At this point every winter many of us in the Berks start to get Cabin Fever, and there are simply not very many LGBT events here to make us leave the house. But my mind itches, it needs stimulation. So my annual forays into Boston and Albany begin. I would much rather write about events in the Berkshires, but other than The Mikado March 6 at the Colonial Theatre, there isn't a lot I am looking forward to.
Boston is humming. Their theatre and entertainment scene is approaching its peak. There's much to recommend as being worth a special trip. At the top of my list is Big Bean's Publick Theatre. They are mounting one of my favorite Joe Orton plays, Entertaining Mr. Sloane. It runs at the Boston Center for the Arts. The handsome and manipulative boarder who turns on and upsets the whole household is played by Jack Cutmore-Scott. Jack is currently in his fourth year at Harvard, and we hope to have an in-depth interview with him as to how he will approach his role. Jack is straight we are told, and so may be Mr. Sloane. It's complicated, funny and, yes, Mr. Sloane is entertaining too.
It's an all British cast for this production, including the return to the Boston stage of Sandra Shipley who plays Kath, a lonely, delusional landlady, in the junkyard house she shares with her declining father, Kemp (Dafydd Rees). Sloane, ever the handsome opportunist, quickly ingratiates himself, entering into seductions offered by both Kath, and her estranged brother Ed (Nigel Gore), who soon employs Sloane as his driver. Sloane’s past misdeeds and the dueling affections within the family soon collide, leading to a desperate act that proves the limit of his charms, and reveals the ruthless and cunning strategies that Sloane’s victims will engage in to preserve their unique arrangement.
The play is directed by Eric Engel who describes the dark comedy as "almost a farce. All four characters, because they are desperately lonely, allow their domestic, social and animal instincts to become irrevocably intertwined.” He adds, “Orton eliminates the line between the obvious and the Freudian, making things all the more confusing and delightful. Entertaining Mr. Sloane is a perfect play for today's audiences, who can explore sexuality with intrigue and open minds, rather than fear and judgment.”
Entertaining Mr. Sloane will run from March 11 through April 3, 2010 at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street in Boston's South End. Performances are Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Tickets: $33.00 - $37.50. (SPECIAL PRICING: Preview Performances March 11 -14 - All Tickets $20. More information from the Publick Theatre website.