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Mania's madcap madness

If you like to laugh, mark April 17 on your calendar as a "don't miss" opportunity.

On that day, Enter Stage Left -- a series presented by the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center - will introduce Mania's Mania, an evening

of 12 comic sketches written and directed by local impresario Max Mania.

Born and bred in Ashland, Ore., a town that lives and breathes theater, Mania has assembled a cast of eight "funsters" for a raucous tribute inspired by the golden age of comedy radio.

Michael Aldrich, Nancy Beier, Bob Bronsink, Kate Carter, Ron Graham, Claire Kathol and Tim Roach - all veteran cast members of productions at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse - will bring to life skits remi-

niscent of the Marx Brothers, Jack Benny,

Fred Allen and Bob & Ray.

"A lot of what I write has to do with giving a known quantity an odd twist," said Mania.

"In the middle of a vast jungle, a character like Tarzan makes a certain amount of dra-

matic sense. But put him and Jane into a marriage counseling session and the comic possibilities open up before you."

Arranged like a classic television sketch comedy show, with one skit following another, the show offers something familiar-but-fractured for an audience and a wonderful challenge for its performers.

"If you're in a play, you usually develop one character and play that straight through the show in some fashion," says actor Michael Aldrich.

"But this, having to quickly switch from one character to another in such a compressed

time frame, is great exercise for a performer. You've got to be on your toes every minute."

Since moving to Port Angeles in 2006, Mania has acted in several productions at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse.

He also wrote, directed and performed in Esprit Confidential, last year's PACP show for Esprit attendees, and hosted a screening of the 1946 film "Boy! What a Girl!" at the Landing mall.

In June of last year, he booked and promoted the first Flipper Over Festival, which brought a wildly diverse group of national touring musicians to Port Angeles for a two-day festival.

The interdisciplinary nature of this series very much appeals to Mania's eclectic creative urges.

"I love seeing different artistic worlds colliding," he said.

"And I hope we see a lot more of it here in Port Angeles, more crossover and cooperation. As a writer and performer, I'm extremely honored to have a show in the PAFAC. I hope everyone will come out, share some laughs and see what a jewel the Arts Center is."

Mania's Mania will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 17, at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

Admission is by donation. Free snacks will be provided. All ages are welcome.

For more information, go online to www.pafac.org.

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