Two shows opened over the weekend that offer quality performances at surprisingly low prices.
The Premature Corpse
Mud Creek Players
Directed by Duane Mercier
Through March 4
The little barn that houses Mud Creek Players could be twice its size and I think their shows would still sell out. At only $10 a ticket, their current show, The Premature Corpse, is a steal.
Evan Jorris (Bill Perkins) testified against the Mob, so now he and his wife, Francine (Karen Hewett), are entering the Witness Protection Program. They are stuck in a shabby hotel room with the agent assigned to protect them, Bert Marshak (Randy Fancher). Francine is none too happy to be leaving her old life, and Evan loves to make her miserable. Bert is a tad trigger-happy and isn't thrilled to be baby-sitting the pair either.
Not too much more can be said, because this show twists. The ending will have you experiencing vertigo, and is what makes the script most memorable.
The actors do great work creating these idiosyncratic characters. Bob Williams as the lawyer, Larry Craig, is especially fun to watch. Sara Wills and Mejo Okon also get small but important parts as a maid and plastic surgeon, respectively. A few stumbled lines from cast members didn't deter from the action.
Great fun at a great price - make reservations and get there early for a good a seat. The Premature Corpse continues at Mud Creek Players, 9740 E. 86th. St., through March 4. Call 290-5343 or go to www.mudcreekplayers.com for tickets and information.
The Miracle Worker
The Artists Studio
Directed by Rosana Schutte
Through March 5
Along with Little Women, the story of Helen Keller was a beloved childhood favorite of mine. Revisiting The Miracle Worker on stage at The Artists Studio was a joy.
Gabrielle Baker, a senior at North Central High School, as Annie Sullivan is spunky and tenacious. She and Gabrielle McAree, a fourth-grader at Brooks School Elementary, dive into the often physical combat that Helen and Annie resorted to when communication was impossible. Baker's high spirits and homey Irish accent create a young, ambitions and determined soul that overcomes Helen's imprisonment from the world.
McAree, though lineless, does an impressive job mimicking a blind, deaf and mute child. Her performance is very realistic, and she throws herself, sometimes literally, into Helen's world.
Supporting the two are Ronda Tinch-Mize as mother Kate Keller, Jay Beattey as father Captain Keller and Chris Chamberlain as brother James Keller, all of whom do fine work.
The women of the house have gorgeous frocks, thanks to costumers Priscilla Turner and Joellyn Young.
At $15 a ticket, this is an opportunity to see an inspiring story come to life, or share it for the first time with friends or children (only $11 for children 12 and under).
The Miracle Worker continues at The Artists Studio, 12810 Ford Drive, Fishers, through March 5. Call 594-5070, www.artists-studio.com.