Guest post by Pat Reardon.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein
And, anything does happen at Dragon’s latest production, An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein.
Silverstein is best remembered as the revered author of children’s books including The Giving Tree and A Light in the Attic. Amazingly, he is less well known for his prodigious work in theatre, music and art. His eclectic portfolio includes diverse works including the lyrics of “A Boy Called Sue”, 100 one act plays and numerous cartoons for Playboy. This production was first presented by Silverstein’s friend, playwright David Mamet in 1981.
An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein is a unique collection of 10 irreverent Silverstein works. Each piece is more than a skit, but not quite an act. All have as their central core Silverstein’s witty observations of modern life.
One of the funniest bits is “Smile” where urban guerillas capture and interrogate the individual that they believe has cursed our lives with overused cultural oddities like the happy face and the catch phrase “have a nice day”. Through the course of the bit their hysterical Blackwater-style mental torture tactics get him to reveal that he is also responsible for more of life’s little irritations including “my bad!” and others of their ilk.
Silverstein’s comedic poetry takes center stage in the clever “Buy one, get one Free” where two hookers market their wares using perfectly timed adult’s-only verse. The evening concludes with the very amusing “One Tennis Shoe” as a well dressed husband confronts his upscale wife on where she got the whacky contents of her Bloomingdale’s Big Brown Bag.
The six member cast is very competent. Particularly outstanding is Claire Slattery whose stellar turn as the prose-perfect prostitute was almost as notable as her Sylvia, the bag lady in-the-making. We hope that we will see more of her in future Dragon productions.
Kudos to Ron Gasparinetti’s set. It can’t be easy trying to create visual room in a stage area that is slightly bigger than a pool table. His clever use of a decorated scaffold creates much needed additional performance space.
Dragon Productions, a semi-professional troop, delivers excellent dramatic value on a shoestring budget. With ongoing support from its loyal following and continued private funding we look forward to many well presented performances in the future.
Oh, and BTW, have a nice day.
An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein
3 out of 5 stars
Directed by Kathleen Normington
Written by Shel Silverstein
Starring William J. Brown III, Caitlin Dissinger, Drew Jones, Norman Luce, Joey Sandin, Claire Slattery