2007 Teaspoon Theatre Festival of Short Plays
Two Spoons Theatre Company (www.theateronline.com/companybook.xzc?PK=983)
Producers Club Royal Theatre
Review by Michael D. Jackson
This evening of original short plays, all set in a coffee house, offered great variety. The topics included family drama, infidelity, dating, blind dating (literally and figuratively), customer service, closet cases, pornography, and caffeine addiction. Three of the plays dealt with personal ad rondé vu. Oh Nancy, written by Dawson More and directed by Brandon Kalbaugh, took too long to get to the main thrust of the simple story about Nancy (Cinda Lawrence), a woman who battles three of her past beaux over lattés, but the gag-filled sketch picked up half way through and the ending paid off. Medals, written by Mark Cornell and directed by Todd Lawson, was a serious piece about a troubled family, but the play was not long enough to fully realize the story. Still, good acting work was achieved by Mario Corry, Renee Petrofes and Allison Poccia. No Prune, written by Henry Meyterson and directed by Charmaine Broad, referring to the type of danish, was actually about the farfetched connection between two opposites: a floozy (Lindsay Drew) and a socially inept geek (Neil Howard), acted with great comic aplomb. Double Whammy, written by Liz Amberly and directed by Marc Jones, finished out the first act with the first of the personal ad date pieces involving two women who realize they are waiting for the same guy. This was, perhaps, the best written of the first act plays and contained a satisfying arc and punchy ending.
The second act, which began with Back In, written by Jason R. Montgomery and directed by Tony Capone, was the only play that didn’t demand a coffee house setting and could have been set anywhere. It concerned a gay man (Gregory Singleton) explaining to his supportive straight brother (Davie Pearce) why he was planning to go back into the closet. The topic was interesting and had potential, but never came to a resolution and seemed unfinished. Blind Man’s Bluff, written by Steven Korbar and directed by March Jones, had the ideal title for its topic about an overweight blind man (Walt Frasier) who advertises for dates on line with a super model’s photo. His date (Brianne Moncrief or Jessica Mortellaro) is justifiably disturbed to find that her cyber-date has lied to her. Once the characters get to know each other a bit more, the theme of taking a little more time to know a person when first dating is refreshingly underlined. This topic was brought out stronger in Sue Brody’s Wednesdays, directed by Paula J. Riley. In this case, a senior woman (Kim Brownell) arranged a full schedule of internet blind dates every Wednesday. When Richard (Ray McDavitt) shows up and calls the woman on her all too quick dismissal of him, she finally risks an actual date and the possibility of a future relationship. Pete’s Pot ‘O Gold, written by Brandon Kalbaugh and directed by Joe MacDougall, diverted the production with a fun battle between a porn producer, obnoxiously working at this laptop and on cell phone to the consternation of Sue (Anita Wlody), who just wants to read her book in peace and quiet. The play pointed out the all too true intrusive nature of electronic gadgets of today. I Feel Swell, written by Henry Meyerson and directed by Paula J. Riley, completed the performance with a comic example of a caffeine addict (Lynne Rosenberg) in the style of Kids in the Hall or Saturday Night Live.
Strangely, the plays of this entertaining performance seemed to be positioned in the order of a growing quality of writing. By design or accident, the production improved with each knew sketch, as did the acting. Over all, the fast paced production was a worthy endeavor for showcasing emerging artists.
The acting ensemble also included: Leigh A. Cambre, Brandon Kalbaugh, Josh Mertz, Shelly Bhalla, Emma Scott, Wendy Merritt, Steve Hill, Kristofer Holz and Evy Lutzky.
Copyright 2007 Michael D. Jackson
Return to Volume Thirteen, Number Four Index
Return to Volume Thirteen Index
Return to Home Page