Playing this week at the Prescott Center for the Arts’ Small stage, Stage Too, is “Italian American Reconciliation: A Folktale.” Playwright John Patrick Shanley is best known for his Oscar winning Screenplay “Moonstruck.” The PCA production features five seasoned actors in roles they seem to inhabit gracefully.
The narrator is Aldo, played by Rex James. He thinks of himself as the sophisticated man of the world, but as the action unfolds, we come to see that his glib wit hides a somewhat different reality. Aldo’s best friend, from childhood on, is Huey, Amos Owen’[s character. Huey is still emotionally entangled with his ex-wife, Janice (Angela Bryan.) Cheryl Rowland plays Huey’s current girlfriend, Angela and Trudy Forbes is her Aunt May.
The play relates two days in the lives and times of this group. A comic romance, it is set in the early eighties but deals with timeless themes of gender, community, loneliness, and the good and bad influences of family life. Shaniey often includes these in his work, Many people see echoes of “Moonstruck” in this play, which is not surprising since they were written around the same time.
Adult themes and language mean this is probably not a good fit for young kids.
The Stage Too space is perfect for a play like this, since the staging can be very simple—the words are of utmost importance. And since everyone sits within a conversational distance of the actors, you can hear them all. The lighting, music, and costuming are up to the usual high standard of PCA productions.
Director Bruce Lanning clearly “gets” the point, and makes sure the comedy is expressed as well as the more serious ideas.
All tickets for this production are $15.
Performances on these dates start at 7:30 pm: February 8,9,10,15,16,17, 22, 23, 24
These performances begin at 2:00 pm: February 11,18, and 24
About Stage Too:
If you have not been to Stage Too there are a couple of things to consider. One is that it is a quite small space—best try to get there a little early. And two—Where is it? The entrance is in the alley behind the main PCA building. You have to go pretty far down the alley and look for the sign on the wall to your left (or right if you are coming up from Willis .) A bit of an adventure, but worth it.
Video and photo courtesy of Prescott Media Center.