Thursday, April 04, 2013

Beowulf's 'Almost Maine; sweet as can be

Beowulf's 'Almost Maine; sweet as can be

Kathleen Allen Arizona Daily Star

Whoever said "almost isn't good enough" hasn't seen "Almost, Maine." ...

Director Maria Caprile kept the piece - nine loosely connected vignettes about the people in the fictional town of Almost, Maine - moving at a fast pace and with a clear eye toward telling a series of stories. ...

Clearly, the cast bought into the people and their tales. There was a real sense they liked the folks in Almost. Consequently we do, too.

Read the entire review here: Beowulf's 'Almost Maine; sweet as can be

Beowulf's 'Almost Maine; sweet as can be
China Young is Glory and Patrick Baum, East in Beowulf Alley Theatre's production of "Almost Maine".

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lysistrata Wins!

Lysistrata is a Riot!                              

The reviews are in! Lysistrata is a hit!

For tickets click on Lysistrata and Kalonike at the Tucson Museum of Art

For tickets click on Lysistrata and Kalonike at the Tucson Museum of Art

The ladies of Lysistrata headed to the Tucson Museum of Art last Thursday to open the run of Aristophanes' comedy of war and peace, sex and abstinence (picture). The Company of players was greeted with a standing ovation on Friday night's Beowulf Alley Theatre preview. Our reception Saturday was provided by the good folks at Opa! Greek Cuisine and Fun. It was kind of an awesome weekend. Now Kathy Allen of the Arizona Daily Star and Laura Owen of The Tucson Weekly have raved about us. As Laura Owen's headline points out: Beowulf turns Ancient Greeks' Lysistrata into a delicious-- and relevant --satire. Tickets are going fast! To purchase some for this weekend and the next (March 15-17 and 22-24) click on this picture above! We hope to see you!


Thank you!

For the Tucson Weekly Review click the picture!

For the Tucson Weekly Review click the picture!


Click on Ismenia and Autoclytis to read Kathy Allen's Arizona Daily Star Review


Thursday, March 14, 2013

'Lysistrata' basks in over-the-top silliness

'Lysistrata' basks in over-the-top silliness:

Michael Fenlason is not what he seems.
The artistic director of Beowulf Alley Theatre appears to be quiet, a bit shy, reticent.
Then he goes and writes something like his adaptation of Aristophanes' "Lysistrata" and blows those assumptions right out the stage doors.
Now granted, "Lysistrata" is a comedy. Farcical, even. But we doubt ol' Aristophanes would recognize this irreverent, anachronistic, over-the-top silly rendition of the thousands-year-old play.
But he might get a kick out of it. We sure did.
How could you not? The women decide to withhold sex but continue to tease - the tension will build and the men will agree to end the war is the reasoning.
Director Nicole Scott placed the play in ancient Greece (or maybe Fenlason did that). The women are in flowing togas, but throw them aside to reveal Frederick's of Hollywood-esque undergarments used to make the no-sex rule so much harder on men.
Read the entire review here: 'Lysistrata' basks in over-the-top silliness
'Lysistrata' basks in over-the-top silliness
Lucille Petty and Josh Parra in Beowulf Alley Theatre's adaptation of Aristophanes' "Lysistrata." The over-the-top silly rendition of the thousands-year-old play isn't richly nuanced, but it's plenty naughty ... and nice.
Photo credit: AMBER ROBERTS

