Alibi V.24 No.9 • Feb 26-March 4, 2015 

Stage Whispers

Staged seduction

“Engrossing” in more ways than one: Grey Blanco as Uncle Peck and Sarah Lopez as Li'l Bit
“Engrossing” in more ways than one: Grey Blanco as Uncle Peck and Sarah Lopez as Li'l Bit
Gerome Olona

Ever imagine you’d find yourself utterly engrossed in a story about incestuous pedophilia? Well, sure, we all have. But if a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a WWII veteran molesting his 11-year-old niece isn’t seductive enough to lure you to your nearest experimental college theater, then the premise of student director Gerome Olona’s adaptation of Paula Vogel’s 1997 smash hit—that empathy requires intellect, bravery and love—should be. Anyone familiar with Vogel knows that theatrical seduction is imminent in spite of, or perhaps because of, the taboo subjects she treats. Whether it’s AIDS, prostitutes, pedophiles or incest, Vogel makes audiences swoon not for her troubled characters’ untouchable novelty, but rather for their intoxicating realness and humanity. Before you know what’s up, you’re invested up to your eyelids and can’t peel them from the disaster unfolding on the stage, no matter how hard you scrape.

Set to an improvised Motown score on a rotating stage with breakable props, SCRAP Productions’ experimental version of How I Learned to Drive, opening Friday, Feb. 27, at 7:30pm in UNM’s Theatre X (in the basement of UNM’s Center for the Arts, Redondo and Cornell NE), promises to make you care. Tickets are $8-$12 at the UNM box office (925-5858) or unmtickets.com, and the show runs through March 8. (Blake Driver)

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The monarch and me

Pants are overrated anyway.  From L to R: Michaela Bateman as Tuptim, Courtney Awe as Lady Thiang, Dean Squibb as The King, Sharee Gariety as Anna Leonowens
Pants are overrated anyway. From L to R: Michaela Bateman as Tuptim, Courtney Awe as Lady Thiang, Dean Squibb as The King, Sharee Gariety as Anna Leonowens
Randy Talley

The song titles give a sense of what you’ll be in for: “Shall We Dance,” “Something Wonderful,” “Getting to Know You.” It’s that old-school, elegant feelgoodery of the Rodgers & Hammerstein variety. The King and I sashays across the stage at the Albuquerque Little Theatre (224 San Pasquale SW), featuring a big cast of over 30 children and adults. Running Feb. 27 through March 22, shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm, plus an extra performance on Thursday, March 12, at 7:30pm.

The king brings Anna in to tutor his many children and wives. (It’s good to be the king.) He’s also hoping she can improve his PR since the rest of the world views him as a bit uncivilized. Cultures clash and complications ensue. So does singing and dancing. Tickets are $12, $18, $22, $24 for children, students, seniors and the general public respectively. Call 242-4750 to purchase. First performed in 1951, it’s been a staple of musical theater ever since, not to mention a bonanza for the lavish costume industry. (Randyn Charles Bartholomew)

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