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Harabel by Gypsee Yo at the Theatrical Outfit

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As a son of immigrant parents who has spend most of my life in the south and lived in Alabama for ten years while a student at Auburn University,  I could identify with the premise of this play Harabel.

I have witness the sacrifices my parent in order to guarantee a better future for me.  I am well aware of the tales from the old country Colombia, South America but at the same time I am as Southern as any Georgian can be.

Tom Key last year raved about his the semi autobiographer story written and performed by Jonida Beqo in Harabel by Gypsee Yo at the Gift of the Magi curtain speech and I was anticipating the performance.  “Harabel” means “Sparrow” and this story is a sweet flight into a new land.

It is a tale of a young woman’s journey from war torn Albania to America ending up in Alabama for a short stint and ending up in Georgia.  All the while she found love, had a daughter, and made her way working as a seamstress.  She sought to culturally assimilate while still maintaining her native land’s identity. Jonida Beqo is well known in Atlanta theatre circus as top “wardrobe mistress” and also performance poet.  This premiere is a jump to share her story on a larger stage.

This one act play starts off in the setting being behind the scenes of where the magic of theatre begins- the wardrobe room. A place full of fine silks, mismatched shoes, and all type of sewing equipment.  There Gypsee Yo, as she notes, touches the actors in a more intimate way than their own lovers to create an outfit that makes them shine. All the while she moves in and out of different periods of her life. All the while she masterfully uses the wardrobe props as part of her flashbacks to precise moments.

This play premiere is a new road for this poetry slam champion and sometimes her lines do come out as if she is reciting instead of re-living the moment. The multiple themes of cultural acculturation, love, war, and rural life create bumpy transitions. However, this production does have potential to be an intimate portrait of the American spirit, it needs a bit more editing and tightening up, at times I was lost at where she was heading.

There are some touching moments such as when she goes back to her native Albania after a long absence and you can feel the sacrifice she has taken as she spends time with her family.  Another scene is when she finally was accepted by the small rural town in Alabama by a simple gesture of being given a bible of her own, she had become part of that community.  She also is torn when she was asked to create a wedding dress after being paid an amount with many zeros even though she wanted to insert her opinion to the bride of what she felt she needed instead of what the bride wanted.

Directed by Justin Anderson, Harabel by Gypsee Yo and written and performed by Jonida Beqo is one strand of a single story of one immigrant’s journey into becoming part of the fabric of the USA.

For two nights only, one more chance to check her out on January 12, 2012 at the Theatrical Outfit. Find out more info about this virtuoso performer: http://jonidabeqodesigns.wordpress.com/

Coming up next on the Theatrical Outfit Stage is Fly on January 30- February 24, 2013 and then The Fabulous Lipitones also directed by Justin Anderson on March 27-April 21, 2013.

For tickets and more information visit: www.TheatricalOutfit.org or call 1-877-725-8849.

Don’t miss out an opportunity to check out the Theatrical Outfit, a place where they tell “stories that stir the soul”

 

Follow Dr. Wilson Trivino on Twitter @T4Vista

Holiday Fun

“A Christmas Carol” at Theatre in the Square Brings the Holiday Cheer!

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Nothing makes me feel more like Christmas is just around the corner than seeing a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.”  We have been fortunate to see it performed all over the country with highlights in Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre and now a wonderful performance at the resurrected Theatre in the Square!

The intimate theater is the perfect setting for a story this classic. Even if you are sitting in the back, you will still get a great view and feel the story just fine.

From the opening of the story, through the highly appreciated musical numbers, and a wonderful full cast finale, this adaptation is simply delightful.

The cast, comprised of some amazing local talent, is as good as they get! Some of the best and stand out performances go to Bruce Speer as Scrooge, Cindy Copeland  as Christmas Past, Vance West as Bob Cratchit and how could we leave out Davie DeWitt as Tiny Tim!

After the show we talked to the owner of the Theatre, Raul Thomas and he told us this. ” This adaptation by Director Tony Smithey he has been producing in a variety of forms for 18 years. Originally written to tour in schools the running time was about 55 min. With the addition of music and dancing it now runs about an hour and a half with the intermission.
In the production Tony has done a little fleshing out to Scrooge’s relationships with his Mother, his only friend Jacob Marley and his one and only true love Belle. ”

This is a must on our Holiday Fun list so get your tickets now HERE as it opens tonight!

 

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The New Theatre in the Square Marietta is Back and Better Than Ever!

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Three years ago one of my favorite local theaters took their final bow and closed up shop. Ever since I can I remember, I loved going to see performances at the Theatre on the Square in the beautiful Marietta Square. I can remember going to see some great Christmas shows with my parents and one of my favorites, the “1940’s Radio Hour”. Ahhh, the memories. But, it was all over in 2012.

Three years have come and gone and I spent two of those years in Boston and one in Florida, so imagine my delight to come back to Atlanta to find that the Theatre on the Square was revamped and ready to amaze again with great local talent.

We took a few minutes to get to know the lovely Roxanne Johnson of the Theatre and ask her a few questions.

Raul Thomas – Owner of Theatre on the Square

TBB: We are so excited that the beloved Theatre in the Square in Marietta is making it’s glorious comeback. Tell me about this revival, who is involved and what we can expect?

Roxanne: It was more than heart breaking to the community as a whole to see Theatre in the Square close up shop in 2012. Immediately seeing huge potential Raul Thomas; Executive Chef, Film Maker  and avid supporter of all the arts, took over the theatre in September of this year. From the community he hand picked a team of top notch creative and business professionals. We all quickly went to bring this sacred space back to it’s former glory.

   Wanting to court previous supporters of the theatre we offer through our resident company standards and favorites of the community. There will also be more contemporary entertainment offered as well as concerts and comedy and other events. The former green room has now been transformed into a small film and photography studio.

   The studio is available to the community. As well as classes for children and adults. We are already working closely with Marietta Middle School and Kennesaw State University. The ultimate goal is creating a multi-cultural center bringing entertainment and education to the area through art and theatre.  
   Information regarding what is currently running and what is coming up for us, as well as purchasing tickets can be found on our website HERE.

   After the 1st of the year we will be offering season tickets, flex tickets and reserved seating.

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Pure Magic! Cinderella at The Fox Theatre!

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Once upon a time, there lived a little girl who dreamed of happiness, played with her animal friends and loved her daddy.  She loved to pretend that she was the beautiful princess at a ball, dancing the night away. Yes, once upon a time.

As the years went by, the girl grew older but her dreams never died. She still loves her daddy, her animal friends and of course, dreams of happiness and princess gowns.

Last night, that little girl witnessed the most amazing thing! A true princess transform on stage and she knew that anything was possible! So, she began to dream some more!

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