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April 2018 Limelight Review


VOLUNTEER!
Mariemont Players is looking for a volunteer to write and edit the monthly Limelight Review membership news letter. If you are interested in this position (starting June 1, 2018) contact Business VP, Art Kibby at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BOARD NEWS
The Mariemont Players Board has nominated the following members as candidates for the following ACT and OCTA Awards to be given at the annual ACT/OCTA Fest in June.

ART ROUSE - NancyAnn and Tom Storey
MARIO PITACCO - Art Kibby
ROGER GROOMS - Tom Peters
OCTA ANNUAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARD - Dan Maloney


MPI JOINS THE 21ST CENTURY LIGHTING ERA  |  Art Kibby and Tom Peters
After struggling with our woefully outdated lighting patch bay and dimmer system for several seasons, the Board has decided to purchase and install a brand new system. The old patch bay that was purchased second-hand in 1990, will be replaced with a fan-cooled tower rack enclosure containing 9 “Smart Packs” with all the current 106 circuits connected. This is a DMX system, so the DMX to AMX converter will no longer be needed. The new system will be directly compatible with our recently installed dimmer control board, and any circuit can be “softpatched” by the lighting designer. The old telephone-style plugs will go the way of the dodo, since the lighting designer can call up any circuit just by programming it into the board. 2 Another improvement will be two separate control stations – one in the auditorium and the other in the loft, to turn on house lights or activate select rehearsal or photography lighting instruments without running the board. All of this is scheduled to begin on March 26, soon after Around the World closes. King’s Electric has been contracted to perform the required electrical drawings and installation, with Vincent Lighting providing overall supervision and equipment. This couldn’t happen at a better time, since “World” has been plagued with a series of lighting failures over the first weeks of the run.


AT THE MARIEMONT MEMBERSHIP PARTY
Welcome in Spring with theatre friends at the annual Spring Party and Meeting on Saturday, April 16th at 6PM. Fried chicken, wine/beer, and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. Please bring a side dish, appetizer or dessert to complement the meal. There will be a short meeting following dinner, a chance to win show tickets & door prizes and plenty of time to socialize.


MARCH PLAY READING REPORT  |  Anna Nixon
First day of spring and winter is still with us! I do hope all our readers arrived home safe and sound – they were Laura Hovland (welcome back – we missed you), Joyce and Art Kibby, Maris Ryan, Fred Rothzeid, Dava Lynn (from Silver Whistle – welcome), John Nixon and yours truly.

Our play this month was “Superior Donuts” by Tracy Letts. It is actually being televised at the moment in ½ hour segments on Monday evenings at 9 pm on CBS with Judd Hirsch in the lead.

It is set in Chicago between 2009-2010 in Arthur’s bakery. Business is failing and crime is prevalent. The play opens with the glass smashed in the door and the windows. A young assistant and a neighboring shop owner befriend Arthur and help him see life more optimistically. A comedy-drama describes it, I think. Many thanks again to Joyce for play copy printing and lovely refreshments.

Also note that Fred Rothzeid’s musical play “A Soldier’s Story” will be staged at the Aronoff on May 1st. at 7.30pm.

NEXT READING: April 15th. at 7.30p


ALL AROUND TOWN
Jerry Wiesenhahn will be featured in Footlighters musical production of Unrinetown. The show performs May 3 through May 19. Tickets are available on Footlighters Web Site.

NKU’s Commonwealth Theatre Summer Dinner Theatre Season will present the musical “Life Could Be A Dream” directed by Dee Anne Bryll. The show runs June 6 through June 24th. Check the NKU web-site for ticket information.


ACT JUDGES LOVED THEIR RIDE IN BECKY'S NEW CAR!
House: ”The house facilities at Mariemont are at the top of the community theatre mountain, making it a featured destination for both patrons and actors alike. This production was no exception as the facilities and staff was warm and inviting on a cold winter’s night. Betsy Farro, as always, was there for anything needed preshow.”

Lobby Display: “The lobby display was cleverly done. A classroom style border of a street surrounded headshots clustered around the production poster. Information about each company member appeared below the name on a cutout encircled by a silhouette of a car. The display was creative without being overwhelming - the overall presentation was clean, crisp and informative.”

