Friday, November 9, 2007

Now closing: Coolers screw Rabbit

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2007 at 10:28 PM

Last night I saw Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s Season’s Greetings and thoroughly enjoyed it (my review will go online on Wednesday afternoon). Ironically, possibly the season’s best Christmas play will close on Nov. 25. More pressingly, Saturday the 10th marks the final performances of OnStage Atlanta’s The Turn of the Screw, a two-character adaptation of the Henry James work, played by Barbara Cole Uterhardt and John Markowski. I regret that I haven’t seen it, because I’ve seen the Actor’s Express production of several years ago, and Barbara Cole Uterhardt

click to enlarge rabbit.jpg
could act the hell out of the material.

I have seen the drama Rabbit Hole at Theatre in the Square and The Water Coolers: An Office Musical at Horizon Theatre, both closing Sunday, and you could find two more dissimilar shows. Incidentally, the websites for both theaters have online clips as “trailers” for sample viewing. Horizon offers "The Great Pretender" number with Brandon O'Dell, while Theatre in the Square presents two scenes and a short interview with Rabbit Hole’s cast. I suspect such clips will become common practice for 21st-century theaters. At Dad’s Garage Top Shelf Theatre, two shows earlier this year featured numbers that would be perfect YouTube clips: an “unplugged” performance of Styx’s “Mr. Roboto” at The History of Rock n’ Roll and a musical number to Manfred Mann’s “Blinded by the Light,” with the cast choreographed on rolling chairs that stood in for automobiles.

click to enlarge coolers.jpg

The Water Coolers and Rabbit Hole clips prove that online theatrical samples remain an inexact science. They can't be easy: Someone with a digital camera has to record a performance directed for a full stage, and capture it so it’ll look and sound good on a miniature screen that's smaller than a postcard. Nevertheless, an imperfect sample is better than none.

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