The pick of the litter

EATFest: Spring 2007 (Series C)

Emerging Artists Theatre (
Theatre 5
311 W. 43rd St. (5th floor)
Equity showcase (closed)
Review by Byrne Harrison

The final series of this year’s Spring EATFest features the best of this year’s dramas, Kathleen Warnock’s Some Are People. The two comedies, My Name is Art and the farcical One of the Great Ones, are nothing to sneeze at either.

The two comedies frame Warnock’s play, which is considerably longer than any of the other nine plays in EATFest. The first, Peter Snoad’s My Name is Art, takes an irreverent look at the pretensions of art world and demonstrate that a fool, or an art snob, and his money are soon parted. Directed by Kelly Haydon, the play features Andrea Alton as a museum visitor who just doesn’t get the whole modern art thing, Scott Klavan as the art lover who tries to help her understand, and Tim Intravia as Art, the performance artist who really knows what it’s all about. All three actors are spot on in their roles, and although the ending is predictable, it is nonetheless very satisfying.

The second comedy is Chris Widney’s farce, One of the Great Ones. Lee (Vinnie Costa) is on a scavenger hunt. The last thing he has to find out is who directed the production of Our American Cousin that Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated. That leads him to librarian extraordinaire Enid Stump (Jane Altman), who will find his answer or die trying. Director Chris Widney keeps things zipping along as good farce should and allows the silliness to shine through. Complementing the cast are Marc Castle as Hank, the naysayer janitor, and Ashley Green as Enid’s gung-ho assistant. Altman and Green are the standouts of this play.

Some Are People is the highlight of Series C and deservedly so. Having previously seen Warnock’s Rock the Line produced at EAT and also being familiar with director Mark Finley’s outstanding work, I expected a moving play that would feature some outstanding characters and great music. I was not disappointed. Tommy, a drag performer who goes by Miss Fitt (Brett Douglas) and Anna (Janice Mann) are locals who live in Provincetown, a city that caters to the summer crowd and hibernates off-season. Lydia (Karen Stanion) is a summer person, running away from her past and looking for a job and a place to live. She instantly bonds with Tommy, and though Anna is wary of her at first, they eventually start a relationship. Each of the three characters is broken in ways that are explained over the course of the play, yet together they find something that makes them complete even if they know that it’s only temporary. This description, however, simplifies what is a much more complex play. The characters are rich and vibrant. Douglas does a marvelous job as Tommy and plays Miss Fitt in a way that avoids the obvious stereotypes and seems real. Mann is excellent as Anna and her wariness at letting herself get close to Lydia was wonderful.. Stanion at times seems a little too blithe to be on the run from the demons that haunt her, but she does an outstanding job when her character describes the death of her child. And as expected, the music chosen by Warnock and Finley accentuates the mood of the show.

The final series once again shows just what the writers, directors, and actors of Emerging Artists Theatre are capable of. It was an excellent conclusion to the Spring EATFest.

Box Score:

Writing: 2

Directing: 2

Acting: 2

Sets: 1

Costumes: 1

Lighting/Sound: 1

Copyright 2007 Byrne Harrison

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