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Games’ plan

Central peninsula performers, musicians offering something for guests, athletes, residents

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2006

 

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  Eve recounts a hike through Eden as Adam tries to ignore her in "Adam and Eve Through the Ages," a series of vignettes about love during different stages of life. Eve is played by Sarah Glaves and Adam is played by Andrew Essex. Photo by John Hult

Eve recounts a hike through Eden as Adam tries to ignore her in "Adam and Eve Through the Ages," a series of vignettes about love during different stages of life. Eve is played by Sarah Glaves and Adam is played by Andrew Essex.

Photo by John Hult

When the Arctic Winter Games finally arrive, a multitude of officially-sanctioned cultural events and presentations will follow.

Arts groups on the Kenai Peninsula are matching the entertainment efforts, too, both before and during the Games. As a result, the next few weeks will be some of the busiest arts events on the peninsula this winter.

‘Adam and Eve Through the Ages’

The Kenai Performers will return to the stage in the Old Town Playhouse this weekend for some love talk.

The idea of “Adam and Eve Through the Ages” is to take a comic look at human romance through two one-act plays and a series of vignettes.

“Adam and Eve,” the show-opening one-act, is based on the Mark Twain’s “The Diaries of Adam and Eve” and follows the world’s first inhabitants as they bicker over animal names, get on each other’s nerves, then finally evolve into lovers.

The musical one-act is the light-hearted beginning to a series of stories that follow love through different stages of life.

There are skits on young love, midlife romance and a skit with an elderly couple before the show winds down with a second one-act called “I’m Herbert.”

The two principal characters of “I’m Herbert” have each been married before, and from this stems much of the humor, according to the show’s director, Carol Ford.

“They keep calling each other by the names of their former spouses,” Ford said.

 

Eve recounts a hike through Eden as Adam tries to ignore her in "Adam and Eve Through the Ages," a series of vignettes about love during different stages of life. Eve is played by Sarah Glaves and Adam is played by Andrew Essex.

Photo by John Hult

Every story, Ford says, is a way to look at what it means to be human. One connecting thread for these stories is the human desire to try and make things orderly, but love and relationships change the rules in sometimes surprising ways.

“It’s kind of our quick, lighthearted, fun look at some of those things, even though some of them are very serious things,” Ford said.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and March 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9, and at 3 p.m. Sunday and March 5.

On March 5, the show will finish in time for attendees to scurry off to the Soldotna Sports Center for the opening ceremonies of the Arctic Winter Games at 6:45 p.m., and the ceremonies will end in time for another Games-inspired event: a dance party with the Tim Sturm Band.

The band, a four-piece acoustic-folk outfit comprised of four area high school students, will play at the Old Town Playhouse, and Ford said she hopes the foursome will attract visitors interested in finding out more about the musical talents in the host society’s area.

Mary Kennedy, who is producing the performances, said she wants athletes and visitors to take the chance to fill their eyes and ears with the sights and sounds of the central peninsula.

“We’re hoping that if people are looking for things to do, this would be a fun way to spend a couple hours,” Kennedy said.

‘Cast-A-Blanca’ and

‘What’s It Worth To Ya?’

The Triumvirate Theater, the central peninsula’s other community theater force, also plans to hit the stage before and during the Arctic Winter Games.

“Cast-A-Blanca,” a spoof of the film “Casablanca,” was initially slated for one dinner show at the Riverside House in Soldotna, but tickets for Saturday’s performance sold out so quickly the company decided to run its Alaska political send-up on Friday, as well.

“Cast-A-Blanca,” written, directed by and starring Triumvirate board member Joe Rizzo, tweaks the “Casablanca” formula with a northern twist.

“Instead of people trying to get out of Casablanca using letters of transit, it’s people trying to get out of Soldotna and they have to have fishing licenses,” Rizzo said.

Instead of an activist on the run from the Nazis, “Cast-A-Blanca” has a state’s rights activist who wants all federal land returned to Alaska. He and his wife could get out of Soldotna and out of the hands of General Strasser — here a federal government agent instead of a Nazi — if Rick would hand over two fishing licenses signed by Gov. Frank Murkowski. Rick doesn’t want to hand them over because the activist’s wife was once Rick’s lover.

“It’s really a vehicle to tell lots of political jokes about the local area,” Rizzo said.

The shows will be followed by an art auction whose proceeds go to benefit Triumvirate’s children’s theater program and drama workshops.

“We’re really doing this show for the home crowd,” Rizzo said.

The Triumvirate has a different show planned for the visitors. “What’s It Worth To Ya?” is a spoof of the PBS show “The Antiques Roadshow,” with a mysterious twist: someone is bringing in phony antiques. A bumbling detective appears to investigate, and chaos ensues.

“It’s kind of got everything from slapstick to highbrow antiques references and everything in between,” said Carla Jenness, the show’s writer and director.

The slapstick comedy ought to play well for an international audience, Jenness said. The show actually grew from slapstick, as Nikiski High School senior J.R. Cox — who plays the detective — is such a natural. Jenness was first impressed by Cox’s comic skills when Cox was a freshman.

“He would always do these marvelous pratfalls, and he just kept us in stitches,” Jenness said. “That’s how it started. We wanted a vehicle for him to be able to showcase his physical comedy.”

The show, like “Adam and Eve Through the Ages” and the Tim Sturm Band’s concert, is advertised on flyers included in the welcome packages given to Games’ athletes as they arrive. Jenness and Rizzo are both teachers at Nikiski High, so they felt it was important not only to showcase area talent for guests, but also to give the kids something to do between events.

“In spite of everything that’s going on, there’s still down time,” Rizzo said. “I can tell you as a teacher that if you’ve got 1,600 kids in a community who need something to do, it’s a good idea to have some venues out there.”



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