A Comedy by James Cada and Mark Keller with Stephen Wellman and Robert Rossman
THURSDAY, March 10 AT 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, March 11 AT 8 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 12 AT 8 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 13 AT 2 p.m.
This Just In…
“Old Explorers is a Winner!”
Reprinted from The Union, March 10, 2011
“Wonderful acting and wildly funny imaginary adventures are what I found upon attending the comedy “Old Explorers,” making its West Coast premiere with Sierra Stages. Watching the actors ride “camels” in and of itself is reason enough to go!
The journey begins in the apartment of retired JC Penney accountant Leinen Kugel. A knock on the door brings fellow widower Warner Watney and … whoosh, you’re off on the first of many exciting adventures. With the help of their worldly explorer alter egos, Heinrich Schliemann and Henry Stanley, these two old friends would rather conjure up grand expeditions in search of the Fountain of Youth or the Lost City of Atlantis than just sit in the park and play “old man.”
Written by Minnesotans James Cada and Mark Keller in 1978, “Old Explorers” is their way to protest the notion that there’s no place for the elderly in America. They felt that the combination of the two old explorers and how they dealt with aging and death would challenge today’s generation.
Stephen Wellman as Leinen/Schliemann and Bob Rossman as Warner/Stanley turn in stellar performances. Their superb acting and comedic timing combine to bring out every little nuance in their characters. I was particularly struck by the ease in which they both switched back and forth between their characters and their characters’ alter egos, accents and all.
Co-directed by Rossman and Wellman, they’ve come up with a fast paced and fun production. Rossman’s set design is simple yet incredibly effective in suggesting the “explorer” theme. Exotic fabrics draped here and there, a world globe, a few bar stools, and an old wooden chest adorn the stage. Add in lighting by Rod Lewis and sound effects run by stage manager Carly Wellman and you have a stage set for exploration.
The Off Center Stage lends itself perfectly to this production. The intimate little theatre draws the audience right into the action. You can see and hear the smallest inflections in voice and mannerisms the actors have chosen to bring these characters to life. As one theatre patron put it, “You felt just like you were living it with them.”
“Old Explorers” is a wonderful way to get your daily dose of laughter, with a few touching and poignant moments thrown in. Don’t miss this terrific little show!”
Off Center Stage
315 Richardson Street, Grass Valley
(behind The Center for the Arts)
ALL TICKETS $15
Also available at BriarPatch and The Book Seller and at the door