University Theatre

Miles O'Malley (Colin Lawrence) and two cult members (Aloura DiGiallonardo and Stephanie Morgan) look at some sea life. Photo by Ariel Ogden

Sea Life, Earthy and Full of Fire
UO cast rides The Highest Tide
by Suzi Steffen

At almost every turn, The Highest Tide surprises and delights its audience. A coming of age tale that resembles The Catcher in the Rye not in the slightest, Tide works the mind and heart with honesty and acknowledgement of life’s salty mix of joy and bitterness.

That’s thanks to book author Jim Lynch, book-to-play adapter Jane Jones of Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle and the actors and director of University Theatre’s fine production. Director Bobby Vrtis pulls excellent performances from several of his cast members and keeps the action, even in this told-in-the-past-tense play, moving along.

Like strands of kelp intertwined on the beach, threads and themes braid through the story. Science, religion and belief, desire, loss and love form a potent brew, and the play demands a large, flexible cast — something much more manageable in a university than a professional theater.

(Read the rest after the jump!)

This is the last weekend for the University of Oregon Dept of Theatre's Big River and the second weekend of the Lord Leebrick's Fiction. (You should hit up both if you haven't yet!)

And though I enjoy writing reviews to certain lengths for the paper (and I tend to be a reviewer who concentrates on script, larger meaning, etc.), there are always things I want to say that get cut or don't quite get in.

So, random thoughts after the jump:

So a couple of weeks ago, back when it was like 90 degrees and all we could think of a major plus during the tour was how very, very glad we were to be under a roof even if the building's not finished and it wasn't air-conditioned (I'm pretty sure others we were all also thinking of beers or G&Ts post-tour), UO Dept of Theatre Arts prof Joseph Gilg offered the press and others a tour of the new theater building. (UPDATE: The whole thing, built on the back of Villard "without destroying the historic nature of Villard," is called the Miller Theatre Complex.)

I brilliantly didn't remember the EW camera, and I was the only press person there (which was bizarre!), but whoo hoo for the cell ...

Read and see more after the jump.

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