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February 09, 1996 - Image 91

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-02-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

and gallery

"We presented him (Schef-
ceptance more bearable to
watch. The winding path to tol- man) with practical concerns,"
eration and compassion are the said Orbach, who noted the con-
type of universal human values siderations of stage sight lines
that Schefman explores in his and portability of the set. "That's
why this is a collaborative
paintings.
In the play, Schefman found process." And Schefman is more
Fierstein's undiluted honesty than pleased to play just one of
and farcical fantasy a compelling the roles.
Since last year's production of
way to dramatize the double
standard by which gay relation- the Clifford Odets classic Gold-
ships are judged. The healthy en Boy, JET has been looking to
dose of truth and humor forces merge other art forms into tra-
audiences to see and hear the di- ditionally staged plays. In Gold-
alogue of people whom they'd en Boy, Orbach noted, a
improvisational violinist served
likely disregard.
Torch Song Trilogy offers the as the protagonist's alter ego,
type of challenging theme that and "created a scenario of
allowed Schefman to translate sound."
Torch Song's set design,
the play's subtext into a series
of fanciful, yet at times, mini- Schefman hopes, will similarly
malistic and realistic images. "create a mood for the produc-
The apparent stretch from fan- tion ... When I sculpt or paint,
tasy to realism is possible be- I'm setting the limits on every-
cause each of the play's acts thing. But when I'm working in
takes place at a different time theater, it's interactive. I'm tak-
ing part to further enhance what
and place.
Originally, Torch Song Trilo- the director envisions and what
gy was performed in three sep- the actors are trying to develop.
"Sometimes I don't know how
arate one-act plays before being
woven together as an episodic designing a set will affect my
full-length show for its Broad- painting and sculpture, but
way run. A film based on the that's good," he said, "It leaves
play tightened the plot. Fierstein me open to experience some-
wrote and starred in the origi- thing new and different."
nal play and film.
With the recent success of
Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-
23 Torch Song Trilogy opens
winning plays Angels in Amer
for previews at the Jewish
ica and Perestroika, which Ensemble Theatre with
served as a call for openness and
performances at 8 p.m. on
understanding about gay life,
Wednesday and Thursday,
Fierstein's exploration of homo-
Feb. 14 and 15, 8 p.m. Satur-
sexuality is hardly novel. Yet :, day, Feb. 17, and 2 p.m. Sun-
starkly portraying male-male re-
day, Feb. 18. Regular
lationships at JET is new dra
.performances begin 7
matic ground.
Sunday, Feb. 18, and run 8
"Putting on this play is a big
p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays •
step for us (JET) — it's a whole
and Saturdays; and 2 and 7
new world," said Evelyn Orbach,
p.m, Sundays through March"
JET's artistic director. "Other
10, JET is located in the
Jewish theaters have asked us
Maple/Drake JCC. Tickets are
how we're approaching the
$10-$22, with discounts avail-
scenes. We're not censoring the
able to students, senior citi-
play for content because I think
zens and groups. Call (810)
that it's high time that we look
788-2900.
at it as sophisticated people in
'96. Everyone else is looking and
The following organizations
talking about it, shouldn't we?
are hosting benefits in con-
"In that sense, it'll be contro- junction with a performance of
versial. And, I look forward to
Torch Song Trilogy. If you
the dialogue (with the commu-
would like to attend one of
nity)."
these performances, contact
Once the play was selected,
the phone numbers listed be-
Orbach had set her sights on
low:
Schefman. The bizarre setting
of the second act particularly
The Forum Foundation, 8
called for Schefman's interpre-
p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14.
tive skills. Schefman will also
Call Ernest Horne at (810)
use still photos on stage to set
731-4374.
the scenes.
Of course, theater also re-
Michigan Jewish AIDS
quires a set design that stimu-
Coalition, 7 p.m. Sunday,
lates the type of spontaneity that
Feb. 18. Call Edwina Davis at
builds memorable stage perfor-
(810) 356-2123.
mances. Ultimately, the task of
a set designer is to enhance the
The Detroit Together
blocking, gesture and dialogue 'Men's Chorus, 8 p.m. Sat-
of the actors while focusing on , urday, March 2. Call Frank
the aesthetic possibilities with-
Perkins at (810) 542-7983.
in the script. -



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