Posts Tagged Ken Boswell

Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” – Play Review

“…the real tragedy of life was that you got what you wanted…”
― Agatha Christie, The Hollow

At CityLights theater in Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow”, directed by Doll Piccotto, audience get exactly what they wanted, intriguing murder of a complex person; with many possible suspects.  The homeowners, Sir Henry Angkatell (Ken Boswell) and his eccentric, ditzy wife, Lucy (Karen DeHart) have planned an extended family weekend and have invited several relatives and cousins. 

In addition to the colorful characters engaged in intrigue, affairs, and stolen moments of love and passion, there are maids, butlers, and an intriguing neighbor Victoria (Laura Domingo) who drops in as soon as she hears of the presence of her former love, Dr John Cristow (Damian Vega), notwithstanding the presence of his overly cheerful wife, Gerda (Caitlin Lawrence Papp), completely devoted to her husband and perpetually doubting herself. And then there was Lucy’s cousin Henrietta Angkatell (Anne Yumi Kobori); her character as complex as her sculpted and artistic creations. Henrietta, with her deep sense of integrity and right and wrong, rebuffed advances of affection from her cousin, Edward Angkatell (Kyle Dayrit) and yet was hopelessly in love with a married man.  While Edward’s attention was on Henrietta, Midge Harvey (Alycia Adame) was deeply in love with Edward. Adding to the chaos was the character of Dr. John Cristow, a philanderer who admired the single minded devotion of his wife Gerda. Dr. Cristow also cared more about the disease he was trying to find the cure for than his patients and was at once both highly narcissistic and yet seemingly unconcerned about anyone, including himself.

With so many miscreants and so much intrigue, when the murder takes place, everyone is a plausible suspect, and yet everyone seems innocent of committing such a heartless crime. And to add to the list of suspects, there is the maid, Doris (Erin Southard), and very very English butler, Gudgeon (Tom Gough). It becomes the responsibility of Inspector Coquhoun (Patricia Tyler) and Detective Penny (Andre Leben) to investigate the suspects and nail the culprit. And while you may be going through the “who dunn it” in your head, there are some characters least interested in solving the crime.

  • Lady Angkatell : I’m not terribly interested in who killed who. I mean, once you’re dead, you’re dead. It doesn’t matter why, does it?

So glad the theater season in the bay area is back.  This play will be running at Citylights Theater in San Jose, CA till March 6, 2022 and tickets are available at .

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Calendar Girls: Play Review

Image result for calendar girls, city lightsBased on a feel-good true story, “Calendar Girls” is adapted by Tim Firth from his original screenplay, for Nigel Cole’s 2003 British film, by the same name.  The play focuses on six women and their resolve to make a difference in the world, with meaningful contribution.  Members in a women’s club, these six women, Chris (Anne Younan), Annie (Deb Anderson), Cora (Caitlin L. Papp), Jessie (Ruth E. Stein), Celia (Karen DeHart), Ruth (Mary Lou Torre) often spar with the club queen bee Marie (Patricia Tyler) about how their club could be a more meaningful group.  Opportunity presents itself when Annie’s husband, John (Ken Boswell) passes away and in memory of John, the women decide to raise funds for a new couch in the waiting room of the local hospital.

They imagined that ordinary, run of the mill calendars with flowers and landmarks would not sell easily.  Chris and Annie came up with a unique idea (something they had jokingly discussed earlier in John’s presence). They decided to do a calendar with pictures of their group of mature women doing traditional Women’s Institute activities like knitting and baking, with a little twist. The women would pose in nude as they do these activities, with discreetly placed props to cover specific body parts with little exposure but more of a titillating suggestion.

Image result for calendar girls, city lights   Image result for calendar girls, city lights
Image result for calendar girls, city lights     Image result for calendar girls, city lights

The women were not prepared for the notoriety and eventually international fame the calendar brought them. It took a toll on their friendships and personal lives. Sometimes they lashed out at each other and at other times in their frustration they lost sight of the fact that they had far exceeded their set goal.  While they had imagined raising a few hundred pounds for the couch, they ended up raising nearly 3 million pounds that enabled building of an entirely new hospital wing.

Eventually, these classy women found their footing and solace in their friendship. They recognized that “out of John’s tragic death came something very special; and acknowledged that “everything we do is born out of love for him”. Clearly their little act stood as a symbol of something much bigger than they had imagined. It was sexiness combined with spunk, mixed with a dose of sass that set them free and enabled them to create a work of art, in favor of a worthy cause, and the world took notice and found inspiration.

While the story is played on world stage, Director, Jeffrey Bracco, Scenic Designer, Ron Gasparinetti and Stage Manager, Kimberly Scofield did a fabulous job in bringing the world to the women, on stage. Calendar Girls will be playing at City Lights Theater in San Jose, CA till December 18, 2016 and tickets are available at .


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“Monty Python’s Spamalot” – Play Review

The musical, “Monty Python’s Spamalot”, a hilarious spoof on the motion picture, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, has been showing at the City Lights theater in San Jose, to sold out audiences.  It is based on the book and lyrics by Eric Idle and Music by John DuPrez and Eric Idle, and is brilliantly directed by Jeffrey Bracco.

Cover of "Monty Python's Spamalot: 2005 T...

Cover via Amazon

King Arthur (Ken Boswell) along with his squire, Patsy, gathers his knights, The Knights of the Round Table, and goes about in search of the Holy Grail, as instructed by God.  When King Arthur encounters Dennis in the countryside, Dennis challenges his claim to the throne.  King Arthur responds that the Lake Lady herself (who emerged from the Lake with an Excalibur), proclaimed him to be the king.  Dennis says, “executive powers are bestowed by the masses, not derived from some strange acquatic ceremonies”.  The tone is set for rip roaring and blunt humor that is daffily delivered.

In the quest for the grail, the king and his knights go to the French-controlled castle and try to sneak into the castle in a Trojan Rabbit.  Only problem – they forget to hide themselves in the rabbit!  As the quest continues, each of the knights encounters various perils, including Arthur and Bedevere’s strange encounter with the dreaded Knights who say Ni, and the Three-Headed Giant who calls Sir Robin to a fight, a challenge that Sir Robin resolves by running away, as his minstrel sings, “Brave Sir Robin ran away”.  When they try to enter the caves where the location of the grail is written, they have to defeat the rabbit, and they can only do it by using the Holy Hand Grenade.  They have to consult the book of armaments to figure out how to operate the grenade and with great pomp they read, “And the Lord spake, saying, First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.”

In Monty Python, the irreverence is extended to everything, including the religion, the monarchy, as well as the Broadway, and Spamalot is “lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy”, with great music, lots of dance numbers and a fantastic and large cast that rises to the challenge.   Special shoutouts to Ken Boswell (King Arthur), Clara Rose Walker (Lady of the Lake), Nick Manfredi (Sir Robin & the Guard), Josiah Frampton (Patsy), James Snell (Sir Galahard), and Jeremy Ryan (Sir Bedevere). The entire cast participated with aplomb, in the tomfoolery, delivering one-liners and puns with slapstick wit and the effect is, the musical will have you laughing from the opening scene to the very end.

Monty Python’s Spamalot will be running at the City Lights Theater in San Jose, till August, 31.  Tickets can be purchased at




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