Sunday, May 11, 2003

Three good reasons to view IF's 'Magic,' director says

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sympathetic Magic director Ed Cohen figures he has three great reasons for audiences to try the area premiere opening Thursday at Xavier's Gallagher Student Center studio under the IF Theatre Collective banner.

Magic re-teams the work of playwright Lanford Wilson with local performers Corinne Mohlenhoff and Matthew Pyle. The last time the three talents came together, in Burn This two seasons ago, it wasn't just magic, it was stage lightning.

Winner of the 1997 Obie for off-Broadway's best play, Magic finds equal mystery in the universe, as an astronomer makes a discovery at the edge of the galaxy and in the human heart.

It's a profoundly moving exploration of the inexplicable nature of "dark matter," the stuff that's as likely to inhabit our souls as the distant sky. Wilson wonders about nothing less than our place in the universe.

Cohen could have offered a fourth selling point - his own work.

A community theater veteran, he earns raves for work ranging from revivals of Assassins and Evita (co-directing with his wife, Dee Anne Bryll) to IF's last outing, Lebensraum, last November in the Fifth Third Bank Theatre. (That production also featured Mohlenhoff and Pyle, as well as live accompaniment by acclaimed composer and CCM faculty member Joel Hoffman.)

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through May 25. Tickets cost $10. For reservations and information call the box office at 745-3939.

Magic is the first of three shows planned for Xavier's Gallagher Center theater.

Coming up: Know Tribe will augment its full Gabriel's Corner schedule with Lee Blessing's intriguing Eleemosynary, about the poignant relationships shared by a precocious girl, her mother and grandmother. It plays June 10-19.

Fave actress Dale Hodges and director Peter Karapetkov are hoping to take a project to Xavier's main stage in September. They're awaiting rights for The Bench by Russian playwright Alexander Gelman.

For information on Xavier's summer schedule call the box office at 745-3939.


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