Monday, December 6, 2010

Reckless: A Demented Holiday Celebration

Victoria Rose Bonito and Eric Longo. Photo:CTC
To say that Rachel's husband Tom ruined Christmas is a bit of an understatement. It was Christmas Eve, and Rachel was bursting with holiday cheer. The next thing she knows, she out in the snow, alone and scared. Tom has told her he's hired a contract killer to take her out that very night, forcing her on a long bizarre journey away from her family and into a strange new life. If you like your comedy dark and your holiday fare unconventional, City Theater Company's "Reckless," directed by George Tietze, is right up your alley.

Jim Burns and Victoria Rose Bonito. Photo: CTC
As Rachel, Victoria Rose Bonito does a flawless job of bringing her character's troubled, over-the-top bubbliness to life. Bonito, making her City Theater Company debut, is the backbone of the show -- I don't recall a minute when she wasn't on stage -- and there was never a dull moment. The rest of the small cast is made up of CTC veterans: Jim Burns and Kerry Kristine McElrone as Lloyd and Pooty, the couple who take Rachel in (and who are not quite what they seem); Maggie Cogswell and Tom Holtsberry in several scene-stealing roles, including a shady office supervisor and a game show host; Michelle Jacob as all six of Rachel's very different therapists over the years; and Eric Longo as Tom and Tom Jr. A solid cast all around.

Jim Burns, Victoria Rose Bonito and Kerry Kristine McElrone. Photo: CTC

The opening night show was a blast, despite some technical difficulties. For the record, I thought the cast doing the music and recorded soundtrack live was terrific -- I didn't guess it was a SNAFU, if anything I thought using live acapella voices for the music was a clever touch.

"Reckless" is playing at The Black Box at OperaDelaware Studios through December 18. For tickets, click here.

Arts Auditions for the New Year

Delaware Valley Chorale
The Delaware Valley Chorale and director David Christopher are calling for singers for their mid-season auditions. Join DVC for a performance of the Brahms Requiem. Audition dates are Saturday, January 8, 1:00 to 3:00pm, Sunday, January 9, 2:00 to 4:00pm, and other times by appointment. To schedule your audition, contact Barbara Kidd at 302.234.4866 or All singers must prepare a solo or an excerpt from a choral piece that demonstrates range and voice quality, and are asked to bring two copies of the audition piece. Singers will also be asked to sight read a simple passage of music (diatonic within a modest range).


City Theater Company
Open call for the 2011 CTC Community Series, featuring the work of playwright Alex Dremann. Auditions will be held for actors ages 18+ on Monday, January 10 and Wednesday, January 12, from 7:00-9:00pm at OperaDelaware Studios, 4 S. Poplar Street in Wilmington. A prepared monologue is preferred but not required; auditions will also consist of cold reading from the scripts.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Newark Holiday Art Markets

Stained glass by Greg Baldwin

On Friday after work, I pulled in to the parking lot near Newark Natural Foods to check out the multiple Christmas art markets on either side of the cooperative.

My first stop was the Newark Arts Alliance. The decorated windows gave a great view of the beautiful and varied items on display: jewelry, weaving, art, ceramics, stained glass, silk clothing and lovely cards. Works by Julie Darrow, Carole Fox, Marian Howard, Karen Hornor, Ingrid Jackoway, Robanne Palmer, Melissa Paquette, Lisa Pilchard, Wendy Shipman, Doortje Shover and Paulette Visceglia are featured in their Holiday Art Market. The site is so small, quiet and full of light which dances through the lovely glass works and shines off the ceramic glazes and luminescent silver jewelry.

Buying a gift from a local artist helps our community thrive economically and -- if you live in the Newark area – this also means you do NOT have to brave the frenzy of I-95 to find something unusual, beautiful and unique. The Newark Arts Alliance will keep this market open until January 2. Not only that, but they are offering free gift wrapping (now that is a deal!) and will have ornament projects for your children to entertain themselves with while you are shopping.

But wait, that was only the first art show in this very spot! Just across the way, Open Studio artists were meeting and greeting visitors to their second annual Christmas art show. It is being held in THE MEADOWS, which is on the west side of Newark Natural Foods. Don’t worry; there are plenty of signs to show you the way.

Greg Baldwin has many varieties of stained glass pieces of all sizes and prices. Ray Briscoe has some humorous woodcarvings of trolls and funny farmers with heads of open pods in the brightest of pea green. Frances Hart has many of her very delicate watercolors of flowers. Susan Schulz’s jewelry is sleek and silvery, with smooth workings to set off delicately polished stones. MCEI’s weaving has intricate detail. She, too, has smaller works like elegant hot pads if your wallet is feeling too puny to buy one of her larger woven pieces. But for me, the highlight of the afternoon was talking to Paula Camenzind as she sipped spiced tea from one of her elegant blue/pink luster cups.

The Open Studio will be open again on Saturday, December 4 from 10 to 5 and Sunday, December 5, from 10 to 5.