Sunday, May 22, 2011

Higher Education With The Banana

Pink Banana Theatre presents latest shorts program

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Pink Banana Theatre has, by now, developed a long history of staging some of the best, most progressive shorts programs in town. With work ranging from the experimental to the highly commercial, a Pink Banana shorts program usually manages to bring in quite an array of different pieces.

This year’s shorts program is a series of 6 shorts on the topic of Higher Education. The set of shorts sounds like a really interesting mix of playwright talent.

The program features a short by Rich Orloff—the man behind Ha! and Romantic Fools—(both of which were recently produced by In Tandem Theatre) and Big Boys (one of the best comedies of thise past season as produced by Next Act.) The Orloff short ont his program is Tough Cookiea high school boy named James is charged with murder because someone took one of his mother’s cookies at lunch. The snippet of the script available on Orloff’s website is funny. . . and respectably dark. Here’s a scrap of that dialogue:

“      MOM I never knew he liked my cookies so much.

       DAD  He’ll be okay, he did nothing wrong.

  LAWYER He did kill a boy over a cookie.

       DAD I figure it’s his word against the dead kid’s.

  LAWYER There were 223 witnesses.

    JAMES The cafeteria always gets crowded on meatloaf day.   “

Orloffian humor at the Tenth Street Theatre has become a bit of a tradtiion. Rich Orloff’s work has likely appeared on stage in more programs at the Tenth Street Theatre than that of any other playwright. That I know of, this is the fourth program featuring his work in the theatre’s relatively young existence. that's four programs from three different companies in four years. (In Tandem's staging of Orloff's HA! opened the theatre in '07.)

Also included in the program are a pair of shorts by Broadminded/Ex Fabula co-founder Megan McGee and a short by Radio WHT’s Charles Sommers—easily two of the better theatrical comedy writers in town. This should be avery tight, very enjoyable program.

Pink Banana’s Higher Education runs June 10th – 18th at the Tenth Street Theatre. For ticket reservations, visit Brown Paper Tickets.

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