By Steven Robert Allen
Theatertown, USA—Slowly but steadily, Albuquerque is transforming into a genuine theater town. This month, two more theater troupes open shop in our city.
The Mother Road Theatre Company will showcase its talents by performing a live redub of the 1968 Italian movie King of Kong Island, apparently a truly horrible film populated with remote-controlled gorillas and half-naked jungle chicks. Mother Road will give the flick a face-lift with brand-new dialog, sound effects and music.
The company is made up of some familiar names in our theater community—Vic Browder, Michael Dolce, Kristín de la O, Tom Schuch and Julia Thudium—all of whom have been fixtures on Albuquerque stages for years. The screening is part of the Guild Cinema's Worst Film Festival Ever. King of Kong Island will screen Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 or $15 for an all-fest pass. Call the Guild at 255-1848 for more information.
The other new theater troupe sports the tantalizing moniker Auxiliary Dog. They moved into the old Dartmouth Street Gallery at 3011 Monte Vista NE. The renovated space now includes stadium seating that can fit up to 80 people.
“We want to do a lot of family-friendly mainstream plays that broaden the audience in Albuquerque,” says Executive Director Ben Stevens, “and also develop partnerships with theater groups, art organizations and visual artists.”
With that in mind, they've invited Old Town's Paragon Gallery to hang an exhibit in the lobby. Live music is performed before the play and a comedy troupe, Dark Comedy, entertains the audience afterward.
Their virgin show is This is a Play, a brief comedic play within a play by Canadian writer Daniel MacIvor. “It's a good play for us to open with,” says Stevens, “because it really displays what theater can uniquely be, as opposed to film or television. You can't do this sort of thing in any other medium.”
This is a Play runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through April 8. $12 general, $10 students/seniors. To reserve tickets, call 254-7716.
Auxiliary Dog plans to eventually produce six plays per year in the space and have other performance groups around town use the theater for the rest of the year. “Hopefully,” says Stevens, “in two or three years, we'll have enough programming so there will be something going on every week.”
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