by Susan Erickson
Directed by Laura Brunette
Rear L to R: Martin Lopez, Jenna Guitar, and Jason Harsh
Left: Shay Lydick, Malibu Barbie
L to R: Jason Harsh, Shay Lydick, Jenna Guitar, Julia Swatman, Ernesto Moralez and Martin Lopez
THE LAS CRUCES BULLETIN FRIDAY, JUNE 10. 2005 PAGE B2
Short attention span theater intrigues
Written in 2001 by University of New Mexico professor Susan Erickson, “33/66’s” series of plays dip into different time periods - the past, and what could be the future - and portrays a wide variety of people of different ages and ethnic backgrounds. These characters could be your relatives, your work associates, your neighbors, your friends or people you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
The conclusion of each two-minute piece at times either leaves you laughing hysterically or really wishing you could just change the channel (please). The bold script puts prevailing social issues like poverty, child molestation, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse and violence in your face, giving you no opportunity to turn your hack on society’s “problems.” The plays cover the subjects of relationships, death, religion, family affairs, love, hatred, friendship and hope. Due to the mature nature of the subject matter, some content may be offensive to some viewers.
Not to worry, not every scene is harsh. Just when you think you’ve had enough a new play begins, and there’s a good chance the new scene is going to give you respite from the heavyness, and a good chuckle to boot.
The first play, ironically named “Constructive Feedback,” portrays a writer who thinks he’s gonna make it big. He’s written a musical and has cast his friends in the script. He sits alone at a restaurant and waits for his friends to stop by to let him know how much they liked his work.
His friends don’t like his work. One at a time, each of them stop by his table to curse him, tear up the script or let him know that because of him they’re going to have to change their numbers or move out of town. The only person that gives him positive feedback is the waitress, but then she’s only working for her tip.
“How to Land a Plane” focuses on a touching scene between a father and his daughter. The father is getting ready to attend his daughter’s high school graduation. The father is extremely emotional, and uses the metaphor of flying a plane to explain parenthood.
As a single parent - the man’s wife died right after their daughter was born - he wasn’t sure he could successfully land the plane on his own and raise a good kid. He has, and he and his daughter share a hug. And his daughter thanks him for being a great father.
Following “How to Land a plane” is “How to Crash a Plane.” Two tattooed, crazy-haired degenerate-types share a few snorts of coke and some abusive language, end of story.
Theater review: "33/66"
No matter how funny a certain part in a play is, I pride myself on being able to contain my laughter.
But, I broke. “First Dance” is what finally did me in.
Just watching the cast of “33/66” — especially the oversized, star-shaped sunglasses-wearing Jason Harsh — portray youngsters at one of their very first dances did it.
Uncomfortable, hoping for something — anything — to break the stillness, three boys and three girls sit separated in a gym as music blares during “First Dance.” Nobody moves. Some are even asleep.
But the goofy stare that Harsh has is the clincher. It is TOO funny!
Though there are definitely some funny moments in “33/66,” it can hardly be classified as a comedy. The production, written by University of New Mexico professor Susan Erickson and directed by Laura Brunette, is a little of everything.
The production is comprised of 33 plays that are meant to be performed in 66 or so minutes, hence the title. It makes for an interesting night of many laughs, some very tender moments and some truly terrible, terrible ones as well.
“33/66” is the perfect antidote for anyone not quite sure if they’re ready for the theater world, but wants a little taste of it. And it’s the largest number of plays you’ll see for $9 or less.
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