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    INDULGENCES

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    January 17 - February 6, 2010


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    INDULGENCES

    a farcical comedy by Chris Craddock

    directed by Kate Warner

    featuring Neil A. Casey*, Joel Colodner*, Ed Hoopman*, Benjamin Evett*, Leigh Barrett*,Steven Barkhimer*, and Tony Larkin

    *member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

    Happily ever after...?

    Once upon a time in a kingdom somewhere: a king and a commoner swap identities; a...

    a farcical comedy by Chris Craddock

    directed by Kate Warner

    featuring Neil A. Casey*, Joel Colodner*, Ed Hoopman*, Benjamin Evett*, Leigh Barrett*,Steven Barkhimer*, and Tony Larkin

    *member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

    Happily ever after...?

    Once upon a time in a kingdom somewhere: a king and a commoner swap identities; a prince and his lover plot to protect their union; two advisors conspire to foil everything; and a man known only as "Salesman" bargains for everyone's "happily ever after." In this New England Premiere by Canadian playwright Chris Craddock, we discover the solution to life's puzzles just might exist in this fractured fairy tale.

    "Craddock is nothing short of brilliant." – Calgary Herald

    "Chris Craddock is a brilliant playwright who is able to wrap important themes into a smart and zany comedy." – Kate Warner, Artistic Director

    Approximately 2 hours, including intermission.


    Admission Info:
    Off Peak: All seats-Sun Eve, Thu Mat, Wed, Thu Eve, Fri, (Monday Opening Tr-B only). Orch $48.00 Tr-B $42.00 Peak: All Seats--Sun Mat, Sat Mat, Sat Eve, (Monday Opening Orch seats only). Orch $54.00 Tr-B $49.00 All Shows: Tr-C $35.00 Discounts available for Seniors (60 and older), Full Time Students, WGBH members, WBUR members, MTA members, Harvard University Employees, Concierge members of USO, Arsenal Center for the Arts members, and TCG members.


    General Day and Time Info:
    Sun 1/17 2pm (Panel Discussion)
    Sun 1/17 7:30 pm
    Mon 1/18 7:30 pm (Opening)
    Thu 1/21 2 pm
    Thu 1/21 7:30 pm
    Fri 1/22 8 pm
    Sat 1/23 8 pm
    Sun 1/24 2 pm (Talkback)
    Thu 1/28 7:30 pm
    Fri 1/29 8 pm
    Sat 1/30 3:30 pm
    Sat 1/30 8 pm
    Sun 1/31 2 pm (Talkback)
    Sun 1/31 7:30 pm
    Wed 2/3 7:30 pm
    Thu 2/4 7:30 pm
    Fri 2/5 8 pm
    Sat 2/6 3:30 pm
    Sat 2/6 8 pm (Closing)

    phone: 617-923-8487


    Accessibility Information:

    TTY: 617-923-2067 or email tickets@newrep.org


    Official Website


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    Media Reviews

    • Event Name: INDULGENCES
      Article: 'Indulgences' sells clever brand of fun
      Boston Hearld - Jan 22, 2010
      By Jenna Scherer

      The title of Chris Craddock’s “Indulgences” lets you know what to expect. Craddock is off on a spree - mashing genres and making up rules as...
      Expand

      The title of Chris Craddock’s “Indulgences” lets you know what to expect. Craddock is off on a spree - mashing genres and making up rules as his whims take him. You might as well indulge the man - even if you’re not always gulping down the snake oil he’s selling.

      Kate Warner last staged this play two years ago, during her previous gig as artistic director of Dad’s Garage Theatre in Atlanta. Now that she’s helming the New Repertory Theatre, Warner takes on “Indulgences” again. It’s a playful, if sometimes pointless, production.

      Ground zero for Craddock’s cut-and-paste story is a dive bar on some sort of astral plane. The tables and chairs are see-through and insubstantial, but the whiskey is very real. So, apparently, is the bar’s most reliable regular, a drunken heavenly emissary in an ill-fitting suit (Benjamin Evett). He’s in the business of selling indulgences - which, if you recall your medieval history, are basically get-out-of-purgatory-free cards sold by the Catholic Church to wary sinners. They were a big con, but these salesman’s are supposedly the genuine article.

      In walk two gents (Ed Hoopman and Tony Larkin) in Elizabethan garb - minor “Macbeth” characters Malcolm and Fleance, if you’re keeping score - groaning in faux-Shakespearean verse about their impossible love. The salesman agrees to help them murder Malcolm’s dad, the King (Joel Colodner), so the pair can usher in an age of same-sex-marriage tolerance in their realm. Meanwhile, the King has switched places with a modern-day businessman (Neil A. Casey) he met at the astral watering hole.

