When the Fox Valley thinks of must-see professional theater coming to town, minds typically head to the west side of Downtown Appleton.
On Friday, Fox Valley theater-goers will have the chance to experience a production that’s generated some buzz across the Midwest. This time, it’s not at the performing arts center, but on the other end of College Avenue upon a Lawrence University stage.
Lawrence’s Cloak Theater, 420 E. College Ave., will host a touring dramatic/musical tribute show centered around Sam Shepard’s acclaimed one-act, “Fool for Love.”
Paul McComas, a Chicago actor and Lawrence alumnus, adapted and acts in this version. He’s led an ongoing series of Midwest shows over the past two years, raising money for various causes while honoring the late playwright.
Fool for Love
Date: March 13, 2020
Time: 8pm (to 9:15; informal conversation with the artists immediately after)
Location: Cloak Theater, Lawrence University Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton, WI 54911
Admission: General: $15; Seniors & non-LU students: $8. Free to the Lawrence community.
Ages: Appropriate for 13 to adult
Tickets: Box Office (920) 832-6749
Friday’s ticket sales benefit the university’s Fred Gaines Student Playwrights Series.
Fellow Chicago actor Megan Corse co-stars and co-directs.
Corse and McComas, both Wisconsin natives, will kick things off with a set of “songs of foolish love,” including three haunting Western numbers that Shepard’s younger sister Sandy Rogers composed for Robert Altman’s adapted Fool for Love feature film.
Then comes McComas’ propulsive, 45-minute adaptation of the “neo-Western romantic tragi-comedy,” which tells the compelling, incendiary, poignant, and at times unexpectedly funny story of sparring star-crossed lovers May and Eddie.
“Fool for Love” won the Obie Award and was a Pulitzer finalist.
Per Shepard, the play “is to be performed relentlessly without a break.”
Corse and McComas comply, taking the audience on a rollicking roller coaster ride they won’t soon forget.
McComas, a 1983 Lawrence graduate, iis a two-time Chicago Reader Critic’s Choice honoree in Theatre & Performance and the award-winning author of six books of fiction. He’s also an American Film Institute- and international-prize-winning filmmaker.
The 70-minute show is recommended for age 13 to adult. An opportunity to talk with the artists will follow the show.