Friday, October 24, 2014

Freud meets C.S. Lewis and theater is never better


(and courtesy North Coast Rep)

With pleasant opening night weather, playgoers mulled
about by the box office of North Coast Repertory
Theatre, awaiting a brilliant "Freud's Last Session." 
WHAT AN ENGAGING 75 minutes!
If you love theater, you'll revel in "Freud's Last Session" at North Coast Repertory Theatre.
It's a thinking person's play, challenging the play goer to ponder, delve and consider his own belief system.  As all good art should do, this play encourages a return viewing, a second chance to enjoy the language and top acting.
It's always a pleasure to head north to Solana Beach and North Coast Rep's first-rate fare.
The intimate venue is perfect for viewing a play such as this, replete with complex language featuring actors in complete command of their craft and its potential to move.
Watching the actors at close range is a plus at North Coast Rep. In its 33-year existence, the theater has forged a reputation for diverse offerings, fine acting, top directing and beautiful sets.  With the venue seating less than 200 people, there are no bad seats, and the small house encourages total attention on the stage.
AN ABLE volunteer group sees that guests are promptly seated and the Rep is also known for starting its productions on time.
Sigmund Freud, left (actor Michael Santo) and C.S. Lewis (Bruce Turk) have a spirited debate in Freud's study.
Above, theater goers of all ages mix and enjoy wine and artwork before the production.
The Rep's David Ellenstein ably
directs the current production.
Before the production, there's time for a glass of wine and Keller's favorite melt-in-your mouth chocolate chip cookie, served by the volunteers in a small and inviting lobby.
Artwork is regularly changed on the walls, featuring regionally known painters. It's a pleasant place to relax and mingle.
In Sigmund Freud's study, C.S. Lewis, played by Bruce Turk, and Michael
 Santo as Freud, deliver a pair of beautiful performances.

OUR OPENING night viewing of "Freud's Last Session" featured a full house to savor masterful acting by Michael Santo as the opinionated Sigmund Freud and Bruce Turk as the amiable writer C.S. Lewis.  The older Freud is dying but feisty; Lewis is hitting his artistic stride.  Although on opposite sides of the "God" debate, the two intellectuals find common ground in their humanity, intelligence and secret sufferings. Subtle direction by David Ellenstein, the Rep's gifted artistic director, and the comfortable connection forged by the two actors in shaping their characters make an exhilarating  theatrical experience.
Playwright Mark St. Germain's writing is crisp, smart and often funny, with historical references slipped in -- the time is early World War II and the Nazi reign of terror has begun.
WHAT MAKES the production particularly pleasing and memorable are the questions posed by the debate between a believer and an atheist. The show is up through Nov. 9. Don't miss it! Go to or call 858 481-2155 to book tickets. Treat a smart friend to an early holiday gift!

Gaudi's Cathedral in downtown Barcelona
has been under construction for decades.

COMING SOON: When Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyric, "Where You Going?"  the answer was "Barcelona" and we're going there, too.  Come along to this gaudy, "Gaudi" infused Catalan capital. Then our globe trotters visit an old Montana ghost town, abandoned when a mining boom didn't materialize. Remember to explore, learn and live, and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your kind words. Believe me when I say they are much appreciated. One correction however. The running time of "Freud's Last Session" is 70 minutes, not 95. It makes a huge difference for folks with small bladders.

    Michael Santo - Freud