      If that sounds random, it is. Craddock writes like a kid who’s mixed together all his Lego sets and is curious to figure out what the fireman and the dinosaur might say to each other at the space station. A Stoppard-esque dialogue about identity gives way to a medieval sitcom, gives way to a bitter monologue on living in delicious sin, David Mamet-style. The voice of God sounds like Frank the rabbit from “Donnie Darko” and there’s a joke or two we already heard in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”

      As the salesman, Evett has way too much fun. He’s our stumbling, blustering guide to Craddock’s crazy world - and the most vividly realized character onstage. The others are basically pawns, but that doesn’t stop Colodner from roping us into the King’s existential crisis, or Leigh Barrett from cracking us up as a throwaway villain.

      More fun is had in “Indulgence” ’s second half, but it’s hard to care much about characters who are little more than playthings in Craddock’s hands.

      “INDULGENCES”

      Presented by New Repertory Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, Monday night. Through Feb. 6.

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    • Event Name: INDULGENCES
      Article: Mash Up Your Shakespeare
      The Hub Review - Jan 19, 2010
      By Thomas Garvey

      One more into the time-space-continuum gap! Tony Larkin, Benjamin Evett, and Ed Hoopman indulge themselves.

      So - are you ready for a...
      Expand

      One more into the time-space-continuum gap! Tony Larkin, Benjamin Evett, and Ed Hoopman indulge themselves.

      So - are you ready for a gay-Tom-Stoppard, "Fleance-and-Malcolm-Aren't-Dead-But-Getting-Married-in-Vegas" kind of metaphysical-philosophical mash-up? At first I didn't think I was, either, but I admit the New Rep, and its crack comic cast (headlined by a hilarious Benjamin Evett), did eventually win me over, and I began to indulge Indulgences, the new production of Chris Craddock's meta-comedy which runs through February 6. This is a very silly show, and kind of conceptually sloppy - but it is a funny show, certainly the funniest in town, and you don't have to tell me what that means in January in Boston. (It means the New Rep has a hit.)

      And it's nice to see new artistic director Kate Warner, who seemed to stumble slightly on her maiden voyage with Mister Roberts, right herself here, with a crisp, clever production that's tighter than a duck's you-know-what. It's true the play itself isn't nearly that taut - Canadian author Chris Craddock mashes together Shakespeare, Mamet, The Prince and the Pauper, "Fractured Fairy Tales," and a whole lot more in this long-form skit about cross-dressing and destiny - and part of the joke is that he doesn't much care that most of his gambits don't hang together. Shakespeare's Fleance and Malcolm, for instance, who drive the plot of the show, were never even friends in Macbeth, so when they meet for drinks in some sort of Purgatorial pick-up bar with a fallen angel who's a kind of insurance salesman, we do think to ourselves, "WTF, milord?" Or at least I did.

      But wait a minute, let's back up. Here's the set-up: two Shakespearean characters (Malcolm and Fleance, played by Ed Hoopman and Tony Larkin) walk into a bar, where they meet, no, not a priest and a rabbi, but a seller of "indulgences" (Benjamin Evett). Remember those? I think the Catholic church actually still sells 'em, but at their height they were the proud pinnacle of Her venerable commitment to corruption - time-off in Purgatory was available for a variety of sins, for a small fee (or a large one, depending on the sin).

      Only Craddock's salesman isn't some hack from the Vatican - he's from the Big Kahuna himself. As in Jehovah. Yahweh. The Almighty.

      Which is quite an interesting intellectual proposition - God himself is offering an escape hatch from his own morality? Indulgences that work? And get a load of His reason - he wants to "re-inforce free will!" Holy conundrum, Mr. Stoppard! For a moment, it seems like a heavenly host of fascinating dialectics about the knotty problem of pre-destination might be in the offing.

      But no such luck; playwright Craddock may scramble the dramaturgical map to pin his themes, but he isn't actually serious enough about them to indulge in any intellectual depth. Instead, he skates along the contradictions of Catholic philosophy to hilarious, but not deeply satisfying, effect. Still, that's enough for Saturday night. I won't get into the silly-and-sillier plot, except to say that Malcolm and Fleance want to both get hitched and kill Dad, who's not hip to modern romance. Only they don't know that Dad isn't actually Dad - he sort of swapped spots in the universe with some schlub from the present day (back in that Purgatorial bar). Who wants his old gig back. Then there's the schemers in the palace, who methinks fpout a moft excellent pastiche of pfeudo-Shakespeareana; they've got their sub-plot, too.
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