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Last Call

Two shows must close this weekend, and that’s a crying shame

Teye Sa Thiosanne African Drum and Dance Company - Image by Sigel Zuniga
Teye Sa Thiosanne African Drum and Dance Company

The School for Lies

The North Coast Rep’s The School for Lies had that rare, mega-hit show feel from the start. David Ives set his take on Moliere’s The Misanthrope in 1666, and the dialogue’s rhymed couplets. So, like, yawn?

No. School’s the exact opposite of a musty, high-toned period piece, where monolithic costumes move about as fast as the pyramids, and everyone talks with snuff-stuffed noses.

Ives, author of Venus in Fur and The Liar (which opens at Scripps Ranch Theatre, March 29), injects low, contemporary bawdy into his up-scale verse. The combination’s a kick.

And a combination of factors make this show stand out. The design work, from Alina Bokovikova’s ornate costumes and Peter Herman’s curly, basketball-sized wigs, to Matt Novotny’s lighting and Marty Burnett’s first-rate set, all blends together. As does the acting. The cast must speak Ives’ poetic flurries as if David Mamet wrote them — and they do, beautifully.

The pace is swift, the style over the top — but of a piece over the top — and the performers convey an obvious joy in the doing.

I understand the need to close a show at a specific time. Promise a season to subscribers and you must deliver one. Ergo the conveyor belt approach. But every now and then one comes along that, if allowed to continue, would not only raise revenue but also showcase the theater. It may even attract audiences who have never been there before.

North Coast Rep was lucky to have an extra week to extend this one. It ends Sunday night.


Dancin' in the Street

There’ll be Dancin’ in the Street at the Educational Cultural Complex through this Sunday.

Calvin Manson, artistic director of the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players, and Eric Overstreet conceived this “Tribute to Soul” music. What begins as a talent contest to find the “best of the best,” among seven contestants, turns into a greatest hits celebration sung with feeling and force and backed by a tight, five-piece band. Highlights are many: Janice Edwards’ ”Mustang Sally,” MC Galaxy Glen Reynolds’ funny (and accurate) version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” and Carl Overstreet’s ocean-deep “A Change is Gonna Come.”

The tribute also honors its title with various forms of dancing. And the electrifying “Dundunba,” the “dance of the strong man,” by the West African troupe Teye Sa Thiosanne, alone is worth the price of admission.

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Teye Sa Thiosanne African Drum and Dance Company - Image by Sigel Zuniga
Teye Sa Thiosanne African Drum and Dance Company

The School for Lies

The North Coast Rep’s The School for Lies had that rare, mega-hit show feel from the start. David Ives set his take on Moliere’s The Misanthrope in 1666, and the dialogue’s rhymed couplets. So, like, yawn?

No. School’s the exact opposite of a musty, high-toned period piece, where monolithic costumes move about as fast as the pyramids, and everyone talks with snuff-stuffed noses.

Ives, author of Venus in Fur and The Liar (which opens at Scripps Ranch Theatre, March 29), injects low, contemporary bawdy into his up-scale verse. The combination’s a kick.

And a combination of factors make this show stand out. The design work, from Alina Bokovikova’s ornate costumes and Peter Herman’s curly, basketball-sized wigs, to Matt Novotny’s lighting and Marty Burnett’s first-rate set, all blends together. As does the acting. The cast must speak Ives’ poetic flurries as if David Mamet wrote them — and they do, beautifully.

The pace is swift, the style over the top — but of a piece over the top — and the performers convey an obvious joy in the doing.

I understand the need to close a show at a specific time. Promise a season to subscribers and you must deliver one. Ergo the conveyor belt approach. But every now and then one comes along that, if allowed to continue, would not only raise revenue but also showcase the theater. It may even attract audiences who have never been there before.

North Coast Rep was lucky to have an extra week to extend this one. It ends Sunday night.


Dancin' in the Street

There’ll be Dancin’ in the Street at the Educational Cultural Complex through this Sunday.

Calvin Manson, artistic director of the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players, and Eric Overstreet conceived this “Tribute to Soul” music. What begins as a talent contest to find the “best of the best,” among seven contestants, turns into a greatest hits celebration sung with feeling and force and backed by a tight, five-piece band. Highlights are many: Janice Edwards’ ”Mustang Sally,” MC Galaxy Glen Reynolds’ funny (and accurate) version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” and Carl Overstreet’s ocean-deep “A Change is Gonna Come.”

The tribute also honors its title with various forms of dancing. And the electrifying “Dundunba,” the “dance of the strong man,” by the West African troupe Teye Sa Thiosanne, alone is worth the price of admission.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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