KATS to bring ‘Pride and Prejudice'

Caryl Huffaker

KATS, (Kennett Amateur Theatrical Society) will once again entertain us mightily when they present “Pride and Prejudice” at the Kennett High School with performances Friday, Jan. 18,at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under at the door or fromwww.callkats.org. This is family entertainment with a set formula as the play makes fun of a classic story. Usually this is a fairy tale, but this time they are delving into English literature. Even so, there will be a traditional “Dame,” and a “Silly Song” that will interrupt the story.

There are about 50 actors who will be on stage. As each year there are more people who want to be a part of what is obviously a great deal of fun. I do have to make it perfectly clear that an English pantomime does not have any mimes in it. As this is a traditional English form of theatre, KATS is the second oldest Pantomime company in the United States, that was begun several years ago by Brit Dr. Gary Smith of New Bolton Center. Do come and see this. Next year you will probably want to be on stage.

Baseball

The Chester County Historical Society is forming a baseball team that will play in The Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League against other vintage ball clubs from the region. I am not quite certain what their uniform will be (it is called “reproduction,” but the teams will play by the baseball rules and customs of the 1860s and 1870s.) They are looking for active players, but those who might be considered “vintage” would be welcome for umpiring, keeping score and other administrative chores. For information call 610-692-4800.

Slavery

The Chester County Historical Society is offering a lecture and book signing by Laurie Rofini, Director of Chester County Archives and Record Services on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. Rofini will speak on historical and modern slavery and author Carol Metzker will sign her book, “Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery.”

There will be a suggested minimum donation of $5 for Dawn’s Place, a Pennsylvania residence for survivors of human tracking and commercial sexual exploitation.

‘Assistance’

The “ferociously funny” “Assistance” will be at the Wilma Theatre, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, through Feb. 3. This insider’s look at the high stress jobs as assistance to powerful bosses is a laugh riot, as long as you are not the employee. There are screams and ringing phones that help create this raucous comedy by Leslye Headland. For tickets call215-546-7824.

‘Assassin’

Inspired by true life events,, this tight drama about hero worship and forgiveness centers on violence in entertainment. Thirty years after a brutal on-field hit left a professional foorball player paralyzed for life, the man responsible, known as “the assassin”, is battling alcoholism and diabetes. He has arranged for a private meeting with the now quadriplegic’s lawyer to negotiate plans for a public meeting. Things do not go as he had planned and turns into a volatile evening of stinging accusations and startling confessions. The world premiere will be presented Jan. 18 through Feb. 10 at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia. For tickets call 215-568-8079.

‘Pinocchio’

The Delaware Theatre Co., 1014 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, is presenting that old favorite “Pinocchio,” Jan. 19 to Feb. 10 This tale that will please the entire family will be given on weekends at 2 p.m. For tickets call 302-655-1014.

‘Catch Me’

This high-flying Broadway musical with the true story of one of the great con artists of all time will be at Academy of Music, Broad & Locust Streets, Jan. 15 through 20. This young man passed himself off successfully as a doctor, a lawyer, and a jet pilot, all before he was 21. This tells the jet setting cat and mouse game to catch him. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday. For tickets call 215-790-5883.

‘Meshuggar Nuns’

Those enterprising sisters of Hoboken have returned to the Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Road, near media, have gone on a cruise. When the cast of “Fiddler on the Roof” fall ill, the nuns are pressed into service to perform a show about Jews. They are happy to do it, but change some of the lyrics of the songs, singing “Contriton” and “If I Was a Catholic”. Three of the actresses have appeared in other “Little Sisters” musicals. Micki Sharpe reprises her role as Sister Robert Ann, Heidi Starr returns as Sister Amnesia and Susan Wefel once again plays Sister Mary Hubert. Director Penelope Reed taught with the nuns at Alverno College years ago, so she is familiar with many amusing quirks.

Performances will run through Jan. 27 Thursday through Sunday. For tickets call 610-565-4211.

Scared

Act II Theatre, 568, Butler Ave. Ambler, will present “Why I’m Afraid of Dance,” the chorus line of leotard wearing ladies with continuous wise cracks and humor. Jan. 15 through 27. This intimate theatre gives very professional performances. For tickets call 215-654-0200

Kennett Flash

Ed Gerhard - Gerhard, considered one of the world’s great guitarists, has performed from Toyko to Rome, performing his songs that range from lush, sensual ballads to haunting, bitter melodies. Always the recipient of high praise from critics and audiences, he has been named as one of the most exciting of the guitarist-composers. The winner of a Grammy for “Luna,” he will perform Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28.

Open Mic – on Tuesday, Jan. 15 with doors open at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m.

‘Les Miz’

Of the hundreds of stage shows I have seen in my lifetime, “Les Miz” is definitely among the top 10. I have seen it six times in three different cities. It has excellent music and songs, a compelling story based on some facts and on stage, some outstanding performers. The movie that is now out, was an expensive good try, but is a weak sister compared to the stage version. The studio is apparently quite proud of the fact that the show was not dubbed, but the actors were miked. That’s a nice theory, but when the bad diction make the words incomprehensible, I’ll vote for the dubbing. When you have songs sung by large groups, unless you are conducting the Morman Tabernacle Choir, it is going to be a messy blur. Diction was sadly lacking in this film. My favorite song, “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” was massacred by the direction, as was what should have been a memorable highlight, the duet by the Inn Keeper and his wife, both of whom were either miscast or had their lines stepped on. Even the barrcade that must be built in half a minute, was done better on stage than on the movie set where they had all the time in the world.

I enjoyed seeing the scenes with 1,000 extras in costume, and the views of Paris, and I am glad they tried to film this classic tale. Other critics are raving about Hugh Jackman whom I did not like at all. As Jean Valjean he was supposed to be extraordinarily strong, able to lift a cart or carry his future son-in-law through the sewers of Paris. He is not a strong looking man, certainly not someone who could have done these things.

Having said all this, I would still recommend that people see the movie, for the splendid performances by Russell Crowe and some of the lesser stars, as well as for the ideas. When one attended a stage production, the audience marched out at the end ready to lead the Revolution, whatever it was. The movie just sort of ends with a whimper.

Miscasting

I have just read that President Obama is going to honor Hanoi Jane as one of the “Women of the Century,” when everyone over the age of 45 knows that she is a traitor and should have been imprisoned. Obama is old enough to know what Fonda did. She has also been chosen to play the part of Nancy Reagan in an upcoming film.

If there is anyone who does not remember, she visited American POWs in Vietnam prisons and listened to the propaganda about how well treated they were. Many of the prisoners slipped her notes telling what was really happening in the camp. At the end of the visit she turned the notes over to the Vietmese. As a result many of the prisoners were beaten to death.

Fonda does not deserve to be in any film, and she certainly should not be impersonating Nancy Reagan. What did Nancy ever do to deserve this insult?

Theatre N

“Sister” – A young woman and her younger brother live in a housing unit below a lush ski resort. To make money the young boy steals items fromthe tourists and sells them. When he joins up with a big time thief he and his sister are on the outs. Jan. 11 at 2 p.m., Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Jan.13 at 6:15p.m.

“Any Day Now” –This tear jerker true story about a Downs Symdrome child who is adopted by a gay couple. All is well until the authorities object to these unconventional living arrangements.Jan. 11 at8 p.m., Jan.12 at8 p.m. and Jan.13 at12:30 p.m.

Ballet: “Sleeping Beauty” By the Royal Ballet. Jan. 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.

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