RAVEN PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
A Comedy About the Serious Business of Being Single in the '90's!
"Children of the World"
The Director: Michael Wonio
Michael's most recent stage appearances were the Houston Shakespeare Festival (Comedy of Errors) and the Albee Workshop (Valedon). He has also performed in the Houston Show Festival, Jewish Festival, Theater LaB, Main Street, Chocolate Bayou, Strand St. Encore and other Houston and Bay Area venues. He has directed for Galveston College, Texas A&M at Galveston, Clear Creek County Theatre, Harbour Playhouse, Houston Skyline Theater and The Little Room Downstairs. Watch for Blame It On The Movies at The Country Playhouse.
Juli Kamin.........Actress, Woman 1
Joseph E. Hudson...........Man 1, Rick
Carilyn Hall................Homeless Woman #1
Dolly Markel............Woman in Elevator, Tourist
Frank Page.......................Mr. Sanders
Michelle Fitzgerald............Lawyer, Woman 2
Christopher Cole.......................Man 2
Jose Amaya.......................Construction Worker
Ravin' Raven Productions Brings Into Life
the Brilliantly Written Play Somewhere In Between
It was a dark, gloomy, rainy Friday night. You'd have to be crazy driving the slick, wet streets of Houston, but I was trying to look for Cleo's Comedy Theatre at 3722 Washington at Waugh. I picked up a promotional flyer at a TGI Friday's restaurant, announcing the presentation of Somewhere In Between. I decided to go see it because I recognized Sue Ulu's name, and remembered her performance at Main Street Theatre's 10x10 Play Festival.
When I saw the play, I wasn't disappointed and it was well worth the trip. Brilliantly written by Craig Pospisil and directed by Michael Wonio, it depicted the funny side about the serious business of being single in the '90s.
The main character for this wonderfully colorful production is Jasper, a regular, practical, boring guy played by Bob McNelis. This twelve-scene, 2-Act play goes through all the scene changes, but Jasper, throughout the whole show meets all the Motley Characters wearing the same drab-colored suit and boring tie. All of the characters were incredibly funny and unforgettable. And during the whole show, Jasper was always Somewhere In Between.
Jasper meets a conservatively bow-tied Woman in the Elevator played by Dolly Markel, who goes insanely berserk upon finding out they were trapped between floors. An experimental couple tries to spice up their sex life by putting Jasper in the middle in between them. In The Subway, a Homeless woman, "The best nation in the world is Donation!" is magnificently performed by Carilyn Hall. Such an overpowering performance. So amusing were the characters, I was laughing out loud. Pandemonium ensues as subway passengers, a construction worker and other characters desperately tried to give a tourist the right directions to her destination. The whole scene develops into Mad Chaos.
The second act starts with Jasper and Holly's first date, where they were dining in a restaurant, seated in the middle of the stage. As they attempt to make light conversation, the scene turns into a battle between 2 other couples in the restaurant vying for the audience's attention. The first couple was fighting and the second couple were throwing such lavish praises to each other, it seemed like their conversation was turning into passionate lovemaking right there at the restaurant table. Because of this fierce battle between the two couples, Jasper and Holly, hence, could never put in one word throughout the whole scene.
The Walk Home after their dinner date, gives Jasper and Holly a chance of not only saying a few words to each other, but to act out exactly how they feel, and what they think about one another. Sue Ulu does an erotically charged performance as she steps on a higher stage and lasciviously caresses her whole body. One wonders how Mike Wonio manages to conduct this powerfully sexy scene.
Between the Cracks, Jasper engages in a philosophical conversation with another homeless man, who rationalizes to him, how he conducts the normal routine business of Begging. In Between Jobs, Jasper loses his job where the audience gets to know his boss, Mr. Sanders played by Frank Page. His performance reminds one of Mary Tyler Moore's boss, Lou Grant.
Michael Wonio's Directing was magnificent. The actors and actresses were acting their hearts out, bearing their souls on stage. What I find so pathetic was the fact that there were less than ten people in the whole theater audience. Maybe it was the fact that it was a Friday night, or that it was raining heavily, but at one point, there were more people on-stage than there were in the audience. It's a sad fact, but there is definitely a need for the Houston Public to learn how to appreciate the Arts and to support the local Theater Scene.
