MORNINGS AT SEVEN
There is certainly a lot of competition for your entertainment dollar in Tucson on the weekend. However, one new entrant in this crowded field certainly deserves your attention and that is Mornings At Seven at The Community Playhouse.
It used to be said that in almost any endeavor amateur was something to be avoided in favor of professional. But then we remember what the quadrennial Olympics is all about, where professionals are barred, and the drama of performance is all given over to those who do what they do not because they are paid to, but because they love what they are doing and do it very well. In fact, as we all know, they are often the very best in the world. And so it is with amateur theater sometimes, another name for which is community theater.
Certainly the new Community Players production of Paul Osbornes Pulitzer Prize-winning play Mornings at Seven fits into this category. It is world class fun and the performances are second to none.
Let me first say that this play was written in the 1940s and while there are a few noticeable anachronisms, like one of the characters decrying the invention of the telephone, most of the subject matter is highly relevant to today, and if you are tired of superficial shows about nothing or gratuitous violence, entirely welcome. How is that? Well, the play, which is a strange, delightful mix of profundity and light-heartedness, deals primarily with difficult, universal questions of family relations and human destiny which are not confined to any one particular era. Probably they are timeless and could just as easily have been written about in ancient Greece times as well as in modern ones. Often they were.
The action takes place, and a fast-paced action it is, in a backyard, which is an inexplicably underutilized and thoroughly under-appreciated venue for theatrical drama given the amount of things that actually take place there in real life. Actually, it takes place in two adjoining backyards which belong to two sisters who are both married and living in a Midwestern town where traditional values of honesty, fairplay, hardwork, and parsimony hold forth, where rose trellises are grown, proper bathrooms are maintained, meals are served on time, there is just one afternoon train out of town, and where people feel it necessary to apologize for getting up anytime after seven in the morning. It starts when Homer brings his girlfriend Myrtle home to meet his mother (yes, the play has its fair share of almost exotic-sounding Midwestern names, too). Unfortunately his father Carl is having an identity crisis at the time and goes off before he can properly meet Myrtle and becomes a missing person, thereby provoking a family crisis. It turns out Carl has been recently obsessed with a metaphysical moment in his life called The Fork, somewhere in his past where he worries he left the path he should have been on in life and took a wrong turn. This is the proverbial fork in the road that we are all familiar with and the existential question of what choice to make when we are confronted with one challenges us all (stay with a secure, but mediocre, job or try to find an uncertain new one, etc.). But is it fate or our own choice which determines where we end up in life? One of the other characters in the play feels that she, too, has made a bad choice and as a result of what she comes to discover in the play decides that all the intervening years that happened until she makes a change were wasted and just might not have been worth living at all. Through her discovery, and others, this play drives home the message that life is not a dress rehearsal and that we had better pay close attention to the choices we are given and make the right ones because they can either give our lives meaning or take it away, depending on what path we choose.
The plot takes many twists and turns and is full of surprises. The scenery and lighting are good, the staging leaves nothing to be desired, and the characters are believable, due in no small part to excellent type casting. To top it all off the Community Playhouse is a wonderfully intimate venue with plenty of opportunity to see every last detail of the evocative expressions on the actors faces and to hear their rich voices with all their subtle and suggestive intonations clearly. This is a lovely little gem. There are only six performances left though, and seating is limited so be sure to make your reservations early. You wouldnt want to be turned away at the door and miss this one! It is playing now through March 26. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and there is a matinee on Sunday at 2 pm. The Community Playhouse is located at 1881 North Oracle Road, just above Speedway. Their telephone number is 887-6239. (The Playhouse is a 501(c)3 organization but does charge a small admission of $12.)
Mornings at Seven
Written by Paul Osbourne
Directed by Vincent Flynn
Arronetta Arry Gibbs............Joanne Anderson
Cora Swanson............Sydney Flynn
Theodore Thor Swanson...........Scott Berg
Ida Bolton...................Bobbi Whitsun
Carl Bolton.............David Youngerman
Homer Bolton................Craig Ludwiczak
Myrtle Brown......................Jennifer Muskat
Esther Esty Crampton..............Elin Brown
David Crampton.....................Dan Reichel
Stage Manager...................Paul Brunelle
Stage Manager...................Barb Tobiasson
Lights, Sound......................Paul Brunelle
Set Design...........................Scott Berg
Set Design and Construction........Scott Berg, Bobbi Whitsun, Eric Everts
Social Media Coordinator........Mary Anne Fout
Show Poster.........................Sydney Flynn
I got so much help and inspiration from the Tucson Inventor Group!
It was a breath of fresh air to talk with other intellectuals! Most of the members are experts in their field, so it was nice to get free feedback on my product idea! Everyone is so supportive!
I left the meeting all fired up to move my idea forward!
I will definitely be there "first Thursday" each month!
