Stupid in love


By Scott C. Sickles
Directed by David Gautschy
The WorkShop Theater Company
Equity showcase (closed)
Review by Byrne Harrison

Some people are just too smart for their own good. That’s bad for them, but it’s great for the audience of Intellectuals by Scott C. Sickles, being produced by The WorkShop Theater Company.

Margot (Ellen Dolan) and Philip (Bill Tatum) are an older married couple whose relationship has become routine. Rather than admit it and try to work through it, Margot decides that she is going to utilize her “untapped feminine potential” and become a lesbian. Philip, in an effort to make his wife jealous, decides to go out with Antonia (Patricia O’Connell), an older woman who is his student, knowing that Margot would shrug off his having an affair with a young co-ed as a midlife crisis. Caught in the middle, and seemingly enjoying it, is gay film critic Brighton (Bill Blechingberg), their best friend, confidant, and occasional voice of reason. But Brighton is having troubles of his own as one of his handsome former students, Nick (Jess Cassidy White), begins pursuing him romantically.

Sickles’s dialog is witty and crisp, and the jokes zipped by, one on top of the next. Director David Gautschy kept the show moving quickly, though a series of short scenes that were meant to jump from one to the next like quick cuts in film didn’t really work due to set changes that slowed them down too much. Another problem with the scene changes was the choice of music covering them. The upbeat, jazzy number that was used in nearly every change began to grate very quickly.

While there were the usual technical problems that often happen in the early part of a show’s run -- problems with the sound, lights, and set -- they were not enough to take away from the performance. In fact, one notable technical flub in Monday’s show allowed Blechingberg to show off his improv skills, which he did with finesse.

The acting was generally good, with Dolan and O’Connell as the highlights. Also notable was Kari Swenson Riely, a Jill of all trades who played various roles in the show. Kim Weston-Moran, as Margot’s potential girlfriend, Hera Jane Smith (as Philip quips, “Wife of Zeus and Tarzan”), shone as one of the most self-actualized characters in the show, and she showed great chemistry with Blechingberg’s lesbian-averse Brighton.

Although the play ends with the happy ending that everyone could see coming from intermission, getting there was half the fun, and Intellectuals was a lot of fun indeed.

Box Score:

Writing: 2
Directing: 1
Acting: 1
Set: 2
Costumes: 1
Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 2006 Byrne Harrison