The proceeds from this production of Somewhere In Between benefited Kid-Care USA and the mission of Casa Speranta, Romania. Kid-Care USA's Children of The World current projects focus on: 1) Eliminating child abandonment; 2) Eliminating child exploitation and neglect; 3) Alternatives for institutionalized children.
Bob McNelis (Jasper): Bob has been seen on many stages in the Houston area. Most recently, he appeared in The Art Attack murder mystery at Renata's restaurant. Favorite roles include Arthur Korman in The Goodbye People, Dickinson in 1776, Lenny in Rumours, Kenikie in Grease, and Kayama Yeseamon in Pacific Overtures.
Sue Ulu (Holly): Sue has appeared in several television commercials in the Houston area. She likes being in front of a camera, but has learned it is harder to perform on stage. Her last performance on stage was at Main Street Theatre's Chelsea Market location in the Scriptwriter's Houston 10 x 10. Sue would like to acknowledge her mother and father for their constant love and support.
Juli Kamin (Actress, Woman 1): Juli's roles have included the Bride in Blood Wedding, Barbara in Beware of the Dog, Young Mother in The Mother and Deborah in the United States premiere of Mom's the Word. She has performed on stage, film and television in the U.S.A., Britain, and Canada. Her passion is children, as evidenced by her foundation - Children of the World. Her enjoyment are the two best daughters on the planet, Abbie and Jennie.
Cindy DiCosimo (Valerie): Cindy is one of the producers for Raven Production Company and her credits include Jessie Mae in Trip to Bountiful, Claire in Rumours, Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream here in Houston with Shakespeare by the Book, and Mom's the Word at Stages Repertory Theater. Her musical credits include: Godspell, Four Seasons, Oliver and Cinderella.
Joseph E. Hudson (Man 1, Rick): Joe has appeared at theaters all around Houston. He has been seen at Theatre LaB houston (Assassins, Avenue X, The Tragic & Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, and The Rink), Main Street Theatre (Waiting for a Kiss, The Mask of Moriarty) and Houston Skyline Theatre (Julie Johnson). In addition to numerous other shows, Joe has been the musical director for many shows and cabarets.
Carilyn Hall (Homeless Woman #1): Carilyn has performed at various theaters. She has performed in Nunsense as Sis Hubert, Celia in a Hatfull of Rain, The Color Red Is For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Isn't Enuf. Carilyn has also directed and taught acting at Brookhollow Baptist Church.
Dolly Markel (Woman in Elevator, Tourist): Dolly is a co-producer for Raven Productions. Credits include Jesse Mae in Trip To Bountiful, Rosalind in As You Like It, Beline in Imaginary Invalid, and Laura in The Glass Menagerie. She has appeared locally at Houston Skyline Theater, The Country Playhouse and Stages Repertory Theater. Dolly is excited to be a part of Raven Productions and has enjoyed working with this dynamic and dedicated group of people.
Bill O'Rourke (Chris): Bill has performed in an average of approximately 2 1/2 plays per year for the last 32 years. For the past several years, he has been performing about once per week in variety shows organized by the Royal Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Single Star - benefits for charities dealing mainly with AIDS or Breast Cancer. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Denver.
Frank Page (Mr. Sanders): Frank started many, many, many years ago on a New York stage as a child. His most recent stage appearance was at Stages Repertory Theatre for the Scriptwriter's 10x10. He has 10 years of experience in film, television commercials and voice-over in Houston and other Texas cities.
Cherlyn Glanville (Mary): This is Cherlyn's debut to the Houston stage. She graduated from the University of Pacific where she did some theater and student films. Cherlyn teaches French at Bellaire High School.
Michelle Fitzgerald (Lawyer, Woman 2): Michelle has recently moved to Houston from Jakarta, Indonesia. She is a mother of two wonderful children and a newcomer to the theater. Most of Michelle's acting background has been in film.
Christopher Cole (Man 2): After a three year absence, Christopher returns to the theater. He is excited about being a troupe member of Raven Productions. Christopher is a firm believer in Children of the World and the change it brings forth, especially with the HIV / AIDS infants and the children of Casa Speranta Orphanage in Romania.
Jose Amaya (Construction Worker): A Mexican-American dancer turned actor who was given a chance by Raven Productions and Children of the World to participate in this magnificent play with the purpose of bringing joy to the children of the Casa Speranta Orphanage in Romania. Jose was a dancer for the Fine Arts Institute in Matamoros, Mexico. Also, he attended some acting classes at The University of Houston. After a few years of absence, Jose is returning to the spotlight.