Saturday, November 20, 2010

Comic Potential at the Chapel Street Players

From the moment the lights go up, you can’t help but notice Jacie (Courtney Wallace) give a broad but quiet smirk as she plays the nurse on a hackneyed production with the unctuous doctor, the sobbing mother and the son who is being told he will have to lose his foot.

And suddenly, the doctor is not only unctuous, but full of ‘u’s, reassuring the mother and son that he will ‘umputate just below the unkle’….and then the exasperated director rants that his techs must fix this actoid, a robotic actor. And make sure he stays away from the fax!

Wallace’s Jacie is the light that keeps the stage going as she plays an actoid with a heart – a heart that begins to warm to the company director’s nephew. She is wonderful, spewing past scripts on cue for any event she had not been prepared for, and the results are fantastic – like pushing a button on a Chatty Kathy.

This futuristic comedy had a slow start on opening night but everyone seemed to warm up to the enthusiastic audience. Courtney Wallace has that rare ability to act like an actoid and really act within her spurts of role – including outrageous hamming and miming.

Mike Freeberry as Adam Trainsmith had perfect pacing – first keeping a shy and quiet demeanor as he visits his uncle’s production set and then blossoming into an inventive writer as he falls for Jacie the actoid and realizes his own Comic Potential.

Dina Bogino and Bill Starcher not only provided excellent comedy in the smaller roles, but their synthetic actoid acting was perfectly done – with exact repeats and total freeze motion.

The set was brilliant. Joseph Pukatsch built a great backdrop of moveable pieces that converted into different sets in seconds with excellent work by Robert de Remigio’s crew. This absolutely made the second act – allowing us to zip back and forth between scenes as if we were watching the sort of futuristic television production playwright Alan Ayckbourn envisioned.

See www.chapelstreetplayers.org.

1 comment:

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