Program and Program Art: “Teresa John’s program art and “playbill” design are both to be highly commended. This is what I have come to expect at MPI and this production only reinforced that notion. The cover art was particularly well done with a colorful feel and simple graphics that mimicked the style of the production as a whole. The program itself had outstanding bio images and was exceptionally well organized. A modicum of advertisements interspersed with excellent and clear information about the play, the theatre and the history of the group was a delight to read before the show began. I am extremely impressed with the excellent presentation of nearly five pages of patrons! Impressive.”

Pre-Show: “The new auditorium seating is attractive and comfortable, providing clear views of the stage throughout the space. The auditorium itself was clean, orderly, and comfortable.”

Set Design and Construction: “Dan Dermody’s set was efficient and well done without many frills, but depicting the environment necessary for this particular story setting. The cast was able to move between the three areas easily. Becky (in many of her solo scenes) was able to “look up to the lighting girl” and talk through a desired lighting change with ease. Everything seemed sturdy and well built, the desk, deck and couch all worked well with the cast able to remove and replace the family photo from the wall. Very nice construction work by Mr. Pauly, Kibby and Carney.”

Décor and Set Painting: “The walls served as a backdrop for each location, framing the set and providing additional context – family photos on the living room wall, a small glass peep window in the office. The couch was the primary focus of the living room – overstuffed, worn, a little frayed around the edges – just like Becky’s life. The cluttered desk was the focus of the office, caging Becky into a thankless job.”

Light Design and Execution: “Zach Riggins is a professional through and through and his design plot did not disappoint. There was excellent area lighting that transitioned well (due to Mikaela Wormely’s execution) between areas and was never overdone. The lighting enhanced and never distracted from the experience.”

Sound Design and Execution: “I do not believe any microphones were used in the production but the design and execution of sound cues of phone calls in particular and between scene music were exceptional. This was also accomplished by the multi-talented Ms. Wormley, who I can only guess is a current or former student of Mr. Peters.”

Costumes: ”Costumes (which program notes were supplied by the ensemble) supported the theme and time period of the piece very well and also gave us clues to the financial status of the actors as well. (important in this story)”

Make-up and Wigs: “Stage make-up was natural and believable. There were distinct class differences here too. All was credible!“

Properties: “Director Peters handled his own props and did a fine job. All seemed appropriate for the play and period and added a level of believability and additional texture to the show.”

Stage Management: “Sara Krehbiel did an outstanding job with moving the show along; it never dragged and the minimal scene changes were accomplished quickly and we were back to the action in no time at all.”

Producing: “Producers Arnold and Riggins did an outstanding job of assembling a staff to meet the challenges of this excellent production. In all the aspects mentioned above as well as the technical and artistic merits below, this was an impressive team effort. It was obvious to me that the team was organized and efficient even down to the simple detail of having a cast substitution for some performances. This was handled with a lobby sign and program note, just like a traveling Broadway production.”

Acting
Traci Taylor (Becky) “I have seen Traci Taylor in a few other MPI shows and was eager to see her tackle the complexities of this title role. She did not disappoint. This was truly a tour de force for this actress. She made Becky believable to us all. Her pauses, where she let us see what she was thinking with only her face were very strong. This was in stark contrast to the frenetic pace at which she needed to give us loads of exposition at the start of the play, break the fourth wall with members of the front row and interact with other technical aspects of the production which thrust her about on a stage like a rag doll. Throughout the evening, Ms. Taylor proved she was up to the tall order of carrying the narrative of an entire show for an extremely large portion of the evening. The audience loved her and accepted the truth of any and all of her decisions. Kudos to her.” Scott Unes (Joe): “Scott Unes was particularly brilliant as the forgotten loyal husband. His Joe was so supportive of Becky throughout that the level of spite that came through in act two was both surprising and welcomed as a cathartic release. Simply brilliant.”

Jay Dallas Benson (Steve): “was delightfully over-dramatic – from his first appearance in the peep window in the office to his exuberant pursuit of Ginger. His clothing was bold, his manner animated, his behavior comical with a touch of pathos. Steve’s character at first seems somewhat stereotypical, but as the play unfolds, we see additional layers that help to make him more individual and more fun to watch.“

Linda Callahan (Ginger): “ Linda Callahan as Ginger played her role as an upper class has-been too. I see in the program that she plays the role of Becky at select performances. Although I enjoyed Traci Taylor’s portrayal of Becky, I am sure Linda would do a solid job too. Both actresses are strong.”

