A 'Mass'-ive Production
By Ryan Funderburg
The theatrical production of Leonard Bernstein's The Mass is coming to Mendocino College on April 24. The production is based on the Catholic Mass and was written in 1971 in honor of President John F. Kennedy. Technical Director Larry Lang, Musical Director Les Pfutzenreuter, and Choreographer Leslie Saxon West are responsible for this unique production.
"The Mass is an anti-war allegorical piece that focuses on the social issues of society- a statement on modern organized religion," said Lang. According to Lang, the production will cost around $10,000 and take about eight weeks for technical preparation. The play has approximately 55 cast members consisting of dancers, street people, and chorus members. "It's wonderful because it incorporates all elements of theatre," said Lang.
"This is the strongest cast we've ever had," said Pfutzenreuter. The cast rehearses an average of six to eight hours per week, not including the additional hours each person does on his or her own. "For a theatrical piece, it's the most challenging thing I have ever conducted," stated Pfutzenreuter. "This will be the most music we have ever done on stage." A total of 90 minutes of music will run during the show.
"This is the most challenging thing I have ever done," said West. West has been working with the dancers since August, Choreographing over 12 dances that will be seen in the show. " For me it is not just about the steps, it is what the music is trying to say and effectively translate it through movement."
The Mass is recommended for mature audiences. Shows are scheduled for April 24 and 25 and May 1 and 2 at 8 p.m., with a special Thursday showing on April 30 at 7:30 p.m. For the Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. shows, adult tickets are $12; children, seniors, and ASMC cardholders are $10. All seats for the Thursday show are $10. Tickets are available at: the Mendocino Book Co., the college bookstore, and the Crow's Nest in Ukiah; the Leaves of Grass Bookstore in Willits; and Catfish Book Co. in Lakeport. For more information on tickets, contact Mendocino College at 468-3097.

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