|Short-play festival sparkles|
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
|But the festival is
back for 2001, and thanks to smart casting and a number of clever plays
- from many of the same playwrights who participated in 1999 - Christmas
at Ground Zero proves once again to be the area's best theatrical
Some of the 10 shows push the limits of the 10-minute rule. As expected, they exhibit a variety of moods and styles.The clear standout is Reg Platt's Minor Revelation, an insightful take on St. John the Divine, the man whose visions were the source of the Book of Revelation. Chapman Locke is the prophet, writing down these visions as the angel (Denise Jackson) pantomimes them. He's receiving a particularly strong prophecy about a red-suited monster carrying a sack on his back: The Anti-Claus. When the aging virgin Mary (Carolyn Wickwire) comes in, she suggests an annual birthday celebration for her late son and, in offering bread to John, leads him to the line "Man shall not live by bread alone."
In James Venhaus' well-written The First Christmas, a recently divorced husband (Anthony Ramirez) and wife (Jackson) tell their sides of the story while decorating their own half of a tree the way they've always wanted to. Erik B. Knapp's Wonderful Life offers the best dramatic scene - and performances - in a conversation between a police negotiator (Jeff Fenter) and a man watching a screening of the Jimmy Stewart movie with a bomb strapped to him.Susan McMath Platt's Family Presents, Guillermo De Leon's The Best Christmas Ever and Jim Tyler Anderson's Iggy & Louis are all welcome laugh riots. Meanwhile, Vicki Caroline Cheatwood's after lunch, written to address the current war in Afghanistan, is too loosely connected to Christmas and felt hastily put together, more like a scene than a play.
Mark Lowry, (817) 390-7747 firstname.lastname@example.orgChristmas at Ground Zero
Through Dec. 22; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E Lawther Dr, DallasTickets: $10-$12
Call: (214) 943-5120