Chris Foster {Maverick Thurston): “ who played Chris Foster, Becky and Chris’s young adult son who is studying psychology, did a credible and fine job. He was particularly effective at establishing a relationship with Kenni Flood, Walter’s daughter, and at psychobabble.”

Lon Nease (Walter): “Simply brilliant. Lon Nease was supremely understated as Walter, delivering lines with a low tenor to his voice that made the audience lean forward to make sure they didn’t miss a word. The novelty of his dialogue and straight-forward delivery did not dispel the talent of this actor who seemed to be enjoying every absurd comment as he held his expressionless face during extremely long periods of audience laughter. Excellent.”

Jackie Miesle (Kenni): “Walter’s daughter, Kenni, played by Jackie Miesle, was strong in her role. Excellent vocal and physical delivery! Also developed a solid relationship with Chris and her father.“

Kate Arnold (Mrs. Tipton): “Did well in a series of silent walk-ons, I would be curious to see the dynamic when she stepped into the higher role. “ “It also was intriguing to see that Kate Arnold, who made a brief appearance as Mrs. Tipton, the one whose car is mistakenly taken by Becky, plays Ginger when Linda Callahan takes on Becky’s role.“

Ensemble: “The ensemble put together by Peters was diverse and effective. They functioned well in the few group scenes (like the funeral wake). There was a mix of experienced and younger actors, but all roles were age-appropriate which added to the overall effective presentation of the story.”

Direction: “The direction for this show was excellent! From the casting to the acting, ensemble work, and technical elements, the show was effective. The pacing or tempo was quite good too, especially the comic timing through the twists and turns of the show."

The stage business and blocking were very well done. In addition, the entire stage space was used well. And the varied entryways allowed for multiple entrances and exits.

The triangle of relationships—Becky and Joe, Becky and Walter, Chris and Kenni—was handled well. They developed, unraveled and developed anew in believable ways. Characters’ personal choices led them down paths that deepened the themes in the play. Deeper meanings included those of love and life and loss beyond the robust and laughable nature of the playwright’s witty dialogue. In addition, the use of cars was drawn out well as was the use of telephones in this play. Literally, Becky and Chris were driving up and down the highway between Walter’s and Kenni’s and their home. Staging this on benches or in chairs CS was creative. Further, there were numerous phone calls and conversations that moved the action forward in this play. Nice direction around these stage activities!

Everyone handled their roles well. Character development, attention and focus, emotional tone, and character relationships were handled effectively. Plus all props and properties, costumes and accessories, and overall scene work made for a believable and enjoyable evening for patrons.”

General Comments: We are so lucky to have Tom Peters back in community theatre. His true “pied-piper” mentality (in the tradition of mentor Elston Hurst) is providing a wonderful pipeline of new young talent to the Cincinnati theatre scene. His own accomplishments cannot be overstated as teacher and director and his output of consistent creative work speaks for itself. This was a truly wonderful experience for the audience and it is due to the attention to detail of this fine craftsman and his crew.

People that are fun to work with and treat everyone with respect and courtesy attract the best casts and crews to work with them. That is the beauty of “community” theatre that I fell in love with over 40 years ago. Tom Peters is the epitome of that statement and it was my pleasure to witness another notch in his belt with this outstanding production at MPI. Thank you.”

“The audiences at Mariemont shows seem to be a bit of a special breed – it was so interesting to hear them respond very vocally to the performance – laughing heartily, gasping with surprise and even talking back to the characters on-stage. (At one point during the Sprite segment, an audience member asked “where’s mine?” The nature of this piece encouraged audience participation, but Mariemont audiences seem to be very comfortable responding to the action taking place on the stage. Congratulations on an excellent and enjoyable production.”

“I am extremely impressed with the excellent presentation of nearly five pages of patrons! Impressive.”

  676 Hits
676 Hits

March 2018 Limelight Review

The Slate Is Approved for the 2018-2019 MPI Board by Michael Sauer

Here is the proposed slate, approved by the board on 2/3/18:

President - Steve Winslow (1 year term)
Treasurer - Arny Stoller (1 year term)
Secretary - Karen Zaugg (1 year term)
Jr. VP Business - Pat Kramer (2 year term)
Jr. VP Production - Tom Peters (2 year term)

Members at Large -
Michael Sauer (1 year term)
Linda Callahan (1 year term)
Maris Ryan (2 year term)
Brieanne Sheehan (2 year term)

The following members are serving the second year of their 2-year terms:
Sr. VP Business - Art Kibby
Sr. VP Production - Dan Maloney
Member at Large - Nancy Ann Storey

In addition, the board approved President Steve Winslow's appointment of Linda Callahan to fill the ending June 30, 2018
Thank you to the nominating committee members: Art Kibby and Steve Winslow.
The Annual Election will be held at the April Membership Meeting onSaturday, April 15, 2018


Mariemont Announces July Show for the 2018-2019 Season by Tom Peters
It is going to be 1959 all over again! The 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.

