Simon Says: See Chapter Two at Montgomery PlayhouseBy Laura & Mike Clark • Sep 27th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of The Montgomery Playhouse’s production of Chapter Two [MP3 4:59 1.4MB].
Mike: Chapter Two is the story of George Schneider. He is an author whose wife has just died. His brother Leo, whose troubled marriage does not put him in a strong position to give advice, gives him the number of Jennie Malone, an actress who has just gone through a divorce. George and Jennie somehow hit it off. And then, just as things are moving along the memory of George’s first wife comes between them and jeopardizes the second chance that they both are seeking.
Laura: I really enjoyed the performance last night. I thought it was very strong. Neil Simon does good work. We’ve seen some other Neil Simon productions that were always good. This was a drama. It had a few funny moments, but overall it was a drama. It really was a character driven show. I liked how everybody interacted. There was a lot of dialogue. It was not a lot of action, but it was a lot of dialogue and I thought they did it really well.
Mike: It was a really good show. There was a ton of dialogue and there were a lot of really long monologues. They did really well. The main character was George Schneider, played by Jeffery C. Garber. He was really good. Definitely went through some different changes throughout the show. His playfulness when he was doing those first few dates. Having flashbacks to first dates, which are always kind of scary and fun at the same time. He really played that well. And then later he went through some changes. He was feeling guilty about dating again and getting married. His first wife, kept expecting to see her in the room. He did that really well. I enjoyed that.
Laura: And the recently divorced actress, Jennie Malone, was played by Lisa Adams. She did really good. At the end of Act 1 she had a really long monologue that she carried really well. There was a good pace between her acting and George. At the end of Act 1, I liked that scene between the two of them. The pace was good and they really carried it off well. I could see the emotion and the frustration in her face. Yet, I could tell she did love George.
Mike: And then Jennie’s best friend, Faye Medwick was played by Kryss Lacovaro. She did a good job, too. She played the supportive friend. You know, the slightly ditzy friend. She had her own problems and issues with her own marriage and her own affairs. She was very believable as the supportive friend and she added a little bit of zest to the show because she wasn’t as straight laced as Jennie. She wasn’t as discombobulated as George or Leo.
Laura: And George Schneider’s brother, Leo Schneider, was played by David Jones. He did a really good job. He played the uptight rather harried brother to George, yet I could see he really cared about him and was willing to put his neck on the line to try and not stop something, but at least slow down something that he thought was moving too fast.
Mike: The set of the show was really good. It was a split set and one half was George’s apartment and the other half was Jennie’s apartment. And it was very period, with lots of 1970’s touches. George’s apartment, you could definitely see the impact of his late wife and her design tendencies. It was a little less messy than I probably would have pictured it since he had been gone for a while. It was still very presentable the way split the two apartments. There was no wall between them, but you saw the wall from the way they treated the scenes.
Laura: The costumes were also really good. There were a lot of costume changes. Some of them happened really fast. I don’t know if they had the layer thing going on, but there was a costume change of some kind in almost every scene. So I thought that was really well done. It was 1976 so they were the interesting flashy colors, but I thought it fit the show very well.
Mike: There were a lot of scenes. Two acts with one intermission. The whole show was a total of three hours long. maybe just a shade shorter. But that was ok because it kept moving. The second act dragged a little bit in a couple spots. It was still really good. You wanted to know what happened to these characters. I really want to know if Neil Simon did a Chapter 2 1/2 telling what happened later with George and Jennie.
Laura: Chapter Two is playing September 22nd through October the 8th, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the Montgomery Playhouse at Asbury Village in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave comments on our website: ShowBizRadio.net.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
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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.