Wednesday, Apr 01, 2020
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
Nancy, Frank and Joe a well-formed piece
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Nancy, Frank and Joe a well-formed piece

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Nancy, Frank and Joe
Macha Monkey
Through November 21


Macha Monkey often does world premieres of their own work, and with Nancy, Frank and Joe, Kristina Sutherland and Desiree Prewitt have collaborated on an intriguing new play. The names in question are actually Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. These pulp mysteries were what got many kids into reading, somewhat like comic books. The mysteries were solid, the characters were rarely objectionable, so many parents were happy to have their children hooked.

These series were part of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which kept churning out more episodes like a long-running kid's show. Nancy, Frank and Joe tells the story of the Stratemeyer family, with cute interruptions by commercials and demonstrations of sections of some of the books. The beginning appears to be a fairly light-hearted look at the development of an American classic staple. As the play goes on, more important and oddly interesting relationships develop and family dysfunction appears.

In 1930, Edward Stratemeyer (James Weidman in one of a variety of roles) died and left a thriving novel business. His two daughters, Harriet (Desiree Prewitt) and Edna (Kristina Sutherland), make a bold move to helm the business themselves, continuing to churn out episodic mystery-boilers. The play chronicles the family relationship as the years go by and as the sisters become estranged.

All through this historic look back, another subject is threaded. Ghostwriters were hired to write these books, pseudonyms were used for authors' names, and no one person got credit for writing the books. We are shown two writers in particular who wrote Hardy Boys mysteries and Nancy Drew mysteries. As we are introduced to them, they sit at typewriters while actors play parts in the scenario.

In addition to the three actors mentioned, Jesse Lee Keeter and Joy Yaholkovsky round out the five solid ensemble actors. Each of them has multiple roles, though Prewitt and Sutherland maintain the consistency of playing the sisters, who are the main focus of the piece. Prewitt, in particular, is heart-tugging in her desire to carry on her father's legacy, while alienating her sister and being taken advantage of by their publishers. Prewitt's precise characterization is made more pronounced because she becomes Frank Hardy a bunch of times and shows a totally different character, as do the other four actors in their various roles.

Mark Fullerton directs an entertaining, if a bit rambling production, cleverly using projection screens and a well-conceived set by Ann Marie Caldwell to great effect. Dani Prados has a particularly important role as lighting designer, as does Joseph Swartz with sound design.

The play might be a fond reminiscence for a few people, but if you have not read any Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys, you needn't worry. The themes of women's liberation, family legacy, corporate competition, business pressure, and even racial stereotyping inform the audience, and familiarity is not a prerequisite. This is a well-formed piece with something to say. It still could use some trimming in areas with a bit of lag, but it intrigues with a look behind a famous and iconic book series.

For more information, go to www.machamonkey.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Nude Scapes: A new exhibit by Seattle native Art Wolfe
------------------------------
Spencer Day delights packed house at Jazz Alley
------------------------------
Sharon Gless speaks on her life as an LGBT icon
------------------------------
Nancy, Frank and Joe a well-formed piece
------------------------------
A bouncy evening of Durang one-acts
------------------------------
Impressive variety at 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: Holly Near stuns at Triple Door
------------------------------
Nellie McKay gives funny tribute to Doris Day
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Burning 'Love': Rammstein's Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da
------------------------------
Stare at Goats a wasted satiric opportunity
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep characters anchor Hollywood Je T'aime
------------------------------
John/Joel, KISS, Clarkson all arrive in November
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
Bon Jovi, Sir Elton, backstage with Snow Patrol
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------

------------------------------
Fun times on All Hallow's Eve
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood - Romeo San Vicente
------------------------------
An Englishman In New York, one of the year's best
------------------------------
Book Marks
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News