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Wagner lauds, applauds performances on Sanibel

By Staff | Mar 6, 2009

Oh My Gosh! Y’all must, must go see the Schoolhouse Theater’s latest musical production of “Classic Broadway, Abridged”.

This witty, delightful new show written by Artistic Director Victor Legarreta is currently, playing at the Schoolhouse Theater till March 7th and starring: Adam Clough, Victor Legarreta, Amanda Martin, Olivia Miller, and Samantha Rotella.

This terrific show features five-minute segments of the best of the biggest musical hits on Broadway – “Oklahoma”, “West Side Story”, “Showboat”, “Annie”, “Miss Saigon”, “Phantom”, “Anything Goes”, “South Pacific”, and “Wicked” to mention but a few. The five-minute version of the “Wizard of Oz” is a mini laugh riot.

“Classic Broadway” is filled with not only great music sung by an outstanding cast, it also has some of its funniest moments in its high camp, gender-bender take-offs.

Call the box office at 472-6862 and reserve your seat for a great evening of live theater right here on Sanibel. When you call tell ’em Marsha sent you.

Now, on to another fine performance presented by BIG ARTS On Stage – an unusual theatrical journey with Glen Berger’s tale of “Underneath the Lintel”, a one-man show starring Christopher Coucill.

This was a tale of a middle-aged librarian from Holland who sets out on quest to find the man who returned a book that is 113 years overdue.

The play’s plot asks:

Who checked this book out? Where has this book been, and what happened to this book while it was checked out? Why was it returned?

Unable to shake these questions, our librarian begins his own investigation to find the answers.

What he finds turns out to be much more than he expected. Playwright Berger employs the legend of the wandering Jew. The title of the play is part and parcel of this legend and was recounted to the audience by the librarian who begins the fable with Jesus, the day He was being taken to be crucified. Jesus collapsed on the doorstep underneath the lintel (the top beam over a doorway) of a cobbler shop’s front door. The cobbler, not knowing what to do and not wanting to anger the Roman soldiers, tells Jesus to move on.

Jesus, in turn, replies with a curse – that the cobbler must now walk the earth until He, Jesus, returns once again. Consequently, the cobbler was cursed to never rest, hence the name, the Wandering Jew.

As the librarian explores the mystery of this wandering Jew, his own life story begins to match that of the Jew. His research takes him back 200 years, through clues, police reports, dry cleaning receipts, and diary entries.

The more the librarian learns, the more he realizes that the wandering Jew is more than just a legend – Jesus becomes a reality and, by so doing, affirms a newfound faith for this man, adding genuine purpose to his life, a life which was once empty and meaningless.

Christopher Coucill brought astounding passion, warmth, humor with delicious comic timing to this role, keeping the BIG ARTS audience in the palm of his hand for the entire time. The play is certainly atypical, with just the right touch of poignancy; at the same time it takes on big, philosophical themes with just a sprinkle of lightheartedness to lighten the load.

The ovation from the appreciative audience for the fine acting skills and memorization of Coucill was well deserved. Chalk up another evening of noteworthy theater brought to us by BIG ARTS On Stage.

Be sure and mark your calendars for the final presentation on March 25th by On Stage, titled “Visiting Mr. Green”.

This little gem is a heart-tugging, gentle, sweet-natured, humorous play involving two very different men involved in a sort of odd couple friendship.