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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Theatre Review by Kate Barry: Ten-Tucky Festival




There seems to be a new short play festival in town. The Bard’s Town is currently producing an evening of new works created by playwrights, directors and actors from the Bluegrass state cleverly titled The Ten-Tucky Festival. Within the festival are eight ten minute plays that cover themes from Girl Scout cookies to internet elections to biblical marriage counseling; all guarantee a night of unique performances.

Doug Schuttee is emcee for the
Ten-Tucky Festival at The Bard's Town,
continuing through Saturday.
As host, Doug Schutte provides comedic material as he introduces the show, humorously distracts from scene changes and concludes the evening with one of his own scripts. Schutte is co-owner and co-founder of The Bard’s Town so it’s only natural that he should play emcee. Starting the evening is Brian Walker’s Neighborly Do’s and Don’ts. A zany B-movie spin on life in the suburbs in which a housewife (Becky LeCron) has taken her hopelessly addicted neighbor (Tad Chitwood) hostage because of stolen Girl Scout Cookies. LeCron and Chitwood play off of each other well throughout their hilarious bouts of hysteria and paranoia. In Over by Alex Lee Morse, Ryan Watson and Megan Brown are childhood sweethearts in the throes of heartache.

The Intruder by Tom Kerrigan barely hits the mark with a slightly familiar situation comedy storyline. With a script that was wacky and silly concerning neighbors making themselves at home where they aren’t wanted, the antics on stage could’ve been just as over the top. Wedding for Godot places a masterpiece by Samuel Beckett in a modern day synagogue as a bride waits for her groom. As Beckett’s fools, Andy Epstein and Michael Roberts are existential, curious yet apprehensive and always tediously concise. As the bride’s father, Craig Nolan Highley represents all of us who have read Waiting for Godot only to be frustrated by Didi and Gogo’s incessant gibberish.

The second act opens with The Internet President by Patrick Wensink, a satire about internet social media and its involvement with politics. Kimby Peterson plays Sandra Warnock who is anti-internet, pro-spam and believes “kids need kitty cat blogs.” Her opponent is OW Mayo (Ryan Watson). His platform is not just pro-internet but a particularly arousing form of media involving lawn mowers. 

Conspiracy theories are thrown around in another short about a wedding called Disappearances, or the Groom’s Shoes by Nadeem Zaman. Natalie Combs plays a bride who finds her own inner strength and independence from a dysfunctional relationship after her fiancĂ© vanishes. Encounter at the Ink Spot by Nancy Gall-Clayton moves the action from the stage to the middle of the house. Nadeem Zaman is a writer looking for a muse and Jennifer Levine is the bartender who inspires him. Clever nods toward local writers within the piece added to the charm to this play as well as the festival. In Love Religiously, we see Adam and Eve (Doug Schutte and Megan Brown) in marriage counseling. Absolutely silly, this play takes one of Hades’ ferrymen and turns him into their counselor, Jesus (Ryan Watson) is a loopy, groovy dude and the serpent is a rambunctious cartoon. Indeed, this piece was a fun conclusion to the festival.

For its first festival, The Bard’s Town has put together an eclectic variety of short plays that is sure to please. As this is its inaugural season, The Bard’s Town Theater shows grand promise of great things to come.

The Ten-Tucky Festival continues through August 27 at The Bards Town, 1801 Bardstown Road. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information call 502.749.5275 or go to www.theBardstownTheatre.org

Entire contents are copyright © 2011 Kate Barry. All rights reserved

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