Directed by Tom Peters
Choreographed by Jackie Miesle
Assistant Direction/Stage Management by Sara Krehbiel

This production will feature all the hit songs from the motion picture (Grease is the Word, Hopelessly Devoted, Sandy and You're the One That I Want)
as well as the classic stage songs (Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin', There are Worse Things I Could Do)


Mariemont Players and Director Ed Cohen Announce Auditions for All the Way by Robert Schenkkan

Audition Dates/Times:
7 PM Monday, March 12th
7 PM Tuesday, March 13th

Callbacks:
7 PM Wednesday, March 14th

Location:
4101 Walton Creek Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45227

Performance Dates:
July 13th-29th
***All those auditioning are REQUIRED to prepare a 1-2 minute contemporary monologue.***

Synopsis
1963… An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, this charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into the Civil Rights Act, a tinderbox issue emblematic of a divided America. Note: Graphic and crude language.

Characters
Seeking 17 men, 3 women. Various ages and types. Several African-American roles. Due to characters being historical figures, non-traditional casting is not possible.

The role of Martin Luther King Jr. has been cast, but all other roles including LBJ are open.

Additional Information
Rehearsals will begin after Memorial Day. Please bring a resume and head shot. For more information or to review the script, contact director Ed Cohen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


February Play Reading Report by Anna Nixon
Thanks to jef Brown’s assistance we read an hysterical comedy (no, not a farce!) called Skin Deep by Jon Lonoff, a multi-talented writer. We only had a select group in attendance but they certainly did it more than justice once again, thanks to Linda Callahan, Maris Ryan, Joyce and Art Kibby, John Nixon, Karen Rokich and yours truly.


Next reading: Tuesday March 20th. at 7.30 pm.
Break a leg to all the cast and crew of “Around the World in 80 days”.


A Big Thank You to All the Ushers for Becky’s New Car - by Art Kibby
Dan Maloney, Danny Davies, Rilla Foster, Jan Costello (2X), Merritt Beischel, Lauren Woodiwiss, Tom Storey, Betsy Bossart, Liz Venn, Steve Winslow, Mike Morehead (2X), Chuck Strain, Art and Joyce Kibby, Gudrun Raynor, Pat Kramer (2X), Ann Barfels, Chris Cullen, Karen Rokich (2X), Rita Winters, Audrey Morrison, Kathy Franklin, Karen Zaugg, Jan and Rob Krehbiel, Tim Carney, John and Ann Nixon, Lee Anne and Jim Waldfogle, Arny and Steph Stoller, Dava Lynn Biehl, and Nisrene Langenbrunner.


Director Notes from Becky’s New Car - by Tom Peters
I would like to thank all the people who helped to make “Becky’s New Car” a successful production. I want to thank all the people who did not make it into the program, such as all the ushers and people who helped with the strike. The show could not have happened without a group effort from everyone. Co-producers Kate Arnold and Zachery Riggins paved the way for a smooth riding production. I want to thank my “right and left hands”, stage manager/assistant director Sara Krehbiel and board op and desk builder Mikaela Wormely. Rarely as a director have I been
blessed with a cast with no weak links. This was such a cast! Thank you to Kate Arnold, Jay Dallas Benson, Linda Callahan, Jackie Miesle, Lon Nease, Traci Taylor, Maverick Thurston and Scott Unes. Thank you all for taking a ride in “Becky’s New Car”! - Tom Peters


Becky’s New Set Strike Workers We Thank YOU!
Kate Arnold
Jay Dallas Benson
Linda Callahan
Art Kibby
Pat Kramer
Sara Krehbiel
Dan Maloney
Jackie Miesle
Ryan Naish
Lon Nease
Tom Peters
Don Phillips
Traci Taylor
Eric Thomas
Maverick Thurston
Scott Unes
Jerry Wiesenhahn
Mary Kay
Wiesenhahn
Brayden Wormely
Mikaela Wormely


All Over Town
Ed Cohen will serve as director for the September, 2018 production of A Few Good Men for the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts.

