September 27, 2008

Folly and Evil on Richmond Stages

By Chris Treadway

TWO PLAYS will open this week in Richmond -- one for a short stay in a familiar location and one for a longer stay at a stage somewhat off the beaten path.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning "Talley's Folly" opens Friday for a three-day run at The Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond.

Husband-and-wife team Siobhan O'Brien and David Suhl are featured in this production of the romantic comedy by Lanford Wilson about the courtship between two unlikely lovers in 1944 in Missouri.

"Sally is from a conservative, small-town, wealthy family of bigoted Protestants, and Matt is a Jewish accountant, 12 years her senior," goes the description.

Wilson was awarded a Pulitzer in 1980 for the work. The Masquers production, directed by Carlene Coury, is presented as part of the company's Envision program, a series of limited-scale productions supplementing its regular season.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturday and next Sunday at the playhouse, 105 Park Place in downtown Point Richmond. Admission is $10 at the door.

-- Also opening Friday in Richmond is "The History of the Devil," a play by Clive Barker described as "a story of redemption, compassion and fear."

This will be the Northern California premiere of the play, which takes place "at the Devil's parole hearing, where audiences sit in as jurors and are transported back in time via vignettes of testimony that illustrate the Devil's actions throughout history."

The production is presented by Ragged Wing Ensemble, a three- year-old artists' collective that has staged past shows in Berkeley and Oakland. "History" will be performed at what the company calls its Central Stage in Richmond. The performance space is in a small industrial area at 5251 Central Ave., east of Interstate 580 and just north of the Central Avenue overpass.

The space "is pretty new," company publicist Lawrence Helman said. "They've been using it for music events and rehearsals and dance stuff, but this is the first full-performance theatrical piece."

The ensemble "has come in and upgraded the space with lights and risers," he said, and hopes to make the space its first permanent home.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 1, with a special matinee at 2 p.m. Oct. 19. Tickets are on a sliding scale of $15 to $30, available by calling 800-838-3006 or online at

The Web site also has more details about the ensemble and current production, as well as more detailed directions to the Central Stage.

NOTEWORTHY: Richmond advertising firm Crossover Creative Group has won a second award for a recruiting promotion created for the Richmond Police Department. Crossover was honored with a Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award in the Recruitment/Employment/ Training category last month for its RPD marketing campaign titled "Lead."

Judges scored the firm's integrated media recruitment campaign as among the best of 544 entries from around the world. Crossover also won the Global Marketer "Diamond' Award in January for the RPD campaign. The 12-year-old firm specializes in marketing to a multicultural audience.

IN THE MILITARY: Air Force Airman Andrew D. Hall, a 2005 graduate of Salesian High School in Richmond, has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Melinda Hall of Hercules and Richard Hall of Richmond.

Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or [email protected]

Originally published by Chris Treadway, West County Times.

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