An American Sitcom in Austria

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Vienna sees a new sitcom...on stage!

Vienna sees a new sitcom...on stage!

Austria's television audiences have been familiar with most of America's top sitcoms.But now it's "(Situation) Comedy Tonight" for Vienna's theatregoers.

New York-based writer David Blomquist, who has also written the books for several PBS-documentaries, is the author of Weekends Like Other People-- a sitcom playing in Chicago.

Weekends Like Other People deals with the life of Dan and Laurie Maher, a middle-class couple aspiring to work their way up in life and business. Hardly an original subject, but sets, cameras and lights help to create an interesting mix between a TV-studio and a real stage.

It is as if a TV-sitcom would take place in "real time" in front of a live audience. First there there are the opening titles on a screen, then some scenes, some with special sound effects, interrupted by commercials to the closing titles. Gregor Seberg directs, Christiane Krotz (who also did the translation) and Clemens Aap Lindenberg play the Mahers besides being the producers of this unusual piece.

Director Seberg says about this novelty: "There are two important elements in this show: The typical sitcom atmosphere with its rapid-fire dialogues and physical comedy. This is countered by the acting on a real stage which shows the actors as real life people and not as exaggerted characters."

As Weekends Like Other People is not subsidized, money came from different sponsors whose filmed commercials interrupt the evening frequently - but that's television for you!

Weekends Like Other People plays at the "Studio 44" (Rennweg 44, A-1030 Vienna) till November 8. An Austrian tour is currently in the works.

Tickets and Information at: +43-1-536 01 or +43-1-369 77 86.

-By Bernd Freimueller
Austria Correspondent

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