Picnicking in Marin
I've never thought of Danny Scheie as a realistic theater kind o' guy. After all, he's the director who did the gender-bending Shakespeare in Santa Cruz, as well as the all-male-cast version of The Desk Set at Theater Rhino. Imagine my surprise to discover that Scheie is directing not just any old realistic play, but Picnic, one of William Inge's most intense explorations of the realistic landscape, for Marin Theater Company. (The show opens May 8.) Inge saw Picnic as "a journey in which every moment should be as interesting as the destination." Scheie's enthusiasm for Picnic is captivating. "I've always loved the play. There is such a misconception about Inge -- that his stuff is dated and dusty '50s retro about wholesome people. I'm from the Midwest, so his people don't seem foreign and exotic to me, they way they do to people from the coasts. Inge is so honest in the way he treats people. He never judges his characters, especially the women. The women's relation to their sexuality feels very contemporary -- they just don't have the post-sexual-revolution language with which to talk about sexual desire. The play is very much about their desires, often hidden under the surface, versus the limitations of their circumstances. Everyone in this play has a different way of dealing with this force, which is sexual desire." Call 388-5208 for tix.
You Make Me Feel...
... like dancing. The Don't Quit Your Day Job Dancers have been around long enough that their audience has started to request favorite pieces. Their new show, Play It Again (July 12-13 at the Palace of Fine Arts), is a collection of old favorites, sometimes with new faces, and new dances as well. For all of you who called too late to get seats for their last extravaganza, good news: Tickets are still available. Call 331-8041, and hurry -- the show will sell out long before July.
John Robb, late of the much-admired Shylock on Valencia, joins the cast of Roadside Cafe Plays at Exit Theater. This is your chance to see Robb speaking something other than Elizabethan verse. Call 673-3847 for tix. ... Congratulations to the gang at The Phantom of the Opera, who raised more than $43,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. You can send donations to Actors' Equity any time for BC/EFA. Call 391-3838. ... If you've longed to be involved in a major theatrical event, now's the time to volunteer for everything from box office to set construction at the 1996 S.F. Fringe Festival. A gathering of Fringers, sort of a party with volunteering, occurs at 7 p.m. on May 8 at Exit Theater. Bring food for the potluck, if you wish, and prepare to nosh and talk and sign up.
By Deborah Peifer