OFFBEAT: World premiere play 'Perfect Garden' debuts at Purdue Calumet

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2012-11-09T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: World premiere play 'Perfect Garden' debuts at Purdue CalumetPhilip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Members of Purdue University Calumet's acting class and an amateur actress from Chicago are comprising the cast performing a world premiere, light-hearted comedy at Purdue Calumet about same sex partners, written by Purdue University Professor of Communication Theresa Carilli.

Performances of "The Perfect Garden" are 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, and again next weekend, 8 p.m. Nov. 17 and 3 p.m. Nov. 18. The performances are in YJean Chambers Hall, third floor of the university's Student Union-Library Building, 2200 169th St., Hammond.

I'm told the play portrays what happens when the lives of same sex domestic partners Toni and Cara, who love tending to their home and beautiful garden, find their lives turned upside down when close relative Uncle Alberto dies with a last request.

"This is the fifth in a series that explores interpersonal dynamics among same-sex partners," Carilli said.

"Along with my other plays, this one is a study of culture and communication. Through each of my plays, all comedies, I demonstrate the dimensional challenges of living as a marginalized individual."

Director and Purdue Calumet Instructor Corya Channing describes the play as "socially relevant and lovingly told."

"The Perfect Garden" is the second Carilli production performed by the Purdue Calumet Theater Company. The one-act play, "Cat Hoarders Anonymous," was performed last year and was "very well received," according to Channing.

Although "The Perfect Garden" features just four primary characters, more than a dozen volunteers also help out behind the scenes with lighting, scenery, sound, and other essentials.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for Purdue Calumet students with their student ID card. Though intended for mature audiences, I'm told adolescents at least 12-years-old will be admitted if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Reservations can be made by calling (219) 989-2357.

Other information can be obtained by contacting Director Channing at or (219) 989-2267.

A good sport

Writer-Director Pete Farrelly will be the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival this weekend at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood.

I'm told Farrelly, known for hits "There's Something About Mary," "Dumb and Dumber," and most recently, this year's new feature film "The Three Stooges," is an avid sports fan and was fortunate to catch the Boston Redsox World Series Championship while directing his new Drew Barrymore film, "Fever Pitch."

How does this connect to our region?

Mover and shaker Maryanne Battistini of Highland always gets the scoop first from her son, Pat Battistini of Los Angeles, who used to coach offensive line at Grand Valley State University. And now, he's festival director of the Los Angeles All Sports Film Festival.

"Pete Farrelly is such a talent and for him to come out and share his expertise and experiences with our filmmakers and screenwriters is a huge addition to the festival," Pat said.

He said the festival will screen 56 films from 10 countries. The program consists of everything from spec commercials to feature-length films.

As for Battistini, he's worked both behind and in front of the camera, making him a natural to help organize this popular sports film festival. In addition to playing cops and truant officers on shows like Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle" and the NBC soap opera "Passions," he's written and produced movie projects like the 2004 film "Sexy Seniors."

For more information on the film festival, visit

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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