Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Jennifer Savage: ‘Korbel’ – better than a meth-laced burrito

From the print edition:

Leave early and bring a chair. That’s mostly all you need to know. Because of course you’re going to catch Korbel – the centerpiece of Dell’Arte’s Mad River Festival only runs one more weekend (no show on the Fourth).

You wouldn’t miss a chance to see the gleesome threesome nurses, would you? You’ll need some medical help because the sultry-vampy combination of Lila Nelson, Joyce Hough and Jaese Lecuyer is enough to give anyone fever (“Never know how much I love you/Never know how much I care”) and that’s just the beginning.

Those of you already familiar with the comedic genius and physical hilarity of Dell’Arte know Korbel will make you giggle, snort and guffaw as the antics unfold.

But maybe you, like Tommy Dugan (Michael Fields), think you have nothing to look forward to at the end of the night but a cold beer and a couple Vicodans (Can I get a show of hands, please? Thought so). Tempting as that may be, lug yourself out to the Rooney Amphitheatre – get there early and bring a chair if you have one – because  you need to take advantage of what these folks have to offer.

In addition to mocking most everything and everyone who has made the news in the past year or decade, Korbel concerns itself with family, forgiveness and the shedding of prejudices.

But mostly it’s real funny.

Sometimes it’s just funny, like when you get your first gander at Mystic Jones’ backside through the hospital gown gap. (If I am ever even one-10th as funny and comfortable in my skin as Jacqueline Dandeneau, I will pass from this life with a sense of acheivement.)

Sometimes Korbel is funny and sweet, like when Bob Gotchabeck and Mary Dore (Bob and Lynne Wells) rekindle a long-lost romantic dream.

Sometimes it’s funny and profound, like when the characters are confronted by the eternally troubling question, “Is that all there is?” (You’ll have to see the show for the answer.)

But no matter what sweet or bittersweet emotion Korbel draws forth, the play consistency engages, the pace neither flags nor distracts with frenziedness; further the action remains perfectly supported by the music (kudos to Tim Gray and the rest of band) throughout.

The details? I can’t stand to give anything away – far be it from me to zap any zingers of their sting. We’ve outlined the plot for you previously; now I’m encouring you to visit Dell’Arte’s Dugan family in person.

The 2008 Mad River Festival presents the epic continuation of Dell’Arte’s Humboldt Soap Opera in Korbel IV: The Accident, Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. through July 6 in Dell’Arte’s Rooney Amphitheatre. No performance on July 4. Tickets are $15 general, $12 for students and seniors and $5 for children under 12. dellarte.com, (707) 668-5663, ext. 5.

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