Patrons outside the Theatre at Boston Court before showtime.
With the Pasadena Playhouse struggling and the Pasadena opening of A Noise Within a year away, did you think you'd have to wait to see professional theater in Pasadena?
You don't. You can go to the Theatre at Boston Court right now. Okay, maybe not right now, I don't know what time you're reading this. But between now and August 29th, you can see The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder, a world premiere by Moby Pomerance, directed by John Langs.
The play tells the story of James Murray who, in the 1880s, pretty much drove himself crazy trying to put together the Oxford English Dictionary on a meager budget with very little staff. Murray, his daughter Jane and their coworker Smythic (whom they mostly ignore, to his comic chagrin) work in a drafty garden shed. Brian Sidney Bembridge is credited with scenic and lighting design, both of which are gorgeous.
I'm no reviewer but I do have a 30-year acting career under my belt so I can tell you these roles require the kind of vocal and emotional dexterity you will see only in experienced, well-trained pros. The language itself would be enough to trip up any actor not at the top of his or her game.
It's hard to write about pedantry without being pedantic, but Pomerance doesn't fall into that trap. Director Langs may have done so, seeming to go for one high note for the first act. I would have liked more nuance, more variety of tone. But I would need to see more before I say for sure.
An intern at Boston Court set aside two complimentary tickets for me and asked me to blog about the play. And the full truth is I wasn't able to stay for the whole show. But as my profile says, I'm a lover of words, and The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder is packed with wordplay of the highest order. I was so intrigued by the first half that I'm just going to have to buy a ticket and see the second half.
This much I know: professional theater is thriving in Pasadena in the beautiful, comfortable, state-of-the-art space at the Boston Court.