On Theater: 'Othello' tops list at GWC

Editor's note: This is the second of two columns reviewing theater in Huntington Beach during 2010.

"Few Shakespearean plays entice their audiences with the sinister appeal of 'Othello,' and Golden West College illuminates this all-too-human tragedy in a powerful and involving production."

That was this column's verdict last month, and today, there's little doubt that "Othello" stands at the top of the list of Golden West stage productions in 2010.

Referring to Othello and Iago, our review continued, "These are two of Shakespeare's most compelling characters, and the Golden West production, superbly directed by Tom Amen, illuminates them in richly hued detail."

Another of Amen's shows, "Proof," also impressed during the year. David Auburn's intimate exercise was termed "a superior drama currently receiving a powerful and involving staging." It ranked second in the final analysis.

Rounding out the field were the rousing musical "Grease" and the farcical comedy "Don't Dress for Dinner," both well directed by Martie Ramm.

As for individual achievements at GWC, two performers stood heads-and-shoulders above the rest.

"Lawrence Hemingway, one of GWC's strongest actors, delves brilliantly into Iago's seething sense of wrongful treatment to exact a horrific revenge," this column noted, "all the while sharing his nefarious scheme, layer by layer, with the audience."

Best actress at GWC for a second straight year, "Proof's" Julie Patzer delivered "a chillingly introspective performance and particularly succeeds as a 'math nerd' taking baby steps into both the real world and a romantic relationship."

Also noteworthy among Golden West actors were Michael Bielitz and Sean Coutu in "Proof," Eric Davis and Blake Coomb in "Othello," Josh Alton and Tony Graham in "Don't Dress for Dinner" and Brian Sipkovich in "Grease."

Among the actresses at GWC, strong performances were delivered by Michelle Terrill in "Proof," Amanda Shay in "Grease," Chantelle Rosinsky in "Don't Dress for Dinner" and Amber Luallen in "Othello."

Golden West College will start off the new year with John Patrick Shanley's drama "Doubt," directed by Amen. Auditions have been announced for Jan. 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. in the Mainstage Theater.

The four-character cast consists of one men and three women. The play is set in a Catholic school adjacent to a church.

All roles are open. "Doubt" will be presented from Feb. 25 to March 6 in the Mainstage Theater. More information is available by calling (714) 892-7711, ext. 55237.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Independent.

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