In Mare of Easttown, Philadelphia actor Suli Holum took on the role of a minor character — Stacey Woodley, a high school friend of Mare’s, played by Kate Winslet. But Holum is a major character in Wilma Theater’s production of Minor Character: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time — a riff on Anton Chekhov’s classic.
With Minor Character opening Oct. 5, Holum was too busy in rehearsals to talk about her experience working with Winslet on the HBO hit, or whether she already had a Delco accent, but in Wilma’s blog, she had plenty to say about the acting challenges posed by Minor Character.
“Timing, timing, timing. The structure of the piece is quite intricate, and all of our performances have to be in sync,” she said, describing Minor Character as “super fun and playful,” tapping into Chekhov’s less well-known reputation as humorist.
What excites her most?
“I love singing! In harmony! You can’t do that on Zoom!” she wrote. “Hooray Live Theater!”
Oct. 5 through 24 at the Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. Livestreaming will also be available. Vaccination proof, masks required.
Fringe Fest final curtain
At the Maas Building, the Free Fringe presents RagTag: A Circus in Stitches, describing the troupe as “high-flying, knot-tying, gravity-defying aerialists, loopy jugglers, and musicians that pull at your heartstrings.” A few more comedy shows are available in other locations before the Free Fringe closes Sept. 30. Admission is free; check online for COVID-19 requirements.
As for the main Fringe Festival, which closes Oct. 3, artist, masseuse and community organizer, Jacques-Jean “JJ” Tiziou offers the last two legs of his walk around the city’s perimeter (yes, the perimeter is the fringe of Philadelphia!) in 10 X 10 — Walk Around Philadelphia on Oct. 2 and 3. Or you can get his maps and go on your own.
The quasi-opera Sun & Sea, which won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, will be performed in the former Budd railcar factory in East Falls. The factory, now vacant, has been transformed into a beach with singers and beachgoers, and the audience watching from a mezzanine Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
Among the many, many others remaining on the schedule is Crossover: Remixed, a pop musical about a televised singing competition. Produced for digital, it can also be seen in person as a movie at a rooftop location Oct. 1-3. Here are a few more picks for the final week: Dear Donald/Dear Hillary (Their Secret Correspondence), Wild Women of Planet Wongo, Beardmobile Fall Love Tour by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, The Book of Snorin’ — Sleep Apnea the Musical, and The Consciousness, which won Best Play at the 2019 Tampa Bay Theatre Festival.
Vaccine proof and masks generally required for both Fringes.
‘Me and the Devil’
Legendary guitar player, Robert Leroy Johnson, considered by some to be the father of rock and roll, wanted to be the best blues player that ever lived, so he struck a deal with the devil. Maybe it wasn’t such a good deal, because Johnson turned out to be a superlative talent on his own and, in this lively musical, must outwit the devil to reclaim his soul. Lantern Theater Company opens its season online by livestreaming a world premiere of Me and the Devil. Steve H. Broadnax 3d and Charles Dumas wrote the play based on Broadnax’s original piece — a college project penned 20 years ago. Broadnax directs and Lawrence Stallings plays Johnson.
Through Oct. 17 on demand via lanterntheater.org.
Delco Arts Week
Lots of theater in Delaware County, part of Delco Arts Week, Oct. 2 through 9. Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley is staging Peter Pan, The Weir, and Robin Hood. The Players Club of Swarthmore will present If/Then and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. From Aldan, Colonial Playhouse’s contribution is Requiem for a Heavyweight.
For information, Delcoarts.org.
Oktoberfest from Tiny Dynamite
Although they have visited in the past, George and Martha Washington won’t be able to attend Tiny Dynamite’s Oktoberfest, but you can show up for the outdoor party at the Powel House Gardens. Tiny Dynamite is the same troupe that offered a pizza, a pint, and a play, pre-pandemic. This time it’s beer from Triple Bottom Brewing and a selection of short autumnal, pumpkin, ghost, and Bavarian-themed plays as well as crafts and games.
In the 1920s in Argentina, Jewish girls were spirited off the street and sold into sex work. Their rescuer? Raquel Lieberman, a sex worker. Her story is depicted in Bordello, written by Barbara Bellman and tango pianist Emiliano Messiez, and starring Kathleen Borrelli. A University of the Arts graduate, Borrelli performed in the national tours of Mamma Mia and Peter Pan. Bordello’s music combines Latin American influences and klezmer. Singers and dancers will present scenes from this musical, still in development, on Sunday as a fund-raiser for Hadassah, the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States.
11 a.m. Oct. 3 at the Union League, 140 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. For tickets, call 215-284-0770.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the author of the work the play Me and the Devil was based on.