Classically twisted classics at Chatauqua this summer
One part Vaudeville show, one part classic genre, and one part improv, Sound and Fury’s latest offering will have you rolling in the aisles and maybe picking your jaw up off the floor.
Sound and Fury returns to the Lyric Theatre’s summer Chatauqua festival that runs July 7 to 10th at Swift Current’s historical theatre. The troupe first performed here two years ago, and had a terrific experience presenting the Film Noir parody “Private Dick” to sell-out houses at the Lyric Theatre.
This time they are bringing Swift Current the World Premiere of ‘ Sound & Fury’s “Doc Faustus”‘, a vaudevillenouveau parody mash-up of the classic “Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” by Christopher Marlowe, a tale of a man bartering his soul with Lucifer for wealth and power, and every Western film ever made. “
When posed with the question of how the troupe comes up with such unique story lines, member Richard Maritzer explained.
“Each year, as a challenge to ourselves, we try to parody a new genre. This past year it was Sci-Fi, and the year before that, Film Noir. This year we decided to focus on The Western,” explained Maritzer.
Sound & Fury is comprised of three actors: Richard Maritzer (Artistic Director & Founder), Ryan Adam Wells, and Patrick Hercamp who both joined the established troupe last year.
They are from Indiana, and studied theatre at university there, and Maritzer is a Los Angeles native, who grew up in the entertainment industry, the son of a Canadian father, and American mother who met attending the Actor’s Studio in New York, in the 1940s.
Sound & Fury was formed to fill a void in the comedy Venn diagram, as Vaudeville had been mostly a dead artform for the past 50 years. Inspired by such groups as the Marx Brothers, Hope & Crosby, Martin & Lewis, and more recent troupes like Monty Python and The Kids in the Hall, Sound & Fury hopes to herald a return to the popularity of the ‘coregroup of players, surrounded by a talented supporting cast.’
So who does this comedy styling appeal to? It would seem to be anyone, literally.
“We have entertained over 600,000 people in live audiences in the last 12 years, and have a devoted following of fans (the Furies), who range in age quite literally from 12 to 80,” offered Maritzer.
No strangers to old addage ‘ getting the show on the road’ this troupe has been everywhere. They have performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, the Adelaide Australia Fringe Festival six times, and at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, picking up fans and awards along the way.
“We won the “People’s Choice Award” a total of three times in Adleaide, “Best of Fringe” at the Winnipeg & Edmonton Fringe Festivals in 2006, and again in Winnipeg in 2007, and continue to perform at a few Renaissance Faires around the U.S. with our most infamous play, “Testaclese & ye Sack of Rome,” which we have done over 2000 times since writing it in 1998.”
The Lyric Theatre was a popular stomping grounds for Vaudevillian players when it first opened its doors in Swift Current. The Chautauqua festival is a throw back or an hommage to those days, and welcomes troupes like Sound and Fury with open arms.
“A night of laughter,” is what fans can expect explained Maritzer. “And an appreciation for the re-born comedy form of Vaudeville, which is a very different form of theatre than any other: it is a more free-form style, which allows us to both play with the audience during the show, diverge from the script and improvise bits and scenes, before returning to the main plot... It may be amazing, or things may go horribly, horribly awry,” joked Maritzer of the premiere.
‘Sound & Fury’s “Doc Faustus” makes up one sixth of the professional one act shows that will play over the course of the four day Chautauqua festival at the Lyric Theatre. The Festival has a theme that takes you back to the 1920’s, where travelling shows captivated local audiences with lectures, musicians and raconteurs.
For more details on Chautauqua, and the many critically acclaimed live theatre shows that will be here in Swift Current, visit www.lyrictheatre.ca and click on the events tab.
Sound & Fury’s “Doc Faustus” is one of the featured performances at Chatauqua festival on July 7 to 10. the Lyric Theatre’s summer