Sunset Players welcomes Lon Nease in the male lead role in their upcoming production of Angel Street, The play will be presented May 4th through May 19 at the The Arts Center at Dunham. Purchase tickets at www.sunsetplayers.org.

Village Players spring production Bingo! The Winning Musical directed by Peggy Kenney will star John Langley and Dee Anne Bryll will do the
choreography. The show plays April 20 through April 27th. Tickets on line at the Village Players website.

Congratulations to Laura Berkemeier and Jay Gossett on the recent announcement of their engagement.

Amy Sullivan will perform in Mason Community Players production, Enchanted April. Weekend performances run April 13-21. Tickets are available at www.masonplayers.org


We are sad to report that Mariemont Players lost a friend and former member recently when Gail Wilson passed away.

Joe Hornbaker and Elzie Barker on the recent passing of Joe’s mother Alice Hornbaker.


  916 Hits
916 Hits

February 2018 Limelight Review

Norma Niinemets. Editor
Art Kibby, Distribution


Mariemont Players Cast Announcement for
The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham
Mariemont Players and director Dan Maloney are pleased to announce the cast of our May production, The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham:

Gunner – Harold Murphy

Peg – Barbara Karol
Jack – Michael Ireland

Synopsis
In a summer cottage on Chesapeake Bay, Gunner has hatched an unorthodox plan to secure his family's future but meets with resistance from his wife and son. As winter approaches, the three must quickly find common ground and come to an understanding - before the tide goes out.

The Outgoing Tide runs May 11th-27th. To order tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 OR order online at www.mariemontplayers.com. All seats are reserved and $20 each.

January Play Reading Report – Anna Nixon
Our choice this month was a 1983 comedy “Squabbles” by Marshall Karp. We found it hilarious and more than enjoyable. The interplay of the characters is very well written, especially between the rambunctious father-in-law who needs a good argument daily and the young pregnant wife’s mother who is equally difficult. The end is a pleasant surprise as all good comedies should be, of course! Thank you to readers who were few but good – Maris Ryan, Joyce and Art Kibby, John Nixon and yours truly. Keep warm and congratulations to the cast and crew of Becky’s New Car – what a performance!

Next reading – Tuesday, Feb. 20th. at 7.30 pm.

All Over Town by Norma Niinemets
A lot is going on at Beechmont Players with four familiar MPI names and faces. The following talented men were selected to direct for the 2018-2019 Beechmont Season; jef Brown, Jerry Wiesenhahn, Steve Phelan and Richard Zenk. Congratulations gentlemen!

Linda Roll has captured the female lead role in Milford Theatre Guild’s upcoming production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks. This delightful play runs Feb. 16, 17, and 18. 23, 24 Blame it on the cold weather, the flu, the meds or the bossa nova because once again I have messed up a casting announcement, Bett Kooris is playing opposite

Arny Stoller in Ox ACT production of Gin Game playing February 16,17,18,23,24. Tickets are available at www.oxact.org and by phone 513-523-6628. My sincere apologies to Bett and Chessie Vigran for my previous error.

Nisrene Langenbrunner will play the role of Morgan and also be part of the ensemble in Cincinnati Music Theatre’s production of Camelot. The musical will be presented at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in the Jarson-Kaplin Theatre form May 11 through May 19.Tickets are available by visiting the Aronoff Center Web Site or by calling 513-621-ARTS.

Beechmont Player’s May, 2018 production When We Are Married, directed by Cathy Roesener, will feature an all star cast including jef Brown, Eric Day, Steve Phelan, Richelle Rose and Amy Stier. The show plays May 11-19, 2018. Visit www.beechmontplayer’s.org for tickets or call 513-233-2468.

MPI’s The Wisdom of Eve Nominated for City Beat Best of Cincinnati Play Award by Norma Niinemets
Give a standing ovation to Director, Dee Anne Bryll and the cast and crew of The Wisdom of Eve for their nomination for City Beat’s Best of Cincinnati Award in the Play/Student/Community Theatre category. You can cast your vote by visiting CityBeat/Cincinnati Web Site. And while you are supporting the HOME TEAM you may want to give an X on the ballot to Ed Cohen and the law firm Clements, Taylor, Butkovitch and Cohen Firm under the Best Law Firm category.

