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July 20, 2011 Comments Off on The Sads: Strawshop cancels the Thursday performance of “Cloud Nine” Views: 1401 #Theater and Stage, Arts & Entertainment, Stage

The Sads: Strawshop cancels the Thursday performance of “Cloud Nine”

Basil Harris plants one on Ian Bell in Strawshop's "Cloud Nine" playing at the Erickson Theatre now through Aug. 6. Photo: Eric Stuhaug.

Due to a death in the family for a cast member, Strawberry Theatre Workshop has announced the Thursday, July 21 performance of their current production, Cloud Nine, has been canceled. Ticket holders for that night should contact Strawshop at  promo@strawshop.org to arrange a refund, or an alternative date to see the play. The production will resume as scheduled on Friday, July 22 and both that night’s performance and the Saturday, July 23 performance have tickets available for 1/2 price ($15). Go to BrownPaper Tickets to purchase. The play continues Thursdays through Saturdays until August 6.

I had a few issues with the first Act of this production, despite its strong cast/director/production team; I thought they didn’t quite reach the required farcial tone and intent of the playwright, but Act Two of Cloud Nine is perfectly played with excellent performances including a stand out one from Imogen Love as a fierce lesbian single mom. She’s terrific in both acts of the play but the other actors all have some strong moments as well, both dramatically and comedically. (And, yes, in my opinion “comedically” IS a legitimate word, or should be…)

And, I need to mention, I’ve seen some other reviews of this production that harp on whether or not the play is relevant for modern audiences…that it might appear dated and out of touch. Ms Churchill’s play deals with issues of sexuality, gender and race…last time I checked, all of these issues are still relevant topics for discussion. The play is set in Victorian Africa (Act One) and Thatcherite London of 1979 (Act Two). While things are marginally better for women, gays and people of color, I’m not sure you can claim any of those social groups have reached full parity and equality with white, heterosexual men, at least in Western society. Not when a lesbian couple holding hands at a Gertrude Stein exhibit in San Francisco is challenged by a security guard and asked to leave the museum. We’ve come a long way, baby, but it’s a long fucking road…

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