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Hauntings, Hijinks, and Hoopla: Casper Would Approve

By • Apr 26th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Sterling Playmakers original production of Hauntings, Hijinks, and Hoopla [MP3 3:25 1MB]; or read the transcript.

Mike: Laura has a slight cold so her voice is really hoarse so I will be doing most of the chatting about the show we saw this weekend. The show we saw was Sterling Playmakers original production of Hauntings, Hijinks, and Hoopla. Hauntings, Hijinks, and Hoopla is a comic melodrama. It had ghosts, Laura’s nodding she agrees. It had a villain, it had treasure seekers, it had comic relief, and it had olio acts between scenes. All in all it was a really good show. It was appropriate for children and adults of all ages. The show was about two and a half hours long. I really liked this show, it was really good. It had a little bit of comedy, it had serious parts, it had a villain, and it had a woman holding up cue cards to help the audience know what to do. For example, when the hero came in, Yankee Jack, played by Brian M. Garrison, the cue card woman held up a sign that said, “CHEER” so everyone would cheer. Yankee Jack acknowledged the audience and went on with his role. Same thing when the heroine came in, Charlotte Belle, played by Kimberly Langley. She held up the cheer card and we all clapped and cheered. Then when the villain came in.

Mike: Beauregard Hansome, played by T.J. Miles. The woman held up a card that said, “BOO.” So everybody booed and hissed at the villain. By the end of the play he was talking back to the audience telling them to stop. We also got to yell advice at the characters telling them yes or no to what was going on in the play. I don’t know if that affected anything or not, but the children in the audience seemed to enjoy it and it was something different. Many of the scenes had asides where the character would stop the action and come to the front of the stage to explain something and a spotlight would go on him or her. The rest of the stage would go dark. The actor would explain what they were about to do. In between acts or scenes there were olio acts. They were like talent shows. There were ghost jokes, songs from musicals, and also adult ghost jokes.

Laura: One of the characters I liked was Sam Piano played by Yasmin Hatley. She had kind of a cute role because she kept the mood of the show going. She got into her role by yelling encouragement or making her own comments about what was going on. She showed good emotion and was very believable. I enjoyed watching her.

Mike: One of the funny things I liked was subtlety of the ghost. Whenever one of them would come into a scene they would take the live flowers that were on the set. The scene was a living room of a Georgia plantation. The ghost would come in, take the live flowers and replace them with weeds. Then later the gardener would come in, take the weeds and replace them with more live flowers. They never talked about it, they just did it as one of their stage businesses. It was really cute and funny. So this weekend if you have an opportunity head on over to Sterling Middle School and check out Hauntings, Hijinks, and Hoopla. This is a very kid friendly show. Another opportunity to get children involved in theater. They can see how much fun it can be. That’s the Sterling Playmakers’ Hauntings, Hijinks, and Hoopla.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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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.

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