Autumn’s drama

Fall theater preview

Oscar and Felix duke it out in Reno Little Theater’s production of The Odd Couple, showing this weekend.

Oscar and Felix duke it out in Reno Little Theater’s production of The Odd Couple, showing this weekend.

Photo By David Robert

Scan most newspapers or magazines dated from a few weeks ago to a few weeks in the future and you’ll find the fall movie previews. Yeah, we all know that everybody is psyched for The Lord of the Rings, but that doesn’t stop even our favorite movie critics (ahem, cough, Bob Grimm) from telling us what the excellent films of the season will be (see RN&R, “Stars of the fall,” Aug. 28). But how about local stars? Who are the Viggo Mortensens and Peter Jacksons of the Reno scene, and what epic, or brilliantly simple, productions are they undertaking? Here’s a look at what’s coming up. (See theater calendar for specific times and dates.)

Starting this weekend, Reno Little Theater presents Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple directed by Michael Peters. The play pairs Felix, recently split from his wife, and Oscar, the friend who invites Felix to move in with him. Felix and Oscar’s contrary living habits make for good tension and laughs.

Also to be produced by RLT this year: Deathtrap, about a failing playwright who plots to steal a seminar student’s exceptional script; The Unexpected Guest, an Agatha Christie story in which a man tries to help a woman concoct a story after she admits to killing her husband; The Beverly Hillbillies, yep, it’s America’s goofiest, redneck family; and King Henry IV Part One.

There will be more Shakespeare in the form of Nevada Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear. Adapted and directed by Jeanmarie Simpson, this version of Lear features Roderick Dexter in the title role.

Other ambitious undertakings include Nevada Opera’s Madama Butterfly—Puccini’s opera of love and abandonment—and Western Nevada Musical Theater Company’s Hello, Dolly, the musical story of Madame matchmaker Dolly Levi. WNMTC also presents Pajama Game, a musical about unions and falling in love. Seussical the Musical by Tahoe Players and Reno Repertoire Company will be a big production for the kids.

Lesley Ann Bandy Beardsley of Nevada Performing Arts says their version of Frankenstein: The Monster Musical is “a musical filled with action, brawls, posses and pas de deux … with a western twist.” NPA will also present Christmas Carol 2003.

Speaking of the Christmas season, Riverfront Theater will present A Tuna Christmas. Other Riverfront productions include Man of La Mancha and City of Angels—a 1940s musical murder mystery.

Brüka presents I‘m Not Afraid of You, about a man who’s angry at the tourists and strangers in his neighborhood, written and directed by Mike Grimm; Wait Until Dark about a blind woman terrorized by robbers; and Sleuth, about a mystery novelist who invites the man who’s having an affair with his wife over to the house for mind games.

Creative Combustion will present Happy Birthday, John Lennon about artists who have been influenced by the death of the great rock musician.

And don’t forget the colleges. UNR’s Nevada Rep will have Breaking the Code and Lysistrata. Truckee Meadows Community College will present A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and one of my favorite books from childhood, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.