Friday, August 24, 2007

Heavy Stuff for Child Actors

Ordinary People
Not sure who said it first, but I agree: Ordinary People was ordinary. I was rooting for the teenage actor, but I don't think he was quite up to the material. Ouch. I'm sure he has a long acting career ahead, and this role was a great break for him. But I wasn't buying the sincerity.

Tim Bellows as the wise-cracking psychologist is very good. I auditioned for that part, but have no complaint about director Rene Piazza's casting decision. Tim is funny, sobering, mildly authoritarian. Randy Maggiore as the father was also good, and handsome.

Soulville II
Written and directed by Anthony Bean and produced in conjunction with NORD (New Orleans Recreation Department) Summer Theatre, this VERY large-cast production (75 children!) covers a lot of emotional terrain. Written in vignettes that depict children calling a "teen talk" DJ.

The vingettes are affecting, disturbing occasiaonlly. The children describe scenes in the lives of post-Katrina black youth, many disillusioned, angry, grieving. Heavy stuff for child actors.

75 child actors, some tantalizingly good but then gone after a single vignette or song, if even that much. Hands down, the quality of the dancing and singing was better than other child productions I've seen in town.

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