Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

Dark Comedy With Next Act

Next Act presents VIGIL

By Russ Bickerstaff
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So there’s this guy—kind of a jerk. He quits his job as a bank clerk to care for his ailing aunt. He wants her to die so that he can collect his inheritance. She’s in no hurry to die. And it’s a comedy. And it’s being presented by Next Act, which is the first bit of good news. The next bit of good news is the fact that it’s being directed by Mary MacDonald Kerr. Judging from the work she’s done before, Kerr is one of the best directors working in town today . . . and here she’s working with a couple of really, remarkably talented actors.

Mark Ulrich, who had directed Sylvia earlier this season stars as the jerk. I know I’ve seen him in a whole bunch of shows over the years, but what I really love about his involvement here is the fact that he directed the production of Sylvia that Kerr was in. So there’s a kind of extended working rapport going on there and a switching of roles.

Possily the best news about the whole show is that Ruth Schudson is playing the ailing Aunt. Earlier this season, Schudson starred in the title role of Milwaukee Chamber’s Driving Miss Daisy. Here she is now in another play that gives her a chance to breathe onstage and work on the specifics of a relationship with one other character. All too often, actors of advancing age end up in marginal roles. Seeing Schudson in a SECOND major role this year should be a lot of fun.

Next Act Theatre’s Vigil runs February 2nd -26th at next Act’s space on 255 South Water Street. For ticket reservations, call 414-278-0765 or visit Next Act Online.

 

 

 

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