeareontherocks.com or on Facebook.
• Nov. 4-5: Much Ado About Nothing
• Nov. 11-12: Richard III.
Hector Serrano created the original festival at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater in 1981. In 2010 the Festival moved to the Chamizal National Memorial, its current home. The Festival is produced by Eden Enterprises in cooperation with the National Park Service and the El Paso Community College.
‘The Addams Family’ — UTEP Dinner Theatre, in the UTEP Student Union West building, opens its season with the ooky spooky musical for all ages through Nov. 12. Dinner shows are at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; non-dinner matinees are Sunday 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. Tickets: $33.50 to $43.50 Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday discount dinner performances; $36.50 to $48.50 (Friday and Saturday dinner performances), and $19.50 to $29.50 no-dinner matinee performances (Ticketmaster). Information: 747-6060 or utep.edu/udt.
Everybody’s favorite weird and wonderful family comes to devilishly delightful life in this magnificently macabre new musical comedy. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family (a man her parents have never met) and if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
‘Boeing Boeing’ — El Paso High School’s Tiger Theatre Troupe presents the play by Marc Camoletti at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 2-4, at El Paso High School Auditorium, 800 E. Schuster. Admission: $6 ($4 students). Information: 236-2500 or msmossephs.weebly.com.
This 1960s French farce adapted for the English-speaking stage features self-styled Parisian lothario Bernard, who has Italian, German, and American fiancées, each a beautiful airline hostess with frequent “layovers.” He keeps “one up, one down, and one pending” until unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris, and Bernard’s apartment, at the same time.
‘Dolores’ — Kids-N-Co. presents the bilingual original play by Lluvia Almanza & Orlando Rodriguez at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 5, at First Presbyterian Church, 1340 Murchison. Directed by Eurydice Saucedo. Tickets: $7 ($5 children, students, senior citizens, military), available at the door. Information: 274-8797 or on Facebook at El Paso Kids-n-Co.
Jose Luis is a young boy who lost his sister, Dolores, at a very young age. Although he has had the support of his parents, he has not really been able to cope with losing someone he loved so much. As his family prepares to honor her on Día de los Muertos, he bumps into an old friend, Juan. The thing is, Juan has been dead for quite some time now. With the help of Juan, Jose Luis embarks on an adventure to be able to see his sister again, but soon realizes that the world of the living and the world of the dead cannot exist together.
‘Frankenstein’ — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, presents Mary Shelly’s classic through Nov. 5. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Directed by Becky Condra. Tickets: $11 ($9 seniors; $8 students and military). Information: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
Set in 19th-century Switzerland, this classic tale of horror and suspense details the ill-fated experiments of Dr. Frankenstein as he attempts to fathom the secrets of life and death.
Veterans Day Improv Show — Jesters League of America, hosts its improv show 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Glasbox, 210 Poplar. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Mature content. Admission: $5 in advance; $6 at the door; free for veterans and active duty military with ID, BYOB. Information: 261-4060, email@example.com or on Facebook.
The Jesters League of America is a group of improv comedians who perform live, unscripted comedy throughout El Paso.
‘Telling El Paso — Our Veterans. Their Stories’ — El Paso Community Foundation’s Jewel Box Series presents a look at war through the eyes of veterans at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Philanthropy Theatre (next to the Plaza Theatre). Tickets: $16 (Ticketmaster). Information: 533-4020 or epcf.org.
Six local military veterans from different conflicts tell their stories, in their own words, in this revival of a production staged in 2016 by Eden Enterprises and KCOS TV as part of the national Telling Project.
‘Frontera’ — The premier of Artist Incubator Program-winning actor and director Joy Vilá’s new creation is 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at Union Cinema theater in UTEP, 500 W. University, Union Building East, as part of UTEP International Culture Festival. Admission is free. Information: jazzvila.com or jazzvilaprojects.com
The play, inspired by the El Paso/Juárez border, recreates the forbidden love between the young Romeo Smith and the beautiful Julieta Zapata through a parallel story between reality and what happens in a radial station. With comedy touches, “Frontera” is designed to capture the attention of the young audience.
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ — American Southwest Theatre Company presents the holiday play based on the Frank Capra classic Nov. 17-Dec. 2 at NMSU’s Center for the Arts, Las Cruces. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $17. Information: (575) 646-4515 or nmsutheatre.com.
