The Monroe County Civic Theater has uncovered a new niche in the theatrical fabric of Bloomington and they've also filled it. The tragic and formal Japanese Noh plays had comic interludes. Civic has put together a show of three modern versions of these by Donald Richie and is displaying them at the Monroe County Public Library.
In "The Perfect Servants," the household help played by Tim Johnson and Emily Goodson have to do literally everything for their lazy master and mistress played by Chad Eagleton and Harue Tsutsumi. In the play, directed by Janice Clevenger, the poor servants even keep up their family's appearances to the extent of staging a full fledged, though humorously grudging, courtship and conquest.
Tyler Andrews directed "The Magic Fundoshi." A fundoshi is a sort of loin cloth and no Japanese gentleman's attire is complete without it. Poor Annie Vowell, in a trouser roll, has lost hers. Her cunning, "kings new clothes," stratagem to replace the loss works on her lordly dupe, played by Scot Shamblin. But the final effects on her wife, Maria Eagleton and girlfriend, Rebecca Sawvell are a pleasant comic turn-around.
The final play of the trio is "The Misplaced Goddess" directed by Paul Douthitt-Rush. Somehow a much venerated and pawed over naked statue of the goddess Benten has disappeared from its cave. Through a series of curious and very funny complications the priest, Scott Shamblin, his acolyte, Weslie Martin and the merchants, Chad Eagleton and Timothy Herron each get a turn at playing the part of the goddess. When it seems that all possible permutations have been run, Maria Eagleton shows up as the goddess herself and puts a real twist on this goddess business.
The Monroe County Civic Theater's production of the "Three Modern Kyogen" play this Saturday and Sunday at two-thirty at the Monroe County Public Library.