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Alexandria Area Arts Association presents 'Black Comedy'

The Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) will present the farce Black Comedy at the AAAA Theatre.

It will be performed on Fridays, April 25 and May 2 and Saturdays, April 26 and May 3 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees on April 27 and May 4 at 2 p.m.

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Black Comedy is set during an electrical blackout and is performed under a reversed lighting scheme.

For example, when the show begins and the power is on, the stage is dark. When the power goes out, the stage lights are on.

Brindsley Miller is a struggling young sculptor. He hopes to impress his future father-in-law, Colonel Melkett, and Georg Bamberger, a German art collector – and the richest man in the world – who is coming to view his work.

Brindsley’s apartment is small, however, and his furniture is minimal, so he and his debutante fiancée, Carol Melkett, “borrow” expensive antique furniture from their neighbor Harold Gorringe, who is conveniently out of town.

As Brindsley and Carol prepare for the evening, the power fails, and they are left in the dark. Multiple complications arise when Miss Furnival, Brindsley’s neighbor, joins them; Harold returns early; Brindsley’s ex-girlfriend, Clea, shows up; and a German electrician named Schuppanzigh arrives.

In the darkness, Brindsley tries to return all the borrowed furniture out from under his guests before the lights are restored.

“Black Comedy is a very fun actor challenge,” said Benjamin Klipfel, who plays Brindsley. “It’s unique to be acting as if you are in the dark, even when the stage is fully lit. We’ve been rehearsing the show with our eyes closed, which is something I’ve never done before on stage.”

Black Comedy was written by playwright Peter Shaffer, who is known for works such as Equus and Amadeus, both of which were adapted for the screen. Amadeus won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Black Comedy runs about one hour and fifteen minutes, without an intermission. The lobby will be filled with abstract art pieces created by the cast members.

A short reception will be held after each performance in the lobby, with refreshments and sweets for sale. The cast artwork will also be for sale.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students/seniors and can be purchased at the AAAA Box Office at (320) 762-8300.

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