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ — Kids-N-Co. presents the holiday show Nov. 24-Dec. 10, at First Presbyterian Church, 1340 Murchison, directed by Arazelia “Sally” Perez, with musical direction by A.J. Kumar. Tickets: $7 ($5 children, students, senior citizens, military), available at the door. Show times and other information: 274-8797 or on Facebook at El Paso Kids-n-Co.
‘Crimes of the Heart’ — No Strings Theatre Company presents the Beth Henley play, winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, Nov. 24-Dec. 10 at Black Box Theatre in Las Cruces. Directed by Nikka Ziemer. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2; and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Tickets: $15 ($12 students and seniors over 65; $10 all seats Thursday. Reservations: (575) 523-1223.
Set in a small town in Mississippi, in 1978,the play focuses on the life of three sisters who face crisis after crisis separately and together.
‘A Christmas Story’ — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, presents the comedy by Philip Grecian. Dec. 1-10. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $11 ($9 seniors; $8 students and military). Information: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
A young boy named Ralphie Parker only wants one thing of Christmas: a Red Ryder BB gun. It’s not sure he will ever make it to Christmas, between his brother Randy and the school bully, Scut Farkus.
‘Annie’ — Las Cruces Community Theatre, 313 N. Main in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall, presents the beloved musical Dec. 1-17. The story of the lovable orphan is by Thomas Meehan, with music by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. Directed by Janet Beatty-Payne, with musical direction by Meagan Higgins. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $15 ($12 student, senior, military; $10 age 12 and younger). Information: (575) 523-1200 or lcctnm.org.
El Paso Playhouse auditions — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, hosts these auditions for upcoming shows. Information, audition times: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
• Dec. 17-18: ‘On Golden Pond’ by Ernest Thompson. Show dates are Feb. 9-March 4.
Sun City offers ‘Rocky Horror’ as musical treat
Those with a penchant for dressing up this time of year might find Sun City Musical Theatre’s offering of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” a fun way to enjoy the scary season of late October and early November.
“We decided that although we cater to family-friendly entertainment, we could really pull this show off and do it justice with the rock-solid cast. We wanted to do something Halloween-themed without it being too heavy or scary, and this just seemed to line up perfectly with the amount of rehearsal time we had,” said director Courtney Curtis, whose film and TV credits include “Hawaii 5-0,” “Godzilla,” and “The Last Resort.”
She is particularly excited about the new male talent in the show.
“We have Eddy Frayre as the lovely Frank-N-Furter. You may have seen him downtown performing as the beautiful Kitana. Another new face would be Javi Ochoa as Rocky, Francisco Carrion as Eddie and Dr. Scott, and stage veteran David Herring as Brad Majors.” Lead females include Emily Clark as Janet, Ana Grajeda as Columbia, and herself as Magenta.
“Rocky Horror” the musical is mostly known from the 1975 movie made from it, which starred Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick.
“The show is about two young adults who are very innocent and naïve in the beginning of the show,” said Curtis, a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. “They seem to get a flat tire and have to turn to a castle in hopes for help. Once they get to the castle though, things go incredibly sideways for them. It is easiest to describe being like something out of the ‘Twilight Zone.’ The two are definitely never the same again. If you haven’t seen the show, I will leave it at that. If you have seen the movie, well, you know what is in store for them.”
Curtis encourages the audience to come dressed as the characters in the show, just as the movie’s fans often do at screenings. They will even provide some of the requisite items to throw, like toast, toilet paper and rice.
“Definitely we want audience participation at every show,” Curtis said. “We are even making a bag of all the fun stuff available to purchase for $5 so everyone has a chance to be involved.”
One challenge of the show, Curtis said, was the music.
“The written vocal part for all of the phantoms and backup singers is more challenging than the movie, and so that was an early on struggle.”
The other was fitting sets in their small space.
“We tore down what we had, and we revamped the panels and added double doors and have rolling pieces. Let’s just say the audience will hopefully be in awe of how we fit everything in our smaller space.”
Curtis also is proud of how far the new theater group has come in one short year.
“We feel we are finally getting some word of mouth and good buzz, and people are finally finding out about us. We have been overwhelmed with support so far this season and can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Upcoming shows planned are an original story, “Believe” about finding the meaning of Christmas and set to traditional Christmas music. In the new year comes “The Wizard of Oz.”
Carol Viescas is a veteran of
community theater and teaches
journalism at Bel Air High School.
Sun City Musical Theatre, 3733 Shell Suite C, presents “The Rocky Horror Show” Oct. 27- Nov. 4. Information: suncitymusicaltheatre.com. See “On Stage” for details.
Feature storyCopyright 2017 by Cristo Rey Communications.
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