by Sue Lense
by Dennis Toth
It's a gnawing feeling,
The last of one's kind,
At the ending moment
Of ending times,
Where birds fall
Like snow flakes
And the stars begin
And water turns
Like a broken clock
And most clocks
Are bound to break.
Besides time itself,
Has ceased to tick,
Stopping for a smoke
Beneath a banyan tree
Where a pleasant breeze
Drifts cool and sweet.
From the shores of Allegheny
Across the Pennsylvanian sea
You talked about your life
Among the dunes of old Nebraska
And the sands of Iowa.
You said you once found a fossil
Beneath a banyan tree.
And then you told us tales
About the lost human race.
Strange creatures, you said,
Who fell from grace,
With little trace.
Dennis' Blog at:
Non Fiction Theater of the Truly Mundane
2 Seasons In 1 Day
by Rick brown
A men’s room at the Columbus International Airport Terminal
on a cold, frigid day in early December. Rick is alone standing
at a urinal when a bald, middle-aged man walks in. He is wearing
khaki pants and a plaid short-sleeved shirt. He is carrying a
large duffle bag.
Middle-aged man in a plaid short sleeved (putting the duffle bag
on the baby -changing table) – HEY! You been outside?
is unaware he is being addressed.
man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt (louder) - HEY!! YOU been OUTSIDE?!!
(zips up and moves to a sink where he begins washing his hands)
– I was 2 hours ago.
Middle-aged man in a plaid short sleeved shirt – Is it COLD?!!!
Rick – Well…2 hours ago it was 23 degrees.
Middle-aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt (even louder) –
GODDAMMITT! Now I gotta put on a SWEATER!!
begins pawing through the duffle bag randomly throwing clothes
on the baby-changing table.
(while drying his hands with a paper towel) – Welcome to
aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt (turning towards Rick)
- NO SHIT!!!!!!
Middle aged man in a plaid short-sleeved shirt - himself
The Naked Truth
Easton Town Center
the editor of Naked Sunfish to do on a cold, snowy January night?
Go see Shadowbox Live’s newest show The Naked Truth.
I mean … you can’t get too naked in the wintertime
can you? I’m speaking metaphorically of course. There is
no nudity here, but there is plenty of sexy soul baring satire.
“Relationship Status” might be the strongest opening
sketch I’ve seen this troupe perform. Jerrod Roberts (Trevor),
David Whitehouse (Jeff) and Jimmy Mak (Max) are young teen buddies
at a sleep over. Trevor has a crush on a girl named Ali and the
three of them navigate their way through a virtual relationship
on FaceBook. The writing is crisp and insightfully high –
tech, to the point of a delicious slam on MySpace. Mr. Roberts
in particular is arrestingly charming as the love stricken but
not to be taken for granted Trevor. His performance, buoyed by
Whitehouse and Mak’s support, is nuanced and touchingly
Similarly, closing skit “Girls Have Cooties, Boys Have Lice”
brings Amy Lay as 8-year-old Bethany as a guest on schoolmate
Billy’s (Jimmy Mak) call in radio show. Bethany has just
finished her 3-page book … both front and back … about
improving relationships between boys and girls. Mr. Mak is magically
manic in his spastic portrayal of the child talk show host. The
writing is delightfully disjointed, making the interplay between
Billy and Ms. Lay’s Bethany seem authentic. With a “we’re
making this up as we go along” childlike charm, the piece
succeeds despite it’s rambling.
Also good is “Sock Therapy”. Shadowbox Live newcomer
Donathin Frye skillfully plays a man who is terrified to talk
to women, seeing a therapist … a woman therapist.
(Amy Lay as Dr. Friedberg) The good doctor suggests some experimental
therapy involving a conversation between sock puppets. The socks
end up taking on a life of their own, juxtaposing real people
with alter ego. The sketch is both clever and humorous without
going over the top.
“Dr. Mystery vs. Bridezilla” is familiarly funny.
The surrealism of sound effects, puppetry, slapstick, and general
mayhem is a crowd favorite. The plot is oftentimes secondary to
the lunacy. This edition is no exception. And it works. But it
does run a tad long.
Several other sketches score big, “Shannon’s Movie
Review: Twilight – A New Moon” is another reoccurring
sketch. This particular version has a nice little twist of immature
conflict at the end. And “Divas Do You Right” is bodacious
in its blasphemy. Julie Klein and Stephanie Shull take opera to
the pop culture masses. Man Diva Stev Guyer soon joins the hip,
over the top operetta with hilarious, highbrow bashing harmonies.
Another very strong skit is “The Dating Bowl”. This
would be a run of the mill sex farce if not for the great play-by-play
and color commentary of Kurt Henderson (Matthew Hahn) and Gwen
Mulligan (Nikki Fagin). Their biting comments on how the date
is going brings depth and an additional dimension.
Not so good is “Supernova Condoms”, a one-joke piece
that fails to rise to the quality of the other sketches’
writing. “Soul Counseling” is better, but mostly because
the singing is so soulful.
I do not believe I have ever seen a Shadowbox Live show with anything
less than outstanding musical performances. Particularly impressive
is Nikki Fagin on “Natural Woman”. Truthfully, no
one can sing like Aretha Franklin (Patti LaBelle maybe)
And it might be easy to forget that the song was written and performed
by Carole King. Ms. Fagin skillfully sings somewhere in the middle
of that spectrum, making it one of the high points of the entire
Kicking some serious rock n’ roll ass is Amy Lay on Van
Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some”, and again Ms.
Fagin with her torrid “Photograph” (Def Leppard).
These two fine vocalists are joined teamed with bandleader Jennifer
Hahn for a surprisingly superb “Thanks for the Memories”
Also great is Stev Guyer’s take on Seal’s “Prayer
for the Dying”, Stephanie Shull’s sultry “Wicked
Game” (Chris Isaak), and … well … all the music
is terrific … really. House band BillWho? is such a vibrant,
talented outfit I wonder why an original tune isn’t snuck
into a show once in a while. Given the range of decades of covers
performed at Shadowbox Live, I’m sure a significant portion
of the audience is not familiar with every song and every artist.
Some might already assume a tune or two is an original.
The Naked Truth closes with a respectably rousing rendition
of the Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women”. And while
it is more ensemble piece than Stones, the presentation brings
a smooth and satisfying conclusion to a wonderful evening. This
show has a special mix of familiar with fresh. Truth be told,
The Naked Truth is wonderful way to warm the cockles
of your heart (or wherever your cockles might be located) on a
cold, dark winter night with laughter, singing and dancing! Take
it from me. We at Naked Sunfish know Naked. And we know The Truth.
Live’s The Naked Truth runs until March 19th at
Easton Town Center. For more information please go to: http://www.shadowboxlive.org/