Michael Green’s “The Coarse Acting Show,” onstage now at Theatre in the Park, invites viewers to sit back and watch a collection of four one act plays, all performed by the fictional “South Hampton Institute of Theatre.” The catch is that this theatre troupe isn’t exactly as…gifted…as one would hope. Not only is the acting on-purpose bad, but everything that could possibly go wrong does. An actor cuts himself onstage, lines are flubbed, and cast members fall asleep.
Ira David Wood IV’s direction ensures that the first two “plays” are as funny as can be. He even steps into the performance himself, as a conductor-turned-emergency-actor-replacement. His moments onstage are some of the most entertaining in the production. Fellow actor Kelly McConkey keeps up with the fast-paced comedic timing as she steps in and out of various roles, and hilarity ensures for the first act.
The problem is that, by the second act, the script grows more and more ridiculous. Instead of focusing on issues that actually can plague a badly staged production, the script focuses on doing anything and everything for a laugh, coming across as desperate and tiresome. The large cast does its best to keep up with the script’s frantic pace, but in the end, the show is just too long and too over-the-top to keep an audience’s interest.
Theatre in the Park presents THE COARSE ACTING SHOW at 7:30 p.m. July 17-19, 3 p.m. July 20, 7:30 p.m. July 25 and 26, and 3 p.m. July 27 in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre, 107 Pullen Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
TICKETS: $22 ($16 students, seniors 60+, and active-duty military personnel), except $15 per ticket for groups of 10 or more.
BOX OFFICE: 919-831-6058 or http://www.etix.com/.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-831-6058 or http://www.theatreinthepark.com/group_sales.php.
SHOW: http://theatreinthepark.com/calendar/event/40/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/647295785360655/.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.theatreinthepark.com/, and https://www.facebook.com/theatreintheparkraleigh, and https://twitter.com/TheatreInPark.
NOTE: All shows are wheelchair/walker accessible, and large-print playbills are usually available.
Michael Green (British humorist and playwright): http://www.doollee.com/PlaywrightsG/green-michael-1.html (Doollee.com: The Playwrights Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Green_%28humorist%29 (Wikipedia).
Ira David Wood IV (director): https://www.facebook.com/ira.d.wood (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/IraDavidWoodIV (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_David_Wood_IV (Wikipedia).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.