Press-Republican

Out & About

August 1, 2013

Passion heats up repertory stage

Pendragon offers desire, doubt, dose of Mae West

SARANAC LAKE — “Doubt, A Parable,” “Dirty Blonde” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” revolve at the Pendragon Theatre at the moment.

‘STREETCAR’

The latter, Tennessee Williams’s 1948 Pulitzer-Prize winning play set in New Orleans, was the first production of Pendragon founders, who now live in Maine.

“It’s the first play Pendragon produced 33 years ago,” said Karen Lordi-Kirkham, who is play director and Pendragon artistic-executive director.

“We did it to honor Bob Pettee and Susan Neal. They are retired now. We’re doing a true version of it. For me the exciting thing is we have Beth Glover, an Equity actor, who has done a lot of work at the Depot (Theatre in Westport). She’s playing Blanche (Du Bois, the play’s protagonist).”

Josh Luteran, a New York City actor, stars as Stanley Kowalski, Blanche’s nemesis and brother-in-law, who uncovers her secret past.

The cast includes MacKenzie Barmen, Jordan Hornstein, Harrison Ewing, Chris McGovern, Jason Arnheim, Leslie Dame, Rachel Jerome, Sam Balzac and Peggy Ornheim.

“We have a strong ensemble cast,” Lordi-Kirkham said. “I also have a sound designer, Robert Pound, working on some music. Kent Streed, who really does our costumes, does the costuming for it as well.”

The show opened in late July, and the cast has received standing ovations.

“That’s a good sign,” Lordi-Kirkham said. “There’s been a lot of good buzz. We’d like to have more people come see it. It closes Aug. 15.”

This was her first time out with this play, but she’s directed Williams’s “Glass Menagerie.” What she loves about the playwright is his characters and his language.

“He’s so poetic in his work,” Lordi-Kirkham said. “If one of the actors doesn’t say it right, you know it’s not as good as he wrote it. He has strong, complex characters, and audience members don’t see where it’s going. Many people know it (“A Streetcar Named Desire”) from the movie. They were really blown away by the story.”

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