'Lips Together, Teeth Apart' to be performed at Valley's CVIC Hall

The Dakota Organization will produce Terrence McNally's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," a dramatic comedy about two couples celebrating the Fourth of July.

On the elegant deck of a beach house on Fire Island, a brother and sister and their respective spouses attempt to celebrate the Fourth of July with a gnawing uncertainty that makes their affluent habits and petty prejudices sizzle in the summer sun.

According to a review of the Broadway version of the play, "In this unforgettable comedy, Terrence McNally does for the beach house what Chekhov did for the Russian country estate.

"McNally's wit and wild comedy invariably score, and his darker intentions resonate, making 'Lips Together' one of his most accomplished plays," said the New York Daily News.

Performances are scheduled at the historic CVIC Hall in Minden, 7 p.m. July 14 and 15 with matinee performances July 15 and 16 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 or $10 for seniors. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association. For tickets, call 450-1186.

The executive director of the Lear Theater in Reno, Dan Rosenblatt, is the director of the Dakota Organization's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart."

Actors in the play all have extensive acting experience. They are: Rod Hearn, drama instructor at Damonte Ranch High School and former drama instructor at Douglas High School; Julie Franklin, who is also a former Douglas High School drama teacher; Teri Levy, who was one of two actors who starred in the Dakota Organization's first play "Same Time, Next Year," that was presented in February; and Dave Anderson who was set designer for "Same Time, Next Year."

"Lips Together, Teeth Apart" is more of a technical challenge, according to Anderson.

"You have more complicated lighting," said Anderson. "You have these moments where they're speaking to the audience."

"From time to time, each character voices his inner thoughts and feelings (insecurities) directly to the audience. In these monologues, author Terrence McNally provides searing, illuminating insights into their bruised psyches," said Bob Rendell in his column "New Jersey."

Although production people are being lined up, the theater company is still looking for volunteers and sponsors.

"After the last play, people expressed their appreciation. People seemed pleased to have theater close by," said Anderson. "The plan is to grow into it gradually so we don't overstep our financial bounds."

The Dakota Organization, as well as other theater organizations in Carson Valley, would like to see a theater in the Valley.

"There's a limit to what we're able to do in the CVIC Hall," said Anderson. "There's a need here and you're hearing it from people. It's something that the community has to want."

The Dakota Organization, a Carson Valley-based non-profit theater group that supports the Alzheimer's Association, plans to put on a total of six productions in 2006-07.


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