The running themes of Series B of the First Annual One-Act Festival! are destinies and reunions. In The Winning Ticket, written and directed by Stephen Roylance, Jimmy (David Allan Walker) isn't satisfied with winning the lottery; he must even the score with his awful boss as well as steal the boss's secretary, Stella (Elizabeth Ann Townsend), from his evil clutches. Overwritten, with many obvious reversals (Is the winning ticket really the winning ticket?), the play offers little in suspense and surprises. It did, however, have many funny lines and the talented Mr. Walker and Ms. Townsend.
Kissing the Statue of Liberty, written and directed by Michele Rosenthal, offers a reunion between mother and daughter. The play seemed underdeveloped and has a ridiculous gear shift into melodrama when the true motivations that Sophie (Gerianne Raphael) has for her mother Blake (Dee Dee Friedman) are revealed. This shift is too absurd for its naturalistic setup and it takes its melodrama too seriously to be camp. Ms. Friedman and Ms. Raphael seemed lost at sea with this strangely out-of-control, conventionally framed play.
The theme of destinies coursing through Kevin Barry, written by Jim Doyle and directed by Donna Mitchell, could use further exploring. The play has a nice lyricism but seems underdeveloped. The directing by Ms. Mitchell was lucid and the acting by Munro M. Bonnell as Pat and Eric Walton as Kevin was solid, although their accents seemed overdone.
Leroy, Randy and Me, written and directed by Alvin Levenstein, is old-fashioned, overly cute, and very very funny. The terrific performances by Rick Eisenberg as the B'way diva, Michael Jankowitz as Allen the disgruntled husband, Larry Yelder as Pops (the backstage caretaker), and of course the radiant Kit LeFever, sent this play rocketing to the stars. Director Levenstein directed his play with a skillful finesse.
The evening had a nice energy, although it raises the question of what would happen if the artists involved decided to risk it all rather than keep on generally safe ground? After all, black boxes should be a testing ground for art and artists. One can't succeed unless one risks failure. (To be continued.)
The uncredited lights and set design adequately set the mood for
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Copyright 1999 Andrès J. Wrath