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items tagged with A Walk in the Woods

Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy at New Ground Theatre, April 29 through May 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2016-04-21 12:00:00

Jordan Smith, Bill Peiffer, Jake Walker and Maggie Woolley in UncleAt the very end of Anton Chekhov’s 1897 tragicomedy Uncle Vanya, two of the play’s principal characters – Vanya and his niece Sonya – sit quietly at a table at their Russian estate, each lamenting the departure of their recent house guests. They’ve endured all manner of emotional hardships over the stage hours prior, and as they prepare to face more in the lonely years ahead, Sonya delivers one of theatre’s most famous closing monologues, climaxing her speech by telling Vanya not to fear – God will show pity on them. “We shall rest,” she says, gently, just before the curtain falls. “We shall rest.”

Hopefully, for Vanya and Sonya, 119 years constitutes a long-enough rest. Because thanks to a playwright’s imagination and a rather inconvenient (and fictitious) wormhole, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya characters are continuing their sagas in author Lee Blessing’s debuting comedy Uncle, a world-premiere production by Davenport’s New Ground Theatre running at the Village Theatre from April 29 through May 8.

“Sometimes you just don’t know where things come from,” says Blessing, with a laugh, regarding his sci-fi-comedy continuation of Chekhov’s masterpiece. “I’d seen a modern update of Vanya not that long ago in Los Angeles, and around the same time I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to write a play about a guy who suddenly has a cosmic wormhole open up in his backyard, but doesn’t want it? Doesn’t want the things that come out of it?’ And so, for some odd reason, I put those things together."
Read More About Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy At New Ground Theatre, April 29 Through May 8...


Taxing Hike: "A Walk in the Woods" and "The Transporter Refueled"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-09-07 22:23:36

Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in A Walk in the WoodsA WALK IN THE WOODS

Based on a widely adored nonfiction from 1998, A Walk in the Woods finds Robert Redford’s Bill Bryson (the book’s author) and Nick Nolte’s Stephen Katz embarking on a months-long trek along the Appalachian Trail, and from his first moments here, you fear for the latter’s health. By which I mean you fear for Nolte’s health. Because based on the 74-year-old’s initial appearance – hauling his substantial frame out of an airplane seemingly half his size, his face nearly purple from the effort – and that strained, gravelly baritone that sounds like heavy rocks in a wood chipper, Nolte doesn’t appear at all capable of surviving this particular Walk. (It should go without saying that even though he’s finally starting to look his age, you don’t feel similar trepidation for 79-year-old Redford, given that his voice and hair – or “hair” – still suggest a man in his late 30s.)
Read More About Taxing Hike: "A Walk In The Woods" And "The Transporter Refueled"...


Glasnost Half Full: "A Walk in the Woods," at the Village Theatre through March 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-03-11 12:00:00

Matt Moody and John VanDeWoestyne in A Walk in the WoodsPlaywright Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods successfully re-creates a sense of the Reagan-era Cold War conflict between the United States and the then-Soviet Union ... at least according to an older friend of mine who also attended Friday’s performance of New Ground Theatre’s production. However, my theatre-going companion also agreed with me that the play is reminiscent of the film My Dinner with Andre, famed for simply being a conversation between two people in one setting. And Blessing’s story is just that – a series of discussions between a U.S. and Russian diplomat sitting, or sometimes standing near, a park bench. For two hours.


Read More About Glasnost Half Full: "A Walk In The Woods," At The Village Theatre Through March 17...


Blessings in Disguise: Playwright Salutes His Father – and Baseball – in "The Winning Streak"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-11-01 04:42:00

Pat Flaherty and Jason Platt in "The Winning Streak" In Lee Blessing's The Winning Streak, the locale is left unspecified; the only information the Tony Award-nominated playwright gives us is that the events transpire in "a city in the Midwest." But audiences can be forgiven for thinking there's nothing unspecified about it.

One of the play's seven scenes takes place "at the end of a dock." Another occurs at a sidewalk café within walking distance of a cathedral and an art museum. And, most tellingly, one takes place "in the stands of a major league stadium," where - to the delight of the show's protagonist - an eternally struggling baseball team is finally enjoying an unprecedented hot streak.

Could this, in fact, be Chicago, and could the beleaguered ballplayers be the Cubs?


Read More About Blessings In Disguise: Playwright Salutes His Father – And Baseball – In "The Winning Streak"...





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