See the photo slideshow of the 2008 revival!
Above: Eric Pargac and Sean Blakemore.
Photos by Anthony Masters.
2 a.m. The outskirts of Johannesburg. A broken-down motorcycle strands two white men at a lonely roadhouse with a Zulu waiter who only wants to close for the night... Saturday Night at the Palace examines the events leading up to a racially motivated crime in the volatile Gauteng Region of South Africa seven years before the official end of apartheid.
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Read the press release.
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE PALACE - Revisited!
By Paul Slabolepszy
Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez
April 26 - May 31, 2008
Starring Sean Blakemore, Shawn Lee and Eric Pargac
SEE THE SHOW THAT STARTED IT ALL!
With the Original Award-Winning Cast and Director!
Furious Theatre presents the revival of its 2002 inaugural production, Saturday Night at the Palace, opening April 26, 2008 -- six years to the day that it originally premiered.
AND STILL THE CRITICS RAVE!
"AN ELECTRIFYING THEATRE EXPERIENCE!?
"Timelessly resonant!... a finely calibrated ensemble and an exemplary design team... In a powerful portrayal, Lee is properly detestable as the racist thug -- a lost soul who's adrift in a dysfunctional cultural environment. Pargac superbly depicts the decent-guy side to his character, and he's equally on target in foreshadowing Forsie's less-heroic traits. Blakemore's indelible portrait of September's courage, dignity, and suppressed fury in the face of horrific abuse heightens the tragedy of this mesmerizing parable of life in a pressure cooker."
- Les Spindle, Back Stage West
"PACKS A WALLOP!"
?a bluntly effective reminder of how recently apartheid held brutal sway over South Africa.?
- Charlotte Stoudt, Los Angeles Times
?edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding theatre.?
"The cast is a fearless ensemble willing to go right to the edge, working under the confident direction of Dámaso Rodriguez, who takes them there. Each escalation of the stakes is a surprise!"
- Sharon Perlmutter, Talkinbroadway.com
"Don?t be intimidated if you can?t decipher some of the Zulu, Afrikaans, or even the South African-accented English in Paul Slabolepszy?s apartheid-era drama. I couldn?t either. But somehow director Dámaso Rodriguez has made sure that most Americans will understand what?s going on... Patience in the first half will pay off at the end. This is the same play, cast, and director that launched Furious Theatre in 2002, but now the play?s combustible ingredients are mixed in a more intimate caldron."
- Don Shirley, LA City Beat
- Scott Mauro, Broadwayworld.com
"RIVETS ONE FROM THE FIRST MOMENTS!"
"Director Dámaso Rodriguez has been able to bring back his entire original cast from six years ago. Their ease with the characters allows a naturalism that makes the tale all the more scary. As Vince, Shawn Lee spouts Afrikaans, which mixes liberally into his conversation, with such natural conviction that it becomes understandable even without consulting the handy glossary in the program. Almost vibrating with an undercurrent of rage, Lee's character manages to seem explosive from the start and still have places to go - a very neat trick indeed.
"Eric Pargac, playing Vince's rather milquetoast friend Forsie, develops into that most impossible of men: a person with a conscience who is simply too weak and self-centered to do anything about it. Again, the turn proves so naturalistic it plays well against Vince's intensity. Sean Blakemore's majestic September, calming his seething anger at mistreatment, desperately trying to keep from being destroyed by the thoughtless actions of a pair of visiting rowdies, fills the stage both physically and emotionally. He is most impressive when not doing what he easily could, being larger and stronger than either of his tormentors. It's a fascinating physical as well as emotional juxtaposition."
- Frances Baum Nicholson, Pasadena Star News
?Reminds us of the unnerving yet poignant impact art can have!?
"Wonderfully directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, Saturday Night at the Palace is a powerful story that takes place in a small town outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. It sums up the sense, nonsense, anguish and outright insanity of apartheid era South Africa, utilizing three excellent actors (Shawn Lee, Eric Pargac and Sean Blakemore), a motorcycle, and a theatrically perfect set representing a burger stand."
- David Vidal, Pasadena Now
This is riveting, disturbing, and thought-provoking must-see theater. Reprising their original 2002 roles, Sean Blakemore, Shawn Lee, and Eric Pargac give performances that are sure to be remembered among the year?s best. Blakemore brings strength and great dignity to September, a man who knows that he must not fight back or risk losing everything. Pargac is perfection as Forsie, for whom running off at the mouth is a substitute for taking action. Lee proves himself once again one of our most electric talents, inspiring an audience hatred that defies the logic of ?it?s only a performance. Kudos, as always, to Dámaso Rodriguez, whose direction combines attention to both character and physical action, resulting in ninety minutes which move like a speeding train hurtling towards disaster.
- Steven Stanley, Stage Scene LA