Monday, February 25, 2013


By Chuck Graham,


Playwright and TV writer Craig Wright (“Lost,” “Six Feet Under”) almost gets the magic going in his play “The Pavilion,” first produced in 2000 and still popular in America’s regional theaters.
Beowulf Alley Theatre gives its production a good tumble with its three-member cast of Lisa Mae Roether, Michael “Miko” Gifford and Martie van der Voort.
The set-up has Peter (Gifford) a financially successful psychologist meeting up again with less successful Kari (Roether) at their 20-year high school reunion. Once they were the cutest couple in their senior class.
Then Kari became pregnant. Peter dumped her and went off to college. Kari ended her pregnancy, married a local golf pro and has been living her own life of quiet desperation.
Meanwhile the torch for Kari has been smoldering in Peter’s heart, while guilt eats away at his moral fiber in defiance of his professional distance from real life.  Peter also writes folk songs, so…there you go.
Wright the playwright, and onetime Minneapolis ministerial student, is not concerned with whether or not Peter and Kari get back together. The dilemma of that mismatched couple is just the excuse for all of us to consider our place in the universe.
After all, whether you believe in parallel worlds or not, each of us already lives at the center our own personal universe.
Ever wonder what happened to the one who broke your heart and got away? Of course you have. Who hasn’t?
In your own personal universe, you get to decide what happened. Are these imagined events any less real than our memories? Are the kisses in your dreams any less substantial than the remembered kisses in your past?
In “Pavilion” the actor most responsible for stirring these philosophical thoughts is Martie van der Voort in the role of Narrator.  But she also plays about 30 other characters, many of them flashing faces in the crowd at this reunion.
Many familiar to all of us. There’s the quiet girl who always seemed to be watching you from the sidelines; the busybody continually groping for intimate details of other people’s lives. That sort of thing.
As director, Whitney Morton has chosen to deliberately treat all these characters van der Voort plays as a blur of passing ships. The way you’d remember them through a hangover the morning after your 20th anniversary reunion dinner and dance
Without using any props or costume changes, and minimal body language, van der Voort says the lines of each passing personality. Some are only a few words, such as a gasping acknowledgement of some other unseen class member’s story.
Others are a little more developed, but we in the audience are left to sort them out on our own – while also pondering the what-might-have-beens in the unsatisfied longing    of Peter and Kari.
Yes, there is life after high school. Quite a bit of it for most folks. But are there any second chances, as Peter asks Kari?
Of course there aren’t, really. We are all prisoners of our past. Even when we break free, it is the past that determines which direction we’ll run to reach freedom.
So we watch through the second act as Roether and Gifford warm to their task, creating a poignant chemistry between Kari and Peter.
Their acting is terrific, underlining the unkindest truth: if you don’t believe in the future, there’s no place to even have a second chance.
“The Pavilion” continues through March 3 with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, at Beowulf Alley Theatre, 11 S. Sixth Ave.
Tickets are $20, $18 for seniors, military and teachers, $8 for students. For details and reservations, 520-882-0555,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

'Pavilion' a simple, sweet production

by Kathleen Allen Arizona Daily Star

'Pavilion' a simple, sweet production: "the play intrigues as well in this solid production, directed by Whitney Morton.

The story centers on Peter (Michael "Miko" Gifford) and Kari (Lisa Mae Roether). Once dubbed "the cutest couple" in high school, Peter left Kari stranded when he found she was pregnant. Just left town without a word.

That was two decades earlier, and now they meet again at their 20th high school reunion. Peter is contrite and thinks he lost the best thing he ever had. He wants to turn back the clock with Kari."

"Pavilion" is a delicious roller coaster ride of emotions, and a strong tale of forgiveness.

Read the entire review here: 'Pavilion' a simple, sweet production

'Pavilion' a simple, sweet production
Martie Van Der Voort, left, is Narrator, and Michael "Miko" Gifford and Lisa Mae Roether are high school sweethearts at their 20th reunion in Beowulf Alley Theatre's "The Pavilion."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beowulf play puts queen in fictional love triangle

Beowulf play puts queen in fictional love triangle:

Marie Antoinette's life wasn't an easy one. The queen of France was pretty much hated by the French people, had a meddling mother, was often blamed for the French Revolution, and met up with the guillotine in 1793.
Heck, who'd blame her if she became embroiled in a love triangle?
It's a scenario that playwright Joel Gross has imagined in "Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh," which Beowulf Alley Theatre opens Friday.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


By Chuck Graham,

There’s still plenty of meat on the bones of this 1983 play by David Mamet, given a driven production by Susan Arnold at the downtown Beowulf Alley Theatre.
As director she is especially successful at getting the erratic Mamet-speak rhythms down so they sound like the actual conversation of men drowning in their own stress.
Particularly good is the scene where con artist/salesman Dave Moss (Michael Fenlason) sucks his co-worker into being an unwilling co-conspirator who will steal the valued list of customer leads from the office safe.
Bill Epstein as the once-sensational but now desperate salesman Shelly “The Machine” Levene sets the right tone in his opening confrontation with John the office manager (Michael “Miko” Gifford).
Add to them the office smoothie Richard Roma (Clark Ray), a couple of other empty-souled salesmen played by Tony Caprile and Jim Ambrosek and we know exactly where we are -- swimming with the piranhas in a shark tank.
This is definitely not a country for old men, and nobody knows that better than Shelly. He gets our sympathy as we watch the oily Roma now at the top of his game edging closer to that slippery slope himself.
Strong enough to provide the counterpoint of lawful order is scowling Mark Klugheit as Baylen the detective questioning the entire sales staff after those hot leads actually are stolen.
There isn’t really a plot to “Glengarry Glen Ross” so much as there are observations on the wolfpack mentality of men working in offices. Quite often, as in the case of these six guys, they are brought together purely by coincidence.
At this level of commerce, a salesman’s loyalty to his product is no deeper than his commission -- no commission, no loyalty. Gifford gives an excellent reading of this “loyalty” in his performance.
If you haven’t been to Beowulf Alley in awhile, now is the time to return. “Glengarry Glen Ross” is the strongest production this company has staged in more than a year.
Performances continue through Nov. 18 at Beowulf Alley Theatre,  11 S. Sixth Ave., 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 seniors, teachers and military, $8 students. For details and reservations, 520-882-0555, or visit