Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Get ready for some clean, loving fun—and celebrate a creative breakthrough for local high school students at the same time. The Power APAC Theatre high school actors will be presenting "Love Hurts," a love-filled, humorous performance of a play they wrote themselves, this Valentine's weekend on Saturday, Feb. 12, at Power APAC Theatre Arts.
"Love Hurts" is a comedy featuring songs, scenes and monologues. Think of it as "Saturday Night Live" but a lot cleaner. There are three acts in the show: "Dating Olympics," "Jerry Finnegan's Sister" and "The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year."
Murrah/APAC student Jay Jurden wrote the three acts, with help from the other students and under the guidance of the director and their teacher, Leslie Barker. This is Power APAC's first time to write their own play.
"Everyone was into the writing, but I had five kids to actually write it on paper. About 23 high school kids are involved," Barker said.
The show revolves around a boy cupid and a girl cupid. Boy Cupid, played by Ford Stevens, is mistaken all the time for an angel. He is miserable. He is dressed in an oversized diaper and tight shirt. Girl Cupid, played by Rebecca Jones, is a rookie cupid and happy with her job.
"This show is split up by different stories and different events. The Cupid story is the frame of the show. We have other segments such as open-mic poetry night," Jurden said.
Last year, Barker took her students to a workshop at Chicago's Second City Improv—the famed comedy troupe that has produced many members of the cast of "Saturday Night Live." The students incorporated Second City's methods into their own work and created this very funny show. Some of these students improvised his or her poetry in this show. One hilarious segment is about Irene, a girl who is the cheating queen. Jurden and Chaz Lindsay improvised Irene together one day in rehearsal; Jurden improvised the words and Lindsay the guitar music.
The dancing in this show is oddly amusing. There are two macho football players dancing to "Midnight Train To Georgia" and "Say a Little Prayer for Me." I won't even try to describe what they are wearing. You have to see for yourself. And at one point in the show, the actors do a big spoof to "Dirty Dancing."
Still, the show is meaningful as well as funny. Lindsay said, "We thought it was going to be a big joke. But it turned into something serious."
"We put our own personal experiences in it, and it just came out funny," explained Roberta Sachs.
This is an eclectic cast of confident, creative students. I felt as if I were chatting with people my own age, if not older. They were animated as they spoke and told humorous stories about their experiences in acting. I wish I had gone to high school with a group of kids like these.
Now they're focused on Saturday night. "There were days when we did not think we were going to get this together. But we did. I hope it stays like that until Saturday," Barker said.
The show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at Power APAC Theatre Arts at 1120 Riverside Drive. $5 For Adults/$3 For Students. Information: 960-5387.
This play sold out last night -- and was standing room only! Cheers to the APAC kids. I hear it was a great performance -- Skyla and Thabi went -- but I was at HeARTS Against AIDS, which was also packed. And I have to brag on Tony DiFatta -- one of his paintings was auctioned for more than $3,000. ;-)