A Double Bill of Hilarious One-Act Comedies Features Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound and Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy
City Circle Acting Company of will present a double-bill of British comedies February 13-15 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. The program consists of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound and Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy. Performances of An Evening of Farces are Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, February 15 at 2pm. Tickets ($12-$27) are available online at coralvillearts.org, by phone at 319.248.9370, and in person at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts box office and Coralville Recreation Center. Sponsorship support is provided by Meadowlark Psychiatric Services; TheLuxeZone and Skeffington’s provided furniture and costume support.
On Friday, February 13, ticket buyers are encouraged to stop by TheLuxeZone, 1303 5th Street, for a pre-show reception from 6pm-7pm. Patrons are invited to arrive early from the Sunday, February 15 performance for an informal pre-show chat at 1:45pm.
In The Real Inspector Hound, two theater critics are reviewing the opening night of a typical drawing-room murder mystery when they unexpectedly become part of the action. This brilliantly absurd play sends up the typical whodunit trappings of mysterious strangers, a bitter love triangle, and, of course, a madman on the loose!
Black Comedy is staged under a reversed lighting scheme –the action supposedly in the dark is illuminated, while when the lights are to be on, the stage is dark. Lovesick and desperate “starving artist” Brindsley Miller has “borrowed” furniture and precious objects d’arte from his antique collector neighbor in an attempt to impress his fiancee’s pompous father and a wealthy art dealer. When the neighbor returns unexpectedly as a blown fuse plunges the apartment building into darkness, Brindsley must attempt to return the purloined items before light is restored – while plagued by unexpected guests, aging spinsters, errant phone cords, his ex-mistress, and other obstacles.
“ So much of the comedy of The Real Inspector Hound is verbal,” says director Krista Neumann. “I looked for actors who can bring Stoppard’s words to life and really embody the ridiculousness of the play-within-a-play and the critics who become involved.” Black Comedy is more physical, says director Tara Acton. “It's amazing to work with actors who can handle physical comedy so brilliantly. A farce can be almost like a choreographed dance--it's all about timing. Seeing all the elements come together is very rewarding!”
The cast of The Real Inspector Hound includes Joseph Dobrian, Ellis Fontana, Kristin Owens, Rip Russell, Josh Sazon, Catherine Shook, Christina Sullivan, and Hank Welter. Black Comedy features Robyn Calhoun, Christopher Carpenter, Bryant Duffy, Derek Johnson, Elijah Jones, Katy Karas, Larry Newman, and Oli Peters. Set design is by James Mayfield; set décor by Jan Finlayson; lighting design by Drew Bielinski; and costume design by Rachael Lindhardt.
City Circle Acting Company is the community theater program of the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Since 1997, City Circle’s mission has been the production of high quality dramatic, musical, and performing art pieces for the enjoyment of the public. Upcoming City Circle productions Black Comedy and The Real Inspector Hound (February 13-15), and Into the Woods (April 24-May 3).
Owned and operated by the City of Coralville, the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to enriching the community and contributing to the vitality of Coralville by offering an accessible, affordable venue for a variety of performances, presentations, and public and private events. The 472 seat theater opened August 26, 2011 and has hosted performances from City Circle Acting Company, Orchestra Iowa, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Dan Knight, Lola Astanova, Lorie Line, Judy Carmichael, Jim McDonough, Nolte Academy of Dance, and many others. Coralville schools are also able to use the Center free of charge up to three times per year; 15 school events took place at the Center in the 2013-2014 school year. The Center was named 2012 Member of the Year by the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.