Directed by Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone, the evening of short Tony Kushner plays began previews May 16 and will continue through June 13 in the Dowling Studio. The cast features J.C. Cutler (Major Barbara), Kate Eifrig (9 Parts of Desire), Jim Lichtscheidl (The Two Gentlemen of Verona) and Valeri Mudek (A Midsummer Night's Dream), who all perform multiple roles.
Flip Flop Fly!, according to press notes, "tells the story of a bizarre lunar encounter between two dead women, Lucia Pamela (Mudek) – the fabulous American concert pianist, singer, songwriter, recording star, bandleader and radio personality, who claimed to have made a record album on the moon in 1969 – and Geraldine (Eifrig), the deposed queen of Albania. With one nattering on about her life in entertainment and the other about her life in exile, the two compare the courses of their lives."
Lichtscheidl performs all of the roles in East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis, which features "short monologues by 16 male characters and seven female characters, about an outrageous 1990s scheme actually used to avoid paying taxes. As a housing detective discovers its success, news of the fraud spreads rapidly, prompting the government to investigate."
Terminating or Sonnet LXXV or "Lass Meine Schmerzen nicht verloren sein" or Ambivalence features the entire Tiny Kushner cast. "Sitting in an office are Esther (Eifrig), an analyst, and her former patient, Hendryk (Cutler), along with their lovers, Dymphna (Mudek) and Billygoat (Lichtscheidl), respectively, as Hendryk, pleads with Esther to take him back as a patient."
In Dr. Arnold A. Hutschneker in Paradise, "Metatron (Eifrig), a Recording Angel with a million eyes, is holding a supervisory session with Dr. Hutschneker (Cutler) in an upscale office in heaven. The two discuss how Hutschneker's pains and his denial of mortality could quite possibly be related to his sessions with his own patient, Richard Milhous Nixon, with whom he frequently meets in the afterlife." The political satire Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy explores "issues of political morality and moral relativity, as now-former First Lady Laura Bush (Eifrig) reads from The Brothers Karamazov to the pajama-clad ghosts of dead Iraqi children, all of whom are watched over by an angel (Mudek)."
The creative team also includes Annie Smart (set designer), Anita Yavich (costume designer), Alexander V. Nichols (lighting and video designer), Victor Zupanc (sound designer), Lauren Ignaut (dramaturgy), Michele Harms (stage manager) and Meaghan Rosenberger (assistant stage manager).
The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue) in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets call (612) 377-2224 or visit www.guthrietheater.org.