Legends: Arden Playhouse Stages Kirkwood's Classic Comedy
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The last date listed for Legends was Saturday June 16, 2012 / 8:00pm.
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Remember the Cosby Show when Cliff took Rudy and her friends to the vaudeville theater and they ended up being the only patrons? The audience went on to have a great time. I had a similar experience attending "Legends" at the Arden Playhouse where there were as many people in the audience as there were on stage. The company took a charming script, constructed a sweet little world for the characters to inhabit, and the actors brought the book to life.
The story was a loosely-based riff on the rivalry between Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds. The audience finds the characters in their "golden years," not necessarily the best time for an out-of-work actor-- yet a time ripe for dramatic conflict.
The lead actors were charming and witty in their SPIRITED debates over whether or not to appear in a fledgling, off-broadway play being mounted by a sheisty producer. The players brought high energy and playfulness to the production. My one criticism is there was some unevenness between the players in terms of professionalism and preparedness-- a supporting actress appeared to struggle on more than one occassion to remember her lines-- but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the unfolding of the story. As a community theater, you don't go with the expectation that the production value (elaborate sets, exquisite costumes, etc.) will rival professional companies like STC & the B Street. That said, Arden's productions have had critical acclaim.
It was good to stroll through the lobby looking at the playbills and news clips from the past 10+ years. I really would have liked to see more people in the audience. Where are all of the American River College students? This theater is right in the vicinity and would make for a more interesting date than a movie. In addition to a good evening out for a couple, this would also make a good family night out. What better way to turn your offspring into budding culture-vultures than to break them in with comedic productions?
I would go again and recommend it to others. I want to see their next production of a Moliere farce the artistic director told the audience about. Physical comedy with, literal, slapsticks? I am there!
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This was our firsdt visit to this theater. We were impressed with its cleanliness and comfort (better that B-Street theater). The actors and sets were excellent. The play itself was good, but was dragged out a little too much at times...still we...continued