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Magic, music, and storytelling merge in Flying V Theatre’s first one-person show

Zia Hassan, who has performed around the area, will star in “The Very Fabric of Reality,” part of Flying V Theatre’s “Awesome-A-Thon Vol. 2” and its first one-person show.  COURTESY PHOTOLocal performer Zia Hassan will star in “The Very Fabric of Reality,” part of Flying V Theatre’s “Awesome-A-Thon Vol. 2.” COURTESY PHOTO  Zia Hassan has “always been a performer.”

He started making Michael Jackson-like dance moves at the age of three, then doing magic shows at age six. He took up piano at age seven and started writing his own music.

“So, piano recitals were interesting,” Hassan said. “Most of the other students were playing tried-and-true classical pieces, like Beethoven, and I was writing instrumentals inspired by events in my life.”

Theater performances followed in middle and high school, but, in college and beyond, Hassan evolved into what he is now: a solo performer.

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Drama teacher searches for missing wife in Best Medicine Rep’s ‘Blue Over You’

Francis (played by John Morogiello) believes he’s found a clue in the Best Medicine Rep’s one-person mystery “Blue Over You.” COURTESY PHOTOFrancis (played by John Morogiello) believes he’s found a clue in the Best Medicine Rep’s one-person mystery “Blue Over You.” COURTESY PHOTO  On the surface, “Blue Over You” is about a high-school drama teacher who is trying to find his wife who’s gone missing.

Beneath the surface, Dan Noonan’s play, which Best Medicine Rep Theatre is presenting, is the theme of reality and what people think it is.

The fact that “Blue Over You” takes its title from the song Barbra Streisand (as Fanny Brice) sings in the movie version of “Funny Girl” is appropriate. The protagonist Francis periodically breaks into snippets of song from musicals.

These are familiar rather than obscure show tunes, Noonan said.

Since this is a one-person play, audiences will find themselves “intimately involved,” said Best Medicine Rep’s artistic director, John Morogiello, who portrays Francis.

“It’s incredible, wonderful play” he said. “I laughed, and I cried. And Francis is fun. He’s completely off the wall.”

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The One Man Christmas Carol shines in Olney

DSC 7167 copy christmas carolPaul Morella as all the characters in Olney Theatre’s one-man show of “A Christmas Carol.” COURTESY PHOTO “A Christmas Carol” – dramatic versions of Charles Dickens's beloved holiday novella – abound this time of year. But one may be unique in the County.

In Olney Theatre Center's production of “A Christmas Carol,” Paul Morella portrays the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as 49 other characters in a one-person show, including the three Christmas ghosts, the Fezziwig family and Tiny Tim.

He even portrays three or four characters at once, with a mere turn of the head.

This “Christmas Carol” grew out of an earlier one-man show in which Morella played defense attorney Clarence Darrow at the Arts Barn. A staff member asked him to return the following year and give the same treatment to “A Christmas Carol.”

At first, Morella thought “it wouldn't work.” Later, he changed his mind.

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