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The Waiting Room: Complex Show, Awkward Execution

By • Jul 3rd, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of The Waiting Room as performed by the Laurel Mill Playhouse [MP3 4:16 1.3MB].

Laura: Last night we saw The Waiting Room performed by the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel, Maryland.

Mike: The Waiting Room is a play written by Lisa Loomer. It’s the story of three different women over three different centuries who do various things to their bodies to make themselves pretty for their husband or their lover. You see over time how the concept of beauty has changed. You also get to see the damage that’s done to the women’s bodies through these beautification processes. It wasn’t a comedy, although there were some funny bits. There were some serious scenes talking about how medicine is regulated and how drugs are regulated in the United States. It will make you think about that process and the politics that are involved in it.

Laura: This was a complex show to do because it did have some pretty intense messages behind it. But I don’t think the cast of Laurel Mill quite met up to the challenge.

Mike: The Waiting Room is a complex show. Getting past the three centuries with the women is not that difficult and they did that pretty well. The three women showed up in a doctor’s waiting room and that was pretty easy to accept. They do warn you about that in the program and that is fine. One hindrance in this production was there were not enough actors. A lot of the actors were playing multiple roles. Unfortunately, that got confusing at times.

Laura: This show was an arty type show. It wasn’t a happy ending and there were some deep thought provoking messages in it.

Mike: There were three main characters in the show. The first was Forgiveness From Heaven who was an eighteenth century Chinese lady with bound feet. She was played by Carole Cox. She did pretty good with the part considering she had to really change how she walked and entirely how she talked. It was pretty convincing that she was a Chinese lady.

Laura: The twentieth century woman, Wanda, was played by Bonnie Sarf. She did a really good job. She was probably the most expressive of the three. Pretty outspoken in her thoughts and feelings in her reaction to the doctor’s news. I liked her performance.

Mike: And the third main character was Victoria. She was an aristocratic English lady from the early 1900′s. She was played by Zarah Roberts, and did a really good job. She did make you think she was very prim and proper and very much subservient to her husband. She also made it seem very natural when she was taking with her servants. I enjoyed watching all three of these ladies as they evolved throughout the show.

Laura: There were a lot of scene changes in Saturday night’s performance. I felt they were done awkwardly. Because it was such a small stage they had to do a lot of scene changes, which was fine, but they weren’t smooth. It almost felt like the stage crew didn’t know where to put their stage pieces for the next scene. That broke the rhythm of the performance.

Mike: One part of the set that was done with mixed success was the depth of the set. They had several sets of sheets hanging to create walls. For a few scenes they put people behind that sheet and acted out the scenery with lights. Once the lights came up in that area you could see through it. The one scene where that was really effective at the breast examination by the doctor of Wanda. There was no nudity involved, but you felt like you were watching a real breast exam happening. A little bit later they used that scene taking place at a beach in Jamaica. It was ok, but it was a little distracting having to look through the different levels of sheets.

Laura: The Waiting Room is playing through July 22 (View the schedule). There is adult language and adult situations in the performance.

Mike: If you’ve seen the show please feel free to leave a comment and let others know what you thought of the show. We would also like you to subscribe to our mailing list, ShowBizRadio.net/subscribe/. That way you can stay informed about news and information about shows in the area.

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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