'Mama', '13 Days' offer provoking entertainment

By Leigh E. Rich
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 16, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat


The Arizona Repertory Theatre's production of John Van Druten's "I Remember Mama" wraps up its run this weekend at the Marroney Theatre. Set in the early 1900s in San Francisco, "I Remember Mama" is a heartfelt story about a Norwegian family working to achieve the "American Dream" by means of those proverbial bootstraps. Mama (played by Marisa J. Ross), her husband (Perry Crafton) and Uncle Chris (Kirby Wahl) struggle to raise their children with family values and a strong work ethic, so they may indulge in a more prosperous life than their parents.

While the well known "American Dream" is somewhat tainted today (this generation is likely to be the first which won't surpass the previous one either financially or academically), the beginning of this century held much promise for many newcomers from across the great waters. Mama, through her feminine disposition and proficient accounting capabilities, manages to grab hold of the golden ring and see her daughter Katrin succeed as a writer.

"I Remember Mama" is told in retrospect, the reminiscence of Katrin (portrayed by Kim Carkhuff). This is perhaps Van Druten's ploy to demonstrate that, as humans, we often come to possess true understanding and appreciation only through distance and time.

The Arizona Repertory Theatre consistently reaffirms the talent and dedication which thrives at the University of Arizona - so don't miss this ART production as it wraps up its 1995-96 season. Based on a famous story by Kathryn Forbes ("Mama's Bank Account"), "I Remember Mama" is a bittersweet and sentimental exploration of times that exist only in a remnant part of the mind.

Performances continue through the weekend at the Marroney Theatre (located in the UA Fine Arts Complex). Starting times are at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices range from $8 to $14, and may be purchased through the UA Fine Arts Box Office at 621-1162.

The Gaslight Theatre (7010 E. Broadway Blvd.), founded by a UA graduate, offers melodramatic Victorian-style entertainment through June 1 in "Fortune Rides the Waves." Known for its off-the-cuff and, at times, saccharine humor, the Gaslight provides entertainment for the young, the old and the perpetually childlike.

"Fortune Rides the Waves" is a classic melodrama written by Dion Boucicault and directed by Carol Calkins. It is a story replete with the virtuous and the chilvalric who struggle through waves of forgery, treachery and greed (supplied, of course, by the insanely sinister characters) on a deserted island.

Gaslight tickets always go quickly, so make reservations as early as possible by calling 886-9428. Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for students, active military, and seniors, and $6 for children under 12.

Borderlands Theatre, Pima Community College Drama Department and the San Francisco Mime Troupe present "13 Days/13 Dias: The Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas," written by John Holden, Paula Luella, Daniel Nugent and Eva Kessler, at the PCC West Campus (2202 W. Anklam Road). The play opens Friday at 8 p.m., followed by an opening night reception. The show runs through April 20, and ticket prices range from $10 general admission to $6 for students with a valid ID. Call 882-7406 for reservations.