Tuesday, November 29, 2005


"Pimpin' ain't easy."
- Sir Laurence Olivier

Tuesday 11/29/05: Jennie & I are just taking a short break from the zaniness of Scapino! for one day. I spent the afternoon in my sweatpants eating pizza & reading about two months-worth of Sports Illustrated's that I haven't had a chance to even glance at until now. (Did y'all know the White Sox are in the World series?? The Colts are 5-0?? No way?? Holy Crap!)
I also traded for Josh Beckett on my MVP Baseball 2005 Playstation game. He got lit up like a christmas tree by the Oakland A's. Not good. Maybe he had a virtual blister.

As I write this, Jennifer has knitted herself to sleep on the couch.

It is Seventy degrees in Richmond, VA, in November. Good God.

Joan Tupponce wrote a great review of Scapino! for www.Richmond.com and I've posted it below. We have a matinee tomorrow at 2pm. We run until January 22nd, so if you can make it, please come. Just log on to www.barksdalerichmond.org for the performance schedule. They have online ticketing, and you can also find details on the rest of the great '05-'06 season.

My Father, the one and only Ted Wichmann, will be in attendance on January 13, believe it or not!! He'll be taking the 'Chooch' (his own words) down here, and I can't wait. Mom saw the show this past weekend, as she drove up from Wilmington, NC. The cast signed a poster for her & she loved it.

Here's My Shambhala "Thought of the day" by Chogyam Trungpa:

"Don't assume the posture of a wilted flower."

(Scotto's quick-capsule definition: "Stand up straight & rejoice in being human, dumbass!!")


ps--This is just a rehearsal photo. At no time during the show do I use a foam pool floatie.
"First and Ten, New England!!"

Free for All
Scapino! is now playing at the Barksdale Theatre.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Trying to describe Barksdale Theatre's new production of "Scapino!" is like trying to explain the thought process behind a well-crafted joke — in both instances, it's better to enjoy the humor rather than concentrate on the meaning. Set in present day Naples, Italy, "Scapino!" is a modern adaptation of a French farce written by Moliere. The madcap tale revolves around two young men who fear that their miserly fathers will not approve of the women they love. Both eventually turn to the tricky Scapino to help them secure their fathers' acceptance.

The end result: a slapstick comedy that combines the silliness of "Saturday Night Live" with the antics of the Marx Brothers and the frenzied energy of comic Robin Williams.

One can't talk about Barksdale's production without singing the praises of Scott Wichmann, who plays Scapino. His off-the-wall performance combines his genius for improv with his talent for zany comedy. Wichmann's on-stage persona is much like that of Robin Williams — you never know what he will say or do. On opening night, one audience member who was sleeping during the performance awoke to Wichmann sitting next to him still in character, joking about the man's inappropriate nap time.

Director Dawn Westbrook is to be congratulated for not reigning Wichmann in, for letting him be spontaneous. Westbrook's interpretation of the play allows the actors not only the ability to interact with the audience but also the leeway to use every imaginable space as their stage. Along with Wichmann, other notable performances include those of David Clark (Sylvestro), who shines as a clumsy goon and Bridget Gethins (Argente) for her believable performance as a man. Plus, Jack Parrish (Geronte) makes gullible funny. Special mention goes to Ford Flannagan in his role as a mute bum. Flannagan's subtle facial expressions and gestures solicit as much laughter as a well-rehearsed line.

Accolades also go to Scenic Designer Kimberly Parkin — her Italian cafĂ© and adjoining dock brought a taste of realism to the silly shenanigans — and to Lighting Designer Lynne Hartman who created the show's party-like atmosphere.With all that said, "Scapino!" does have a few glitches, including Italian accents that are sometimes difficult to understand when the dialogue reaches blistering speeds and blocking that often has the audiences on the side looking at the actors' backs, making it difficult to hear the dialogue.All in all, "Scapino!" is a fun romp that offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

The play runs through Jan. 22 at Barksdale Theatre.

Single ticket prices for "Scapino!" are $38 with a $4 discount for seniors, students and Ukrop's cardholders. Tickets can be purchased by calling (804) 282-2620.

....AWWW, YEAH... You know how we do!!


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