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by Harry Kondoleon directed by Reid Davis

I first heard about Harry Kondoleon in NYC circa 1988 when a friend mentioned an eccentric downtown writer whose writing balanced lacerating wit with flights of lyricism. Now recognized as one of the most unique and valuable, if underproduced, American playwrights of the 1980s, Kondoleon was a Yale School of Drama graduate and winner of multiple Obie and New York Critics Circle awards before his untimely death in 1994 of AIDS.

In his plays I hear the voice of a too-clever child trying to get the attention of his parents, a ruthless clown determined to expose all hypocrisy - especially his own, and a confused toddler longing to be held in loving arms which remain always just out of reach. Equal parts fairy tale, pitch black comedy and soul rant, his plays tickle and haunt me.

This year was full of surprises and this production was no exception. I think Reid was the only one in the company who thought that a freak show Christmas story staged in July in the basement of a pizza parlor would be a wild success. We got great press and enjoyed a brief stay in our old digs. Notables: Frassinelli's pepto bismol pink set, indoor snow, and Dr. Caligari window frames.

Beth Donohue as Ingrid
Patrick Dooley as Bruno
Andrew Hurteau* as Nissim
Marin Van Young as Audrey
*appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

Reid Davis, director
Michael Frassinelli, set construction
Alex Lopez, lighting design
Benjamin Lovejoy, graphic design
Gerald Saunders, stage manager
Patrick Dooley, artistic director

Opened: Saturday, July 17, 1999
Performed: Thursday & Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm & Sunday at 7:00 pm
Performed At: La Val's Subterranean Theatre, 1834 Euclid Avenue, Berkeley
Closed: August 8, 1999

Brad Rosenstein for SF Bay Guardian
Michael Scott Moore for SF Weekly
John Angell Grant for The Berkeley Daily Planet
Marc Albert for Hills Newspapers
Richard Dodds for The Bay Area Reporter
Jean Schiffman for


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