Mark Watson’s “The Times” at Waterfront Playhouse (New York Metro)

Mark Watson’s “The Times” at Waterfront Playhouse (New York Metro)

Posted Tue, Mar 27, 2007 in Articles

The Times, by local playwright and popular entertainer, Mark Watson. Opening night is April 4 and will play through April 14 at the Waterfront Playhouse. the Times is part of the ongoing mission of The Key West Players to promote and present local playwrights. Directed by Vanessa McCaffrey, the Times will star John Bixler, Cricket Desmarais, Mimi McDonald and Scott Shambaugh.

the Times was part of last year’s “New Plays In May,” which is the Key West Players’ series of readings of original plays by local playwrights. With Mr. Watson’s snappy dialogue, engaging characters and intriguing plot twists, the Times was the clear hit of the series. Due to the unanimously positive audience reaction, the Players placed the Times on their 2006/07 season schedule.

the Times concerns Noah and Christian, two college roommates who had a five year relationship, until Christian walked out on Noah. Ten years later they meet again, when Christian, now a successful business man, announces that he is getting married to Nancy. Despite his efforts to forget Christian, Noah has never been able to move beyond his feelings and is completely thrown by Christian’s news. Dagmar, Noah’s roommate, is there to give comfort with her tart, hilarious observations on…well, just about everyone and everything. When Nancy, Christian’s fiancé, shows up at Noah’s door to pass along some very interesting news about Christian, the fireworks really begin. Keen observations and surprises abound.

Playwright Mark Watson is also a popular singer/entertainer in Key West, and is currently one of the stars of the hugely successful Broadway Three Ways at La Te Da. He has appeared at the Waterfront in Jettie’s Blues, A Tuna Christmas and the Founder’s production of Whoop-Dee-Doo! He is a tireless performer at fundraisers and various events in town.

Mark’s inspiration for the Times came when he was perusing The Sunday Times and saw a wedding announcement for a particularly striking couple. Their perfect demeanor made him think, “Their lives CAN’T be all that rosy – there have to be some skeletons in their closets.” With this inspiration, he completed the play within two weeks, just in time for submission to the New Play Series. In the meantime, Mark has had several public readings, which has helped him sharpen and focus the play. In the meantime, Mark says he has “an entire computer full of plays” and plans to develop more theatrical pieces.

Director Vanessa McCaffrey was a seminal force with The Key West Theatre Festival, serving on the board for the Festival’s duration and directing several of their productions. She has appeared on all of the stages of Key West. At the Waterfront, she has appeared in the highly acclaimed production of Equus. At the Barn, she was in The Lover, by Harold Pinter; Talking Heads by Alan Bennett and Dancing At Lughnasa, by Brian Friel – all directed by Carole MacCartee. At TWFAC, she was in the Founder’s production of Don’t Dress For Dinner. Also, at the Waterfront, her play (co-written with Tony Konrath) Easy Come was part of The Key West Theatre Festival. She is the owner and manager of Vacation Key West.

The cast includes Mimi McDonald, The Red Barn Theatre’s Managing Director. She plays the saucy Dagmar and has been in numerous productions over the years, including Sordid Lives, Nunsense (various incarnations!), Betty’s Summer Vacation, Barbra’s Wedding, Memory of Water, Picasso At The Lapin Agile and many others. Christian will be played by John Bixler, an Equity actor from Miami. His credits include originating the role of Elliot in Odysseus Died from AIDS, which won “Best Ensemble Performance” at the New York International Fringe Festival. He also received an “Artie Award” for his portrayal of Carl in The Baltimore Waltz. Scott Shambaugh will be playing Noah and recently appeared in the staged reading of The Laramie Project at the Waterfront. Regionally he’s appeared in Chicago, Hair, The Fantastiks and Into The Woods. Cricket Desmarais plays the role of Nancy. She recently appeared in Bill Wheeler’s Cinderella as Cinderella and has been in Pippin at the Waterfront and Forum at TWFAC. She is a poet, journalist and member of the Brazen Hussies and Coffee Mill Dance Collective. 

Please be aware tickets are selling quickly for opening night. Call the box office at 294-5015 or go to their 24/7 internet ticketing service at www.waterfrontplayhouse.com.

The opening night party for the Times will be sponsored by Mark Barauck and will include pre-show and intermission mimosas, followed by a post-show buffet reception which will be held at LaTeDa.

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