theater calendar

By Leigh E. Rich

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Looking for some distractions from last-minute cramming sessions

and neurotic library scavenger hunts? Well, skip those all-night

pool tournaments at the neighborhood bar and grill and opt for any of the numerous plays in Tucson. Tickets are usually cheaper than an evening of mixed drinks, and you won't wake up with a throbbing head and a lack of initiative to finish the semester.

The University of Arizona Department of Theatre Arts is hosting the 21st annual Arizona College Theatre Festival. Festivities began last night with the UA production of Emily Mann's "Execution of Justice" but six other plays will be presented through Saturday, December 2. Theater programs from across the state are competing for an invitation to the regional festival at Northern Arizona University in February, the winner of which will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in April.

"Rumors" by Neil Simon: Thursday, November 30 at 12 p.m. in the UA Laboratory Theatre; produced by Eastern Arizona College. "Rumors" is knee-deep in the always enjoyable Neil Simon humor, and it combines "Odd Couple" antics with political schemes. Due to a political cover-up, rumors fly about the deputy mayor of New York City as his guests mingle at his wedding anniversary party, and no one can remember who told what to whom. As Sean Connery once said, "You should always tell the truth, because if you tell the truth you make it the other person's problem."

"The Suicide" by Nikolai Erdman: Thursday, November 30 at 8 p.m. in the Marroney Theatre; produced by Pima Community College. A successful Soviet play, "The Suicide" is a satirical comedy about an unemployed man contemplating suicide. His contemporaries, instead of talking him out of it, try to persuade him to turn his suicide into a gesture on their behalf.

"The American Dream" by Edward Albee: Friday, December 1 at 12 p.m. in the Laboratory Theatre; produced by Glendale Community College. Albee, in award winning plays like "A Zoo Story" and "Three Tall Women" among many others, is known for his unsettling realistic humor and creative wit. "The American Dream" explores a traditional evening at home in Albee-style ironic comedy.

"As You Like It" by William Shakespeare: Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. in the Morroney Theatre; produced by Scottsdale Community College. "As You Like It" is a comedy set in the Forest of Arden and is saturated with all of the Shakespearean tools for romance and magic comedic rivalries, mistaken identities, and laughable characters (most notably the fool, Touchstone). It is a story about Orlando, a youth in love with Rosalind, the daughter of the banished Duke Senior. Orlando meets a boy in the forest (a playfully disguised Rosalind herself), who teaches him the ins and outs of wooing his beloved. "As You Like It" presents the comedic rivalries between court and country, nature and fortune, youth and age, and realism and romanticism.

"Stages" by Tania Katan: Saturday, December 2 at 12 p.m. in the Morroney Theatre; a student original short play produced by Arizona State University. Katan explores the aftermath of breast cancer as her character Lisa, a twenty-two year old, finds a lump during a routine breast examination. "Stages" takes the perspective of cancer patients and survivors in a society permeated with ideas about the disease. The play contains adult language and situations.

"Angel Seed" by David Veigh: Saturday, December 2 at 8 p.m. in the Morroney Theatre; a student original short play produced by Arizona State University. Set in a motel in the middle of nowhere, two young drifters, Ry and Kid, attempt to sober up. Problems arise when one wants to travel a different path than the other. Pregnant, Kid begs Ry to pause from their flight to come clean. "Angel Seed" contains adult language and situations.

Single tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students and faculty. Festival series ticket packages are $35 for the general public and $21 for students and faculty. Both are available at the UA Fine Arts Box Office. For Tickets and more information, call 621-1162.

The Arizona Theatre Company continues it season with "Little Shop of Horrors," which is a musical comedy based on the film by Roger Corman. One of Off-Broadway's longest running musicals, "Little Shop of Horrors" runs through December 16 at the Temple of Music and Art (330 S. Scott Avenue). For general information or information regarding post-performance discussions, call 884-8210. For tickets, call 622-2823.

The southwest premiere of "Me and Jezebel" by Elizabeth L. Fuller has been extended at the Invisible Theatre, located at 1400 N. First Avenue. The play revolves around the true-life story of Bette Davis' month-long stay with a Connecticut family. The show runs through Saturday, December 9; tickets are $12 to $14 dollars and can be purchased by calling 882-9721.

The Coyote Ramblers wrap up their inaugural production of "Modigliani" with performances Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. at the a.k.a. Theatre (125 E. Congress Street). Director Ken Tesoriere brings flesh-and-blood vitality to Dennis McIntyre's play about the tormented life of Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani in 1916 Paris. Tickets are $10; part of the proceeds benefit the Shanti Foundation. Call 797-7779 for reservations.

The Gaslight Theatre, located at 7010 E. Broadway, continues its run of "The Flight Before Christmas" a story set at the end of World War II, while families waited for their loved ones to return from the battlefields. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday until January 6, and tickets range from $6 to $12.95. For more information and ticket reservations, call 882-9721.

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