Monday, February 16, 2009

Silver Spring Stage Presents "A Bad Friend" 2/20-3/15

Silver Spring Stage Presents "A Bad Friend" Powerful and Personal Drama 2/20-3/15

by BWW News Desk

Silver Spring Stage presents A Bad Friend by Jules Feiffer, directed by Seth Ghitelman and produced by Brenda Ryan Ghitelman, set in the 1950's McCarthy era, an eloquent and honest story of a teenager trying to find her own voice in a time when having one's own ideas are under threat. The community theatre premiere of A Bad Friend will perform weekends February 20 to March 15.

Silver Spring Stage is located in the Woodmoor Shopping Center, lower level (next to the CVS) at Colesville Road and University Boulevard. Ticket prices range from $13 to $18. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday matinees on March 1 and March 15 at 2:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased at Information is also available=2 0by calling (301) 593-6036.

Known prominently for his humorous and biting Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoons, Jules Feiffer has used words and pictures for half a century powerfully and personally to express the uniqueness of one's individual ideas. He's still going strong at 80 with a body of work of plays, screenplays, children's books and artwork. Feiffer said about his own work that it dealt "with going up against authority and conventional wisdom, and how people use language not to communicate, and the use of power in relationships." A Bad Friend, written in 2003, revives an era where individual ideas were considered dangerous. However, he tells the story through the timeless prism of a young woman trying to find her own way in adolescent rebellion to her parents while captivated by an intriguing stranger who seems to understand her. Feiffer based the characters on himself and his sister who was a member of the Communist Party in the 1950's. The Feiffer household as recreated in A Bad Friend was a scene of lively discourse on politics. Feiffer jested once: 'Do you think I would have dared write this if my sister were alive?'. Though set 50 years ago, A Bad Friend resonates today as encouraging and expressing individualism in society is a precious liberty in constant need of nourishment. Feiffer presents a moving and honest portrait of a young woman in search of her own character and inspiration - a search that all of us can remember.

Set in Brooklyn during the 1950's McCarthy era, A Bad Friend introduces the household of Shelly and Naomi Wallach (GorDon Adams and Sally Cusenza), a middle-aged couple who are as fervently opposed to McCarthyism, anti-Semitism and exploitation of the working class as they are passionately committed to the Rosenbergs, civil rights and Stalin. Their independent-minded teenage daughter, Rose (Lauren Uberman), squirms under the weight of her parents' oppressive Marxist principles. She meets a man Emil (Craig Miller) on the Brooklyn Heights promenade one day and develops a friendship with him. That friendship, however, comes under scrutiny as there is suspicion as to Emil's interest in the Wallach family and their involvement with communism. Naomi's brother Morty (Brian Turley) is a screenwriter and seeming victim of the Blacklist. Entering the picture, Fallon (Stuart Fischer) is investigating the entire scenario. Feiffer builds the tension and suspense between Rose and her mother and Rose and her "friend" as to the lines between personal and politics and the price of one's beliefs.

The production team includes Anne Cary (Assistant Director/Stage Manager), Mikel Stitka (Set Design), Peter Caress (Light Design), Ed Moser (Sound Design), Crystal Fergusson (Costume Design), and Linda Senne (Props Design).

The Stage's 2008-2009 "Find Yourself" season continues with the provocative expose on the 10th anniversary of the school massacre columbinus (Apr. 3-26), comic romp As Bees in Honey Drown (May 15-Jun. 7), and classic Agatha Christie suspense The Mousetrap (Jun. 26-July 26).

Silver Spring Stage is grateful for support from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the Maryland State Arts Council.

From Broadway World

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