Chautauqua Theatre Festival welcomes world class talent

Staff ~ The Southwest Booster
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Another successful year has passed for the Chautauqua Theatre Festival, which ran from July 10-13 at The Lyric Theatre.

Comedy seemed to be the main theme for the six different acts that took to the stage, headlined by comedy and musical duo Die Roten Punkte.

The Australian performers gave a hilarious take on German punk rock by portraying Otto and Astrid, a pair of squabbling musical siblings.  Most of the night consisted of clever back-and-forth between the two performers, although there was time for some of their musical selections.

Unfortunately Clare Bartholomew, who portrayed Astrid, was hampered by sickness on Saturday, limiting their song selection.  Nevertheless, the audience seemed to enjoy the comical but talented rockers, rewarding them with a standing ovation after their Saturday performance.

The other comedy to fill Saturday’s double bill was “Gary Has a Date,” a one-person comedy act performed by Emily Windler.  “Gary” in this play is a loveable but socially awkward slug expert who haphazardly prepares for a date with “Norma.” Unfortunately everything goes off the rails for the eager romantic, which left the audience chuckling, but still feeling sympathetic for the character.

Saturday opened up with “Opera Mouse,” featuring professional opera singer Melanie Gall and Tillie, a puppet mouse who lives under an opera theatre.  The performance featured plenty of audience interaction, as well as some laughs as Tillie worked towards performing on stage at the fictional opera house.

Gall developed the play as a way to introduce kids to the world of opera, which she said has become a little intimidating for most people.

The other show to play on Saturday was “Underbelly,” another one-person play, this one based on the life of American poet William S. Burroughs.  Performed by Jayson McDonald, Underbelly is a dark but witty take on the beat generation, focusing on Burroughs and some of his contemporaries, such as novelist Jack Kerouac.

The dialogue was crisp and McDonald’s delivery was excellent, especially in scenes requiring him to jump from character to character.

“God is a Scottish Drag Queen” and the drama “7 Ways to Die, A Love Story,” where the opening acts on Thursday.  Comedian Mike Delamont portrayed God in the former, while Alex and Keltie Forsyth portrayed Rachel an Irving in the latter. 

Organizations: Chautauqua Theatre, The Lyric Theatre

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