By Diana Saenger
In 1961, Kurt Vonnegut had a short story published in the Saturday Evening Post. That story, along with two other Vonnegut gems — “Long Walk to Forever,” and “Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son” — is the basis of the comedy “Who Am I This Time?” written by Aaron Posner and onstage at North Coast Repertory Theatre, Jan. 8-Feb. 2.
“I chose this play to open the year with because it’s charming, moving, funny, clear and life-affirming,” said NCRT Artistic Director David Ellenstein. “It’s all about love and taking care of the people you care about — really appropriate for these current times.”
In “Who Am I This Time?” extremely shy, nondescript, small-town fellow Harry Nash agrees to perform in a local amateur theater where he literally becomes each character he plays. When he meets a female fellow actor, who is much like himself, they find a mutual attraction.
Andrew Barnicle directs the show.
“Andrew has a great track record and is of the right generation,” Ellenstein said. “He’s from New England where the story takes place, and he’s a softie at heart, something needed to understand these characters.”
Ellenstein said Vonnegut’s touching stories are about good salt-of the Earth people. The stories include conflict, but are resolved in unique ways. The talented cast of seven includes, actors new to NCRT, returning actors, and real-life couple Cindy Marty and Greg Zerkle.
Ellenstein said he is also excited about the upcoming productions filling the rest of the season.
“ ‘The School For Lies,’ adapted from Moliére’s ‘The Misanthrope,’ is funny and over-the-top naughty with custom wigs and costumes, and a cast of amazing major talents,” he said.
“We also have two world premieres. ‘Mandate Memories’ stars Rosina Reynolds and Apollo Dukakis. I’ve known Apollo for a long time. He’s Olympia Dukakis’ brother and an extremely well-known national actor. It’s the two actors in a talk-intriguing character study. “Faded Glory” is so exciting because it’s about a whacky general, whose story is so hard to believe, but it’s true.
“And finally, we have ‘Romance/Romance,’ a two-act musical. One act takes place in Vienna in the 1890s, and the other takes place in New York in the 1990s.”
If you go:
What: “Who am I this time?”
When: Matinees, evenings Jan. 8-Feb. 2
Where: North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach
Box Office: (858) 481-1055