I attend Executive Toastmastersummary and really enjoy the members, leadership, learning new skills and hearing great speeches
The Oracle area, 35 miles north of downtown Tucson, has a very rich southwestern history, including mining, tuberculosis sanitarium, late 19th century African-American entrepreneurs, Buffalo Bill Cody, early Hollywood film setting, possibly the earliest dude ranch, spectacular location and weather, and currently a great place to retire and the home to Biosphere 2. Checkout the OHS site here: http://www.oraclehistoricalsociety.org/ the OHS Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/8790835521… the Biosphere 2 here: http://biosphere2.org/ and El Rancho Robles here: http://elranchorobles.com/
Thank you for writing about this. I've lived in Tucson for 5 years but I've never heard of the 211 service.
Great fun meeting in the beautiful park right next to the tennis courts and parking lot in the shade. Bathrooms nearby. Fun group of folks. Bring a chair and water. Your drum or noise maker.
No experience necessary.
Fun to play with nice people - beginners to old hand drummers.
Stop by and pick up a noise maker and join in.
non phony, not sugary or sacchiriny, just real...religious ordeals always make me uncomfortable, and this felt so friendly and really open and cool...I recommend this to everyone who is searching...
The Mission Garden is fabulous. Check it out!
Winter hours (December through March) are 12 pm to 4 pm on Saturdays; summer hours (April through November) are 8 am to 12 pm on Saturdays.
And Himmel Park.
Definitely something everyone should see... I loved it and plan to return again on Holloween. I give it five stars.
This event is awesome and without peer in Tucson. The food you eat is like what your grandma would make (if you had a Thai grandma). The first time we went, I was a little nervous, as I had never been in a Buddhist temple before; but, it's been smooth sailing ever since. Recommend you wear sandals with no socks, as you must remove your shoes before entering. If you end up eating in the rear garden, you won't want socks on (it's soft sand). If you eat in the temple, you must be shoeless also. Try this once, you will hooked. Best kept 'secret' in Tucson.
Great service to the public! Learn about participating in clinical research while you are there!
What a fun way to spend an evening for a special outing! Tucson has so many hidden treasures and this is one of them. The show has huge entertainment value; bringing smart laughs, intriguing dance and of course MAGIC! Roland and Susan have fantastic chemistry and they demand your attention for the entire performance.
The small venue makes you feel like you are a part of the performance even if you are not chosen to be an audience participant for one of the many illusions presented throughout the night. We will go back again, and have not stopped telling our friends.
My Husband, Daughter and I LOVE LOVE LOVE magic, and have had no more magical and heartwarming experience than when spending our evenings with the lovely Roland and Susan who truly embody the whimsical "Carnival of Illusion"! It feels as though you've entered a mansion filled with curious family and friends, only to be captivated and mystified by two charming souls who leave you with the feeling that you've just witnessed magical illusions performed by 2 old friends who spent years abroad, telling colorful stories about their intruiges, just before dazzling everyone with spectacular yet intimate magic that leaves everyone equal parts amazed, dazzled, mystified, and somehow, laughing all together as though we'd all gathered for a Holiday dinner followed by magic in the parlor hidden away from everyone but us. It's our 2nd happy year, and sure to be our Annual Magic Pilgrimage every Autumn! Please note, this is such a special experience, and it's so vital for the pleasure of the entire audience that only children who can sit quietly, patiently, and can appreciate the stories & magic of this performance should consider attending. There are very real moments when it's essential for the audience to "hear a pin drop", and interact with our magicians appropriately, that I would caution families to consider everyone's experience before considering attending with children. Thank you Roland and Susan for finally selling your fabulous card boxes, and most of all, your SHOT GLASSES! We ran right home and filled our glass with little glass beads & baubles, and proudly display our whimsical glass for all of our guests to see! Can't wait to see you again next year, dying to hear another intruiging story of a distant land where you've brought back to us yet more fabulous parlor magic! Everyone must try this very special experience, and make Carnival of Illusion your yearly pigrimage to Magic Mecca! Niki, Charlie and Athena
A delightful evening! Grins on every face in the audience. A unique experience and such a pleasure to watch two charismatic performers who so obviously love what they're doing! My 9 year old son, who sometimes exhibits a teen-ager's cynicism, was fascinated! The look of wonder and excitement on his face throughout the show was priceless. The two stars were very gracious, greeting the guests afterwards and staying for pictures. They were also very attentive and patient with my son, answering his questions and encouraging his curiosity. They could not have been more kind! I would highly recommend this magical evening to young, old, and everyone in between!
This is awesome!!! Totally worth every dollar spent! I would definitly go see it again.
Awesome Show! This beats a movie and dinner. This live show is sure to please!
I went a couple of days ago and loved it !! I'm looking for a place to tent camp for a week or so close to Torts. Anyone with ideas e-mail me !
Saw the Carnival of Illusion at Westin La Paloma. Way cool and lots of fun...GO!
I think the person is right about Alexis Faust. But is Alexis Faust reading this? If not then it's pointless.
Maybe someone should post about links to where we can make a difference?
Btw what would searching personals on CL make any difference to this issue?
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