By Jamie Folsom
Like any good appetizer tray, OpenStage Theatre’s 37th season opener — “SceneWorks” — gives you a quick fix for your hunger and primes you for the main course. Fourteen vignettes, from classic scenes to actor-created pieces, fill the evening with laughter, cringes, bewilderment and most of all, spontaneity.
“Sceneworks” gives theatergoers the chance to preview the talent and creativity that will go into OpenStage’s season. It gives the actors the chance to perform characters or scenes they have never been able to, and in most cases, will never get to perform. And they really have fun with it — what is it like to be a superhero with lame powers? How crazy are Southern families? What is the importance of being earnest? If you could sing any duet from any Broadway musical, what would it be? These actors know, and by the end of the evening, the audience should know who to look for in upcoming productions.
The performances have a definite behind-the-scenes feel to them, with sharp and quirky narration provided by OpenStage co-founder Denise Freestone as the stage manager. It is a fast-paced two-hours-plus well spent. There is plenty of dark humor, poignant personal moments, sweet nostalgia, a bit of music and even a tribute to the bizarre comedy of Lily Tomlin. One note — some scenes do contain adult themes and strong language.
And like the Colorado weather, if you don’t like what you’re getting — wait 10 minutes, it’ll change. I, for one, am looking forward to the season.
Performances: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 11 to 19, with two Sunday matinées at 2 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 20. Lincoln Center Mini Theater, 417 W. Magnolia St. in Fort Collins.
Tickets: $10 or free with any season-ticket purchase. Lincoln Center box office — noon to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays at 970 221-6730. Tickets online at www.LCTIX.com.
<p><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;”>Deb Note-Farwell as Lady Bracknell in a scene from “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, which is part of OpenStage Theatre’s SceneWorks.</span></span></p>