Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Celeste & Starla Save Todd and Win Back the Day

Fuse Theatre Ensemble **Photo credit: Annaliese Moyer*
May 28 - June 27, 2009


The inquisitive Celeste and Starla, the starfish, have a mystery on their calendar marked with a capital M! Kim Kelsey Kirkpatrick has hired her to find his son Todd, so she sets off in her swinging roadster to find him, and a whole lot more, in this colorful, high-energy comedy.

**Posted in the "comments" section is an interview (part of a longer interview to be posted soon) with the show's director, Kerry Sorci, regarding the show's creation. **


Anonymous said...


followspot said...

Followspot interviews director, Kerry Sorci:

Kerry Sorci: “Celeste and Starla Save Todd and Win Back the Day” – the world’s longest title ever – but very fun – is a deceptively…how would I put this? On the surface of it the play feels and seems very frivolous and fun. The play is about Celeste, who is a cross between Nancy Drew and Alice in Wonderland because she’s highly curious, ingenious, very earnest, full of energy. And so she is with her sidekick Starla, who happens be a starfish, heading off on an adventure to find Todd, and win back the day. Essentially the play is that she gets hired by a millionaire to find his son who has disappeared many years ago, and she sets off to find him and it leads her on a journey to Rio and all over the place. That’s what the story is at one level, and it’s very fun. It feels very familiar. There’s many things in the play that people will be like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s like this, kind of, and that’s like this – so it’s like a Nancy Drew book, it’s like “Amelie,” it’s like the 1940’s romance movies, it’s like this,’ which is very fun for an audience, that idea of nostalgia and familiarity.

At the same time the play, on another level, is addressing some much kind of deeper questions and deeper ideas about love and about who we love, who are we allowed to love, and how we love. Those questions can be looked at by the audience on a very kind of fun, entertaining level, or they can be looked at on a much deeper level. And I love that – that there’s a lot going on in it. The challenge that we’ve been given by Francesca [Sanders], the playwright, is how do we articulate these ideas, staying true to the fact that the play is working on many different levels. So one of the things that we’re doing is this character – the play has three roles in it, Celeste, Todd, the love interest, and a character called Someone or Anyone who plays over 30 different characters - we have decided to cast that role with both a male actor and a female actor. I don’t want to give away too much because part of it is the fun in seeing the play, but suffice it to say the play could have a different meaning depending on what character it is and who the audience is that’s seeing each character. We’re asking our audience to make a choice – which way do you prefer to see it? With a male or female? And something about it, just making that choice, makes the audience think. They have to already go, ‘Well what does that mean? What does it mean that I have to choose?’

FS – You mean they vote?

KS – Well, they have to choose which night they’re gonna go. On one night it will be a male and another night it’ll be a female, and you’re gonna have to choose which one you’re going to see. How do you make that choice? How do you make a choice about gender? Right there. How do you make a choice about gender? And then seeing the play and the different characters and the fact that this person has to play 30 different characters of different sexes and different cultural backgrounds and different types - that’s gonna say something else. So we’re also offering to people the opportunity to come back and see it again for free if they bring a friend.

We hope people will take us up on that because, once again, that’s one of the really exciting things about live theatre, is that it happens in the moment, and for most theatergoers they know that on a kind of personal level, but what most general public theatergoers don’t get is that really every single time is different and so this is one way of trying to get people to see that. For example, my mother over time has realized that a show changes during the run. She’ll come opening night and she comes closing night because she likes to see how it changes. So it’s very fun. And Francesca and I came up with that idea before we cast the show because it was another way of kind of getting to the themes that are in the show, which have to do with love, and who you love, and how we love.

Anonymous said...

I went and saw this. Tony Cull was incredible but the script itself was trite and a waste of my time. Torie's set design was lazy and the lighting saved the show from looking entirely horrible. I'd heard wonderful things about Francesca's work but this was complete and utter dross.

Brian said...

I really enjoyed this play, and the only shame was that there were only about six of us in the audience, three of which were my group.

Of course we're all short on cash and stuff, but this is worth going to see, if you're looking for a fun time. We all laughed a lot.

Anonymous said...

I, too saw this, and in some ways I agree with Anonymous 6/16's assessment. However, I don't think it's the fault of the play itself, rather the execution. Kirsten plays it sort of one-noted, when this character is clearly troubled. A truly skilled actor could have shown the layers. Or maybe it was the director's choice not to dig more deeply. but there's a lot more to this play than to be dismissed simply as "dross." It is funny and whimsical, but, done better, is also a very interesting character study of a damaged mind.