Letters Via Web Site by Norma Niinemets
Just a quick note to say that a season ago, (or two) I had begun to usher, paint sets, and did a quick non-speaking walk on in Hay Fever, when my life became disrupted by mother's care giving needs. In short, I sort of disappeared which is something I don't like to do. Pass this along to Norma, Betsy, Dan, whoever, to say I still think its great theater and good people. Hope to try, try again. Best, and happy New Year, Nina Johns

The Silver Whistle Receives High Praise from ACT Judges

House Services: “As always, the front of house for MPI is a well-oiled machine. Betsy had our tickets at the ready and we exchanged a few pleasantries as I picked them up. Stephanie Stoller greeted us at the top of the stairs with her usual smile. The new seats are extremely comfortable – congratulations on making this major upgrade to your facility.”

Lobby Display: “The lobby display consisted of a simple display of headshots on a silver background, which was a nice touch to incorporate the name of the play.”

Program: “Love the gloss stock on the inside. Interesting to see the underlined show title on the cast/crew listing – this is a convention which has largely gone out of style in favor of italics. Fonts in the program were smaller than typical, but the crispness of the gloss interior stock made them easy to read. Graphics had good saturation. Did not notice any typos or grammatical errors. Nice job by Theresa Johns’

Original Art: “The original program art is a nice portrayal of an older gentleman holding a rooster which incorporates several elements of the show well. The wink, his posture and the rooster all do a good job of telegraphing the show’s overarching theme of the desire to live life to the fullest at any age.”

Pre Show: ‘The curtain was closed upon entry into the theater so we couldn’t view the set. There was flute music playing softly in the background to enhance the whistle theme. The preshow announcements were short and to the point.”

Set Design and Construction: “There are shows where when the curtain opens and you’re instantly transported into the world of the show, and this was one of those cases. Careful attention to sightlines, multiple levels through use of the porches, benches, and Emmett’s platform-behind-the-wall, multiple distinct playing areas which seamlessly flowed together all screamed professional-level work – and then I noticed Dan Dermody’s name, and said to myself, ‘of course.’ Outstanding job!”“The best design can be compromised by poor construction, but with Bill Pauly on the job that’s not a concern for MPI. Everything was solid – doors worked flawlessly, walls were plumb and well-braced, no construction issues whatsoever. Great job!”

Set Décor: “The furniture was all appropriate to the setting, and worked well. The décor included a great deal of greenery and flowers, both dead and alive, and these were very realistic and well done. I can’t say enough about how great the big upstage tree was. To me it looked completely like a large live tree. Whether it was created or you actually drug in a real tree, it was excellent.”

Set Painting: ” The interiors of the buildings were finished, with painted walls and decorations. The floor treatment completed the outdoor look with dying grass and dirt paths. Very nice work.”

Sound Design and Execution: “The actors could be heard well without mics. The music used during the preshow and intermission was appropriate for the show theme.” The music played preshow and during intermission and scene changes was at a good level.”

Lighting Design and Execution: “The lighting was simple, but effective. There were no dark or hot spots, and the change from day to evening was very well done. The interior rooms were also well lit, making them look lived in and realistic.”” It appeared to me that all light cues were on time. Lights up and down were done in a smooth fashion. Nicely done.”

Costumes: “The costumes were varied and seemed appropriate for each actor. They appeared to be accurate for age of each actor and time frame for the show. The religious garb for the clergymen was realistic. All the costumes seem to fit the actors well. Nice work.”

Hair and Makeup: “The makeup used was befitting the style and age of the actors. The ladies hair styles were different for each character. I particularly liked the use of the snood for Mrs. Hanmer and Miss Tripp’s hairstyle.”

Properties: “This seemed to be a fairly prop heavy show. Most of the props used were appropriate for the time frame of the show. The wheelchair and ear cone helped to set the time. All the props used were good for their application- from the games, to the plates, table cloths, etc., to the real stew.”

Stage Management: “The show seemed to progress as one would expect. All cues seemed to be executed on time; all entrances were made on time. A tight, well-run show.”

Ensemble: “The entire cast of this show worked extremely well as an ensemble. All were consistently in character at all times and worked as a cohesive unit. The result was the lovely telling of a story of a subtle but important transformation in the lives of a group of previously unhappy people.”

Acting

Dan Maloney as Rev. Watson: This was a very nice performance overall. You did a nice job of being appropriately imperious and holier than thou as required without appearing to be mean, so that we still understood that Miss Tripp had reason to love you. Your jealousy and ultimate capitulation to love felt very real.

Jan Costello as Mrs. Sampler: “What a fun role – playing the flirt always presents an opportunity to take a walk down a path few tread, but at the same time presents danger because it’s easy to take it too far and make it a caricature. Jan hit all the right notes, and was completely believable in her infatuation with Mr. Beebe. Great job!”

Dava Lynn as Mrs. Hanmer: “You gave a very nice performance as the acerbic hypochondriac in the group. You effectively portrayed Ms. Hanmer as a sarcastic woman with a tough outer shell, but full of heart on the inside.”

Nisrene Langenbrunner as Miss Tripp: “Nice job in a tough role, balancing an obvious caring for her charges with the relationship with Rev. Watson with trying to deal with the suggestive advances of Erwenter. Reactions to the situations you were placed in felt all very grounded, and I really loved the interactions with the residents. I’m looking forward to seeing Nisrene in future shows.”

Arny Stoller as Emmett: “So, it appears that even if all Arny does is pop up from behind a wall, he can still steal a scene. Great delivery, entirely in touch with the vagabond who ties Erwenter back to his former life as well as assisting in the reclamation of the residents. Nicely done!”

Chessie Vigran as Miss Hoadly: “Chessie Vigran was a hoot from the moment the curtain opened. She was a very believable as an elderly lady and a great drunk to boot. Her facial expressions and posture sold it. She displayed amazing comedic timing.”

Timothy M. Carney as Cherry: “Timothy M Carney was amusing to watch as Cherry. He had a twinkle in his eye at all times and a good stage presence. He has a great voice and used it well.”

Ann Barfels as Mrs. Gross: “Ann is one of the true gems of Cincinnati community theatre – she completely slips into a role. This is one of the tougher roles in the show because when you’re stuck in a wheelchair you will lose a lot of your normal body language. At least you have the *potential* to lose it, because I never felt that Ann did – the bit where she blocked Beebe and Sampler from each other by rolling back and forth was priceless, as was her reaction to being pressed into service to transport Miss Hoadly. Excellent!”

Art Kibby as Mr. Beebe: “Mr. Beebe (Art Kibby) – I thoroughly enjoyed Art’s take on Mr. Beebe. As the defacto ring-leader of the home, his pursuit of both Mrs. Sampler and Erwenter’s love potion were near-perfect takes on the theme of recapturing past youth and vitality. Interactions with all his cast mates were great, and I really liked the arc of his relationship with Erwenter. Excellent!”

Kenny Tessel as Oliver Ernwenter: “You provided an enjoyable performance as the vagrant turned catalyst for youth and happiness in the nursing home. Your ability to charm both the residents and Miss Tripp was very convincing, and toward the end I believed that you were honestly in love with Miss Tripp,”

Richard Zenk as Reddy: “Richard Zenk brought some comedic relief to the show as Reddy. He made the most of his part.”

Jeff Carteras the Bishop: “Jeff established the parameters of the bishop immediately upon entering the playing area - bombastic, in charge, and yet somehow easily duped by Oliver. Nice transition as he went from being completely against the idea of a fair to being supportive not only of the fair, but of Watson.”

Jim Waldfogel as Father Shay: “A great character role for an accomplished character actor. Jim certainly hit all the notes for the stereotypical Irish priest.”

Producing: “Production quality was generally high across the board, as expected for an MPI production. Lights, sound, props, etc all worked well together, with only a few exceptions as noted in the technical evaluation sections. It did seem like producer Dan Maloney might have been spread a little too thin, being in the show himself as well as also having to also pick up responsibility for lighting design, lobby display, as well as his usual gig working publicity for MPI – but sometimes you just do what you have do to make the show come off, and nobody can doubt Dan’s energy or commitment to excellence.”

Direction: “This show was very entertaining. The script was brought to life by a talented cast and good director. The casting was very appropriate. The actors seemed well rehearsed and comfortable with their character and lines. I feel the director had a good feel for the script and brought it to life with his overall vision. The cast seemed to work well together. Their characters were well developed. The blocking was thoughtful and natural. All areas of the stage were used to complement the story.”

  1012 Hits
1012 Hits