By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
“Absurd Person Singular”: Playwright Alan Ayckbourn likes his characters to have flaws.
“I rather revel in my character’s defects!” the playwright once said.
His bittersweet farce “Absurd Person Singular” certainly keeps this theme going as the characters display any number of flaws, from atrocious ambition to alcoholism.
“They all have horrendous flaws,” Ayckbourn said in a 1976 interview. “It’s a rather cynical statement, which says that if you’re a person who so lacks imagination, and any feeling for your fellow men, and concentrate purely on the profit motive, then you’ll probably finish up a very rich worldly success, but also be a very awful person.”
But hey, this doesn’t mean the show can’t be funny.
“It’s a fun, crazy and silly evening,” director Dan Jacoby said.
The cast of the Phoenix Theatre is sure to make that happen.
Part of the lineup for this upcoming production includes two veteran comics of the Phoenix stage: Melanie Calderwood and Kayti Barnett.
They are joined by Christian Ver, Susan Connors, Eric Helland and Christopher Shine as three couples whose relationship troubles makes for a superbly funny show that explores behind-the-scenes catastrophes at Christmas parties.
Director Jacoby, who is making his directing debut at the Phoenix, said this is not a straight-up farce but more of a dark comedy that deals with not the greatest or nicest or sweetest people out there.
“But despite this and the problems they are having, they keep going, which when I read the script I thought: That’s today,” Jacoby said.
“Absurd Person Singular” opens at 8 tonight at Phoenix Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave., Edmonds. Shows are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through June 17. Tickets are $18.20 adults, $15.50 seniors and military. Call 206-533-2000 or go to brownpapertickets.com.
“Twelfth Night”: For this “Twelfth Night,” it’s near perfection to have twins play the roles of Viola and Sebastian.
In the Everett Community College’s production, identical twins Samantha and Sarah Lee turn playing those roles into a perfect mind-blower, as it will be quite the challenge to tell them apart.
The Shakespeare comedy of mistaken identity and gender confusion, “Twelfth Night” is about a girl who dons a disguise as a man so she can get close to the count she loves, only to be pursued by the woman he loves.
The cast includes a duke, a countess, a mad man, and drunken rogues, foolish wits and some witty fools, who will take the audience through shipwrecks, sword fights and the depths of true love.
The play is directed by Therese Diekhans. The cast includes: Robert Ireland, Danae Chopelas, Trevor Wood, Xander Seavy, Taya Morgan, Kyle Joy, Marissa Wyll, Nikki Maier, Damita Lott, Toni Williams, Jasmin Williams, Alex Hills, Ashley Reed and Angelique Goldar.
Production staff include Jodee Kreitel, Daniel Rounds and Beth Peterson.
“Twelfth Night” plays at 7:30 p.m. May 31 through June 2, and June 7 through 9 at Everett Community College’s Baker Hall, 2000 Tower St., Everett.
Admission is by donation. The play is open to the public, although theatergoers are asked not to bring infants. For more information, call 425-388-9525.
More of the Bard: The Seattle Shakespeare Co. presents “As You Like It,” a romance set in the woods.
This is the first directing role George Mount has performed since being appointed the company’s artistic director.
“I got really interested in how this play pits nature, and the course of natural processes, against a world that is sort of stuck in a past and out of time,” said Mount in a prepared statement.
“And it’s just such a juicy romance that I thought it was perfect for the spring when our local world is in full bloom.”
Romance goes wild in the woods as nearly everyone finds some, real or comical. Rosalind is banished from the court and enters the forest with her cousin Celia and the fool, Touchstone, and all three run into a merry band of outlaws.
“As You Like It” plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays with selected Saturdays at 2 p.m. and selected Sundays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. from May 30 through June 24 at Center House Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle.
Tickets range from $15 to $40. Call 206-733-8222 or go online at www.seattleshakespeare.org.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; email@example.com.