NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

September 15, 2010

Veteran performers bring humor to Firehouse's 'Adam & Eve'

Just what were Adam and Eve like during the first days of creation? Surprisingly, or maybe not so, they may not have been too unlike men and women today. Adam is content, happily spending his days among the animals in the Garden of Eden. Eve talks — a lot, peppering Adam with questions and looking for ways to improve and change her surroundings.

At least that's how Mark Twain saw it. Penned separately, the diaries contain the American author and humorous observations on the human condition as presented through the innermost early thoughts of Adam and Eve.

Later expanded, revised and merged together by Twain, the diaries were eventually turned into a theater work. And this weekend, two veteran performers will bring the characters to the stage.

Fontaine Dubus, co-founder of the locally based Exit Dance Theatre and owner of The Dance Place in Newburyport, and TV and film actor Charlie Van Eman pair up to present a scripted reading of "The Diaries of Adam & Eve" at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport's Market Square. The two performances tomorrow and Saturday nights serve as a fundraiser for the Newburyport theater.

Dubus, of Newbury, said she and her husband, best-selling author Andre Dubus III, were approached a couple of years ago by the Firehouse to perform David Birney's adaptation of the "Diaries" as a Valentine's Day fundraiser for the arts center. But her husband's schedule just wouldn't allow it.

When the idea was floated again this year, with Van Eman available to play the first man, she agreed. Dubus said she first met Van Eman many years ago through local theater director and producer Marc Clopton when the actor was based in Los Angeles, and she has always respected his work. Her author-husband, however, will be making a special guest appearance.

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