Shakespeare, that is...in a modern up to date style. Right now the Velvet Rut is doing Titus Andronicus. The run started last Thursday (March 7th at 8 pm) and it runs the next three weekends Thurs-Saturday 8pm until about 10:30.
I went to see their opening night show. I am a big fan of the Velvet Rut. I've had the pleasure of working with them in two past shows, but I'd never seen any shows there so I was really excited to be on the other side of things.
For those of you that don't know, The Velvet Rut Theatre is a house on 7th and Concho Street and they do Shakespeare, no traditional. The theatre is run by Japhy Fernandez and his wife, Elene and they put their heart and everything else into it to make it.
I was really excited when I went because the house was pretty full on opening night. Let me tell you what I liked about the show:
1) There were some AMAZING pictures in it. What I mean by this is there were some amazing moments with the actors and lights in the show. They were so amazing that I wished I'd had a camera to take a picture of those moments to have them forever.
2) The lighting was amazing, but that's one of the pluses at the Velvet Rut, the great lighting.
3) The makeup and costumes were also incredible. I loved the costumes and make up and I couldn't stop going on and on about that stuff in my head the entire play.
4) The intro to acts 1 and 2. Talk about blowing me away. I got chills just watching the intros.
Stand out performances for me were definitely the lead role of Titus Andronicus, played by Christopher he had lots of intention and heart. Saturninus played by Jennifer which I loved because she is a she and she played a very convincing male character. Tyrell, who played Chiron. Another female playing a male role and I loved the level of energy she brought to her character. And finally new Velvet Rutter, Fraser, who played Aaron the Moor, what can I say? There was just something about his character that was very intriguing and made it easy to watch.
What I missed at times was more passion from characters. For example when one character lost her husband it didn't seem to me that she loved him that much. I didn't see the pain of losing someone she loved more than life itself. There were a few more moments like this, but I'd like to chalk it up to opening night jitters. I also felt sometimes that some people were just trying to get through their scene.
Furthermore, I could have done with out the amount of movement. It seemed to me that there were a few actors that couldn't stand still in their scenes. I mean they were shifting back and forth while delivering their lines or listening to the other actors deliver their lines. That was very distracting to me. Again, I'm hoping it was just opening night jitters. But I'd like to remind everyone that this is just my opinion. I do urge you to check out the Velvet Rut Theatre and judge for yourselves. This place if full of hard working actors and there are some really great things happening at that little place.
The show runs the next three weekends (March 7-March 29)Thurs-Sat 8pm and it's pay what you can.
Check out their myspace page for more information: http://www.myspace.com/thevelvetruttheatre
Patricia A. Robinson