Curtain Call

By Paul Wozniak

José Rivera’s “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” is not the bawdy comedy its title seems to imply. It is, according to director and Michigan State University Theatre Professor Melissa C. Thomson, an “intense and passionate” piece for those open to an untraditional theater experience.

“At its very basis, we have a woman (Gabriella) who is waiting for her husband (Benito) to come home from Iraq,” Thomson explained. “And she is concerned about trying to figure out whether or not he’s still going to be the man she actually married (when he returns home).”

Expressing the interior concerns of Gabriella — namely danger and desire — design elements in Acts One and Four reflect specific, iconic Dali paintings, such as the desert landscape from “Two Pieces of Bread Expressing a Sentiment of Love.”

But what about the ever-popular melting clocks? Thompson said that the clocks did not fit the visual landscape that they were trying to create, although they are verbally referenced. “In terms of the (visual) design that we set up, I basically just said, ‘Absolutely no melting clocks!’’’

Other characters in the play are a talking cat, a moon that plays the violin and cacti that move progressively closer to the house. Significant sexual content means that the show is for adults only.

’References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot’

Michigan State University Auditorium 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, Wednesday, April 20, and Thursday, April 21; 8 p.m. Friday, April 22; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23 $8 all seats (800) WHARTON

’Clownin’’ at Ruhala

Ruhala Performing Arts Center artistic director Mark Ruhala is the master of ceremonies for "Just Clownin’ Improv!," performed by Ruhala Center students. Ruhala believes that pure improvisation comes from the unknown, albeit within the structure of a sketch.

‘They really don’t know anything of what I’m gonna do. I always keep that as a given, even in classes,’ he said. ‘For me, the art of improvisation really should be that. Sometimes you see improvisation and it has so much structure that you don’t get a real sense of spontaneity."

’Just Clownin’ Improv!’

Ruhala Performing Arts Center 1846 Haslett Road, East Lansing 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16 $10 adults, $8 children 12 and under (517) 337 -0464