By Cynthia Moore
Directed by Kevin Kolack
Pulse Ensemble Theatre non-union production (closed)
Review by Julie Halpern
Cynthia Moore's second play, Entitled, is a searing indictment of the class system and how money and power protect even the most sociopathic individuals. Moore's beautifully written two-scene one-act pits a newspaper reporter, Michael Remick (Patrick Brent King) against the monumentally arrogant socialite Ana Crownings (Patricia McCurdy). Over 30 years ago, the wealthy Crownings, now 85 years old, had a fling with her married gardener and then murdered him. Crownings was acquitted, and the case forgotten, until Remick, a friend of the murdered man's son, decides to find out the truth.
Remick visits Crownings in her home, ostensibly to interview her for a book about her life. Flattering her, and encouraging her to talk about the escapades of her madcap youth, Remick encourages the fatous Crownings to reveal a number of secrets about her life and eventually snares her into admitting to the murder. Since the deceased was Crownings's social inferior, she has no remorse over his death or her actions. Her total exemption from any moral code, and flagrant disregard towards people who work for a living, is evidenced in the brutal treatment of her housekeeper, Greta (Beverly Houck), a pleasant young Swedish woman, whom Crownings repeatedly browbeats and refers to as German, to Greta's obvious distress.
The role of grande dame Ana Crownings was a fabulous vehicle for the glamorous, silver-haired McCurdy. Flirtatious and girlish one moment, venomous and defensive the next, McCurdy made the most of the opportunities the role offered. King was attractive and engaging as the crusading reporter but lacked the edge and urgency needed to bring the character to life. King also was slow to pick up his cues, robbing himself of theatrical moments the play's text presented. Beverly Houck was extremely sympathetic as the beleaguered Greta.
Director Kevin Kolack failed to maintain the energy level the piece demanded. The uncredited set was somewhat shabby and pedestrian to be the home of a wealthy socialite, but the lighting and sound, also uncredited, were basic and effective. The costumes were uninspired but looked well on the attractive cast.
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Copyright 1999 Julie Halpern