The Autumn GardenBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 20th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of American Century Theater’s production of The Autumn Garden [MP3 2:13 2MB].
Mike: The Autumn Garden is written by Lillian Hellman. It’s the story of a group of people who get together on the Gulf Coast. They have different issues with spouses, friends, and family members. This all comes into sharp relief as one of the people, Nicholas Denery shows up and starts throwing wrenches into the works just to see what would happen. From that it causes everybody to think deeper about what they’re doing and the meaning of life. Because you start watching this you start thinking about the meaning in your own life.
Laura: The technical aspects of the play were very good.The sound, the lighting, the props, the costumes, the acting were really good. However, the script was tedious.
Mike: This is a tough show to watch. It’s in three acts with two intermissions. It’s just over 2 and a half hours long. The first act when you’re getting to know everybody is just long. You realize the whole play is only going to be people talking. They walk around the living room of the house that you’re seeing. Some of the scenes do take place on the side stage area that is the porch. And that’s it. There isn’t any action. There aren’t any explosions, there’s no violence, it’s just people talking. That’s kind of hard to watch for 2 and a half hours. You kind of slog through the first act and then the second and third act does pick up a little bit. Some of the characters do decide to be friends and get to know each other. From that some resolutions do happen in the third act. All of the different situations do get resolved one way or the other.
Laura: One of the actresses I liked was Rose Griggs played by Annie Houston. She was kind of the comic relief. She had some funny lines in her quest to stay young.
Mike: And the role of Nicholos Denery was played by Jim Jorgersen. He was really good. You really did not like that character. He wa slimy and drunk at one point. He was a sleepy drunk rather than a loud drunk. There were a couple of ways to play it and the way he played it was ok. You still didn’t like his character. I really wanted a train to hit him.
Laura: The Autumn Garden is playing Wednesdays through Sundays at the Gunston Arts Center in Alexandria, through April 15th.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
Jim Jorgenson, Deborah Critzer and Maura Stadem
Mark Adams and Annie Houston
Mary McGowan, Jim Jorgenson and Deborah Critzer
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.