Laurel Mill Playhouse Introduction to WATCH with Love From a StrangerBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 14th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Laurel Mill Playhouse’s production of Love From a Stranger [MP3 4:30 1.3MB].
Laura: Last night we saw the opening night performance of Laurel Mill Playhouse‘s production of Love From a Stranger in Laurel, Maryland. Laurel Mill Playhouse has just joined the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors, also known as WATCH.
Mike: Love From a Stranger is a play written by Frank Vosper, adapted from Agatha Christie’s short story “Philomels Cottage.” The story revolves around Cecily, a woman living in London who wins the lottery. She’s also trying to decide if she should stay with her fiance of five years. While she’s making that decision, she meets up with a handsome stranger named Bruce who wants to rent her apartment (or is that “let her flat?”). She falls in love with Bruce, they get married and they move out to the country. All is not as it seems as the gardener, the maid, the doctor from the town, as well as old friends from London drop in to visit. What will happen between Cecily and Bruce?
Laura: I felt this show was really well put together. Everybody seemed to work well together. I liked the story plot. There were some twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting that I thought were really interesting. It really made the show come alive and I think the audience really enjoyed it and I did, too.
Mike: We did miss the first ten minutes of the show due to a significant traffic jam on the beltway last night. When we walked in we hadn’t had a chance to look through the playbill yet. I was thinking to myself after a few minutes, “This feels like an Agatha Christie.” At intermission when I got the playbill, I was surprised to see it was based of an Agatha Christie story. There were lots of plot twists throughout the show. You really do start wondering, who’s going to get killed? Who’s going to be the murderer? Is there going to be a murderer? It’s not a real Agatha Christie, but it is based off of it so there are a lot of similar twists and turns. I think they did pretty well with it. The acting was a little uneven between some of the characters.
Laura: The role of Cecily, the wife of Bruce, was played by Misty West. I really liked her role, she had a good rapport with Bruce. They seemed very comfortable together. She also seemed comfortable with some of the other actors. She played at the final scene, which I won’t give the plot away, she had a real emotion on her face. She was a real no nonsense type of person and I liked that.
Mike: Bruce was played by Greg Miloro. He was the handsome stranger who swept Cecily off her feet on the day she was trying to decide if she should leave her fiance or not. Bruce had all the right words to say. He was a little distant from her friends. He tried to isolate her and that was kind of a strange thing. He did give lots of plausible excuses on why he was acting the way he was. You still kind of wondered, would she be that accepting of him? There were several points in the show where he was kