In celebration of 25 seasons of producing cutting-edge theater in the Bull City, Manbites Dog Theater will reprise its very first production, Seventy Scenes of Halloween by Jeffrey M. Jones, on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-9, 12-13, and 15. Akiva Fox and Adam Sobsey will co-direct a cast that includes Emily Hill, Carl Martin, Dan VanHoozer, and Amber J. Wood.
On its website, Manbites Dog Theater writes: “Jeff and Joan are just like you: they live in a nice home, they watch their favorite TV shows, they talk about their day. But tonight is Halloween. There are monsters at the door and ghosts in the closet, and Jeff and Joan are running out of Kandy Korn.”
In addition to co-directors Akiva Fox and Adam Sobsey, the Manbites Dog Theater creative team for Seventy Scenes of Halloween includes technical director Jeremy Parker, scenic designer Torry Bend, lighting designer Liz Droessler, costume designer Sarah C. Widgeon, sound designers Adam Sobsey and Shaun M. Jamieson, fight director Jeff A.R. Jones, and stage manager Shaun Jamieson.
In reviewing previous productions of Seventy Scenes of Halloween, Don Shewey of the Soho News wrote, “The play is almost a cartoon, a succession of brief scenes — some Stan Mack-realistic, some perfectly absurd — separated by blackouts. A young, hip suburban couple sits at home on Halloween watching TV, greeting trick-or-treaters, drinking, quarreling, and so on, while two all-purpose alter-egos known as ‘the Witch’ and `the Beast’ make strange appearances…. [T]he play makes for a funny and theatrical evening; it has the something’s-creepy-in-suburbia air of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, and the quick takes and precisely overheard dialogue of David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago….”
David Hawley of the Saint Paul Dispatch called Seventy Scenes of Halloween “an intriguing new play by Jeffrey M Jones that is a semi-random compilation of episodes.” He added, “It is a wonderfully inventive play, very comic and almost silly in its theatricality, but it is also an intensely anguished play about a marriage that is dying of familiarity. This is an autobiographical piece, so terribly personal that it makes the heart ache with sympathy. Jones is writing about his own failed marriage, blending realism with psychological fantasy and a bit of grisly horror….”
SECOND OPINION: Nov. 28th Durham, NC Duke Chronicle preview by Danielle Muoio: http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/manbites-dog-celebrates-25-years-70-short-scenes; Nov. 28th Durham, NC Independent Weekly preview by David Fellerath: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/manbites-dog-celebrates-25-years-with-a-return-to-where-it-started/Content?oid=3201453; and Nov. 22nd Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Cliff Bellamy: http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/20909030/article-‘Seventy-Scenes’–Manbites-Dog-Theater-revisits-production-that-started-it-all-? (Note: You must register to read this article.)
Manbites Dog Theater presents SEVENTY SCENES OF HALLOWEEN at 8:15 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 5, 6, and 8; 3:15 p.m. Dec 9, and 8:15 p.m. Dec. 12-16 at Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.
TICKETS: $12 weeknights and $17 Friday-Sunday, except $5 for students with ID and a $2 discount for seniors 62+ and active-duty military personnel.
BOX OFFICE: 919-682-3343 or http://manbitesdogtheater.tix.com/.
VIDEO PREVIEW (by Jon Haas): http://vimeo.com/52903324.
The Play: http://www.broadwayplaypubl.com/ssh.htm (Broadway Play Publishing).
The Script: http://books.google.com/ (Google Books).
The Playwright: http://www.doollee.com/PlaywrightsJ/jones-jeffrey-m.html (Doollee.com).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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