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Brüka debuts laughable ‘Book of Liz’
by Cortney Maddock
Apr 08, 2010 | 884 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo - The cast of the "Book of Liz" — Mary Bennett, Scott Dundas, Patti Knutson and Mike Peters — perform multiple roles in the play.
Courtesy Photo - The cast of the "Book of Liz" — Mary Bennett, Scott Dundas, Patti Knutson and Mike Peters — perform multiple roles in the play.
Changing gear drastically after the Brüka Theater’s last performance, “Angels in America,” the theater is focusing now on the funny with the performance of “Book of Liz,” which opens Friday night.

The play, which is written by brother and sister team David and Amy Sedaris, is a satirical look at a conservative community of people called the Squeamish. If that seems awfully close to Amish, that’s because it is, according to Brüka’s producing director Mary Bennett, who also plays Liz in the comedy piece.

“I am an actor, and since we are a group of artists that run a company, I haven’t been able to perform as much in the last couple years, since I am the artists producing director for the Brüka,” Bennett said. “I play Liz, and this show is a very special show because it is written by Amy and David Sedaris.”

David is a writer, whose original radio pieces are commonly featured on “This American Life” broadcast by National Public Radio. He has also written the best-sellers “Barrel Fever” and “Holidays on Ice,” as well as collections of personal essays, “Naked,” “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “When You Are Engulfed in Flames.”

His sister might be slightly better known, mainly because Amy is an actress and comedienne in addition to being a writer. If Amy’s name rings a bell it could be because she starred in Comedy Central’s show “Strangers With Candy,” which gathered quite the cult following.

Besides the famously funny writers, Bennett explained that the Brüka picked “Book of Liz” not only for its comedic value but also because it is well written and works well with the talents of the cast.

The cast includes Bennett as well as Scott Dundas, Patti Knutson and Mike Peters, who all play multiple roles.

“This is a very solid play,” Bennett said. “It’s very funny. It’s about a sister at an Amish, but it’s called Squeamish, community and she’s not appreciated in her community (for) what she does for her community, which is make cheese balls.

“It pokes fun at different groups,” Bennett added. “Any group you might be involved in, whether it’s your work group or the group you seek council from. It’s a very funny and very sweet play.”

Regardless of who might be at the receiving end of a punch line in the play, Bennett said one message “Book of Liz” conveys is acceptance of others and the understanding of different groups of people.

“It’s contemporary playwrights and it’s worth doing their work, we choose plays that we believe will entertain the community and challenge the community,” Bennett said of the subject matter in “Book of Liz.”

“We wanted to premier it here and bring it to the community,” Bennett said. “If we’re going to do a heavy hitting show like ‘Angels in America,’ we want to doing something opposite of that and we want to do a comedy.”

Although “Angels in America” had heavy-hitting subject matter that made it more geared for adult audiences, Bennett said the “Book of Liz” has more of a PG rating.

“This is a truly delightful evening,” Bennett said. “Come out and enjoy an evening with your family or friends and have a good laugh.”

“Book of Liz” opens Friday with performances being held Thursday through Saturday until May 1. Performances begin at 8 p.m. sharp and one matinee will be performed April 18 at 2 p.m. followed by a talk-back with the company. The doors open half an hour before curtain time.

Reservations are available through the Brüka box office at 323-3221 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $18 for general admission, $16 for students and seniors and $25 at the door. Reservations are also available at the Melting Pot Emporium at 1047 S. Virginia St. in Reno.  

For more information, visit www.brü
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