Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011

Soulstice's Shining City Ensemble

An interesting mix of talents from various stages meet at the Marian Center for Soulstices latest drama.

By Russ Bickerstaff
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It’s nice to see a play come-up on the month’s schedule that has a compelling script that I’ve never seen produced before. It’s even nicer when the cast listed for the production turns out to feature a really talented group of actors. When the actors in question are a mix of different people more commonly found on a number of different stages in town, it kind of feels like the theatre company in question somehow got everything to line-up just right—its some weird alignment of the planets—a bizarre theatre ensemble jackpot. Such is the case with Soulstice Theatre’s upcoming production of Conor McPherson’s Shining City.

The contemporary Irish drama stars David Ferrie as a man plagued with memories of his late wife who reaches out to his therapist—a man who is, himself quite troubled. This is Ferrie’s first appearance with Soulstice. Ferrie has been seen much more frequently at the Boulevard Theatre, where he most recently played Clarence Darrow in the one-man show of the same title. He also put in a memorable perfrmance in a two-person epistolary play opposite Anne Miller at the Boulevard. Perkins and Jillian Smith play the therapist and his girlfriend—sort of acting as Soulstice anchors of the production, who have appeared onstage with them before. Smith has a notable history with the company that has included memorable turns as the female lead in Soulstice’s Children of a Lesser God and with the rest of a fun ensemble in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged.) Talented and disturbingly versatile actor Jordan Gwiazdowski (who has appeared in numerous roles with Carte Blanche, more recently starring as the title hybrid in Greendale Community Theatre’s Batboy: The Musical) joins the cast as an unexpected visitor. With an ensemble that mixes this kind of talent, Soulstice’s Shining City is one of  the more promising shows scheduled to open in February.

Soulstice Theatre’s Shining City runs February 10th – 26th at the Marian Center for Nonprofits on 3211 South Lake Drive. All shows are at 7:30pm. For reservations, call 414-431-3187. 

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