Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #35

Contents

INDEPENDENT REVIEWERS AWARD N.E.’S TOP TALENT

PLAYWRIGHTS JOURNEY CONTINUES WITH 6 ROUNDS

COMIC CRAWFORD CRACKS UP AT THE COMEDY CON

THE WORLD IS ON TRIAL IN MALI

STONEHAM THEATER STAGES RWANDA’S PAST

SWIMMING AMIDST SHARKS

THERE’S A LOT IN A NAME

UP-COMING EVENTS


INDEPENDENT REVIEWERS AWARD N.E.’S TOP TALENT

by Kay Bourne

The 2007 IRNE Awards – (l to r: A. Robert Phillips, Lisa Simmons, Keith Mascoll, and Kaili Turner

photo by Bob Nesti

97cc0228a57036e0c2d0ac533f51e0b4.124.93 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #35 Once a year the actors, playwrights, scene and costume designers, directors, producers – all the artists who makes theater happen! – gather for a huge party put on by the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) fondly known as the “ernies.”

The 15 reviewers give out awards to the various theater artists they’ve voted on as the best of the year, some 43 acknowledgments in all. The first of the evening was for ‘Best New Play’ In the Large Theater grouping, “Mauritius” by Theresa Rebeck staged by the Huntington Theater Company won, while Jacqui Parker took the honor for her “Dark As A Thousand Midnights” which was the highlight of Our Place Theater’s 2006 African American Theater Festival. A list of all the winners is given at both www.stagesource.org and www.theatermirror.com.

The 10th anniversary of the I.R.N.E. Awards took place Monday night, March 19 in the Cyclorama, the enormous hall at the Boston Center for the Arts, generously provided by Libbie Shufro, President and CEO of the BCA. Her staff, along with the IRNE critics and producer Tony McLean worked long hours to have the night run smoothly. Among the sponsors for the night are Chobee Hoy of Chobee Hoy Associates Real Estate Services in Brookline who has been a key financial angel of the event for the past four years.

“This night and these awards give small theaters the attention they deserve,” noted William Young who won ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for a Small Theater.’ He was in “Five By Tenn” at SpeakEasy. Anthony Chisholm won ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for a Large Theater’ with his role in August Wilson’s “Radio Golf” at the Huntington. Chisholm is currently in rehearsals for the Broadway debut of Wilson‘s final play which is slated to open in New York in April.


PLAYWRIGHTS JOURNEY CONTINUES WITH 6 ROUNDS

by Kay Bourne

(l to r: James Milord John ADEkoje)

d4510bfa36c7cd9536c757e545d1e55f.124.82 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #35 Nigerian American playwright (and indie filmmaker) John ADEkoje has an uncanny grasp of the African American young male sensibility. This insight into the psychic pain these youth are grappling with was amply evidenced by his powerful soliloquy play “Love Jones” about a street kid holed up in an apartment while his enemies circle ever nearer.

He brings this savvy to a more complex story with the emotionally involving Company One production “Six Rounds Six Lessons,” currently at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St. in the South End. The premiere continues through March 31. For more info call the box office at 617-933-8600.

Directed with the panache Lois Roach has taught us to expect from her confident stage craft, the story is a K.O. for her and for the cast. Adekoje, however, should probably rework some of the scenes to make a smoother journey for the theater-goer who sometimes wonders who the central character is.

Even so, Adekoje never fails to let us see beneath the mask Paul Laurence Dunbar so famously described: “We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes — we smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise.”

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