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Rude And Riotous, ‘Breaking Legs’ Delivers On Promise Of Disclaimer

“Breaking Legs” is not exactly going to be “Little Mary Sunshine.”

Here’s the disclaimer that the Spokane Civic Theatre in including in their advance publicity about this comedy:

Please note: “Breaking Legs” contains strong language and sexual situations - and it’s politically incorrect. It is suggested for mature audiences only.

A quick glance at the script confirms that the Civic is not exaggerating.

This 1989 Tom Dulack play is full of rude and riotous situations - and it also appears to be full of laughs. Think “Prizzi’s Honor,” and you may have the tone about right.

It’s about a New England professor who is seeking some funding for an “Off-Off Broadway” play he has written. However, he seeks it in the wrong place, namely, from the family of an ex-student.

This family, the Graziano family, owns an Italian restaurant. They may or may not be mobsters, but let’s just say they conform to some of the stereotypes. For one thing, they are extremely unforgiving to people who don’t pay their debts.

The urbane playwright observes his new backers with increasing apprehension as the negotiations build to a climax.

The play made its world premiere at the Old Globe in San Diego, a well-known spawning ground for new plays. It won the Drama-Logue Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement there, and then it moved to Broadway in 1991. It played more than 100 performances.

Dulack, who also writes for television and films, has written several other successful plays, including “Solomon’s Child,” “Bright Wings” (a study of St. Francis of Assisi), “Diminished Capacity” and “Incommunicado.”

The Civic’s production is directed by Barbara Elliott. The playwright is played by David Q. Gigler. The rest of the cast consists of William Hay, Lee Broadstone, Brad Fondiler, Ron Varela and Chris Nathan.

By the way, don’t be surprised if this play makes you hungry. The characters eat their way through practically an entire Italian restaurant each night.

“Breaking Legs” opens tonight and continues through April 29. Showtimes are 8 p.m., except for a 2 p.m. matinee on April 23. Tickets are $12 on Fridays and Saturdays; $10 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; $9 for seniors; and $7 for students. Call 325-2507 for reservations.

The theater is at 1020 N. Howard.

“Jack and the Beanstalk”

You’re missing out on one of Spokane’s local treasures, and a great bargain, too, if you haven’t attended a Spokane Children’s Theatre production.

“Jack and the Beanstalk,” a zany adaptation of the fairy tale, opens Sunday and continues through April 29 at the Spokane Civic Theatre, 1020 N. Howard..

This show is directed by Wendie Joy Staszkow, with musical direction by Norilee Kimball. It features a tapdancing Golden Goose, and a “good” giant.

Showtimes are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday and then continues on April 15, 22, and 29 at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Tickets are $3 at the door. The box office opens one hour before the first show. Call 534-0737 for information.


Some of you might remember the colorful version of “Godspell” staged by Rossi Productions of Coeur d’Alene last year. It’s back again for this Easter season, due to popular demand.

“Godspell” is based on the Gospel According to Matthew, and it utilizes song, dance, and other performance techniques.

The professional cast includes Roger Welch, Laura Dickinson, Frank Jewett, Nancy Emerson, Michael Muzatko, Valerie Lawrence, Matt Flanders, Cheyenne Jackson and Cheryl-Ann Rossi.

The performances will be spread around to Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Spokane.

It opens at 8 p.m. tonight at the Lake City High School Auditorium in Coeur d’Alene. It continues there at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, 8 p.m. on April 14, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on April 15.

It will play the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint on April 12, 7:30 p.m.

And then it plays The Met in Spokane on April 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10, available at the door or by calling (208) 667-3530. Ticket for the Spokane show only are also available through G&B; Select-aSeat.

“The Mystery of Irma Vep”

The Sixth Street Melodrama in Wallace, Idaho is going campy with Charles Ludlam’s hysterical “The Mystery of Irma Vep.”

This is a spoof of the old melodramatic “penny-dreadful” novels of the 1870s, but this one has a few twists. For one thing, two male actors portray all eight characters, including the women. Over the course of the play, actors Jack Andrews and Rick Shaffer will change costumes 37 times.

Director Sherrill Grounds says that it may “remind some people of the British comedian Benny Hill,” but other than that, “Irma Vep” can be compared to absolutely nothing else.

The show opens April 13 and runs through April 29, Thursdays through Saturdays, at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $9, $7 for students and seniors. Call (208) 752-8871 or (208) 752-3081 to reserve seats. The theater is at 212 Sixth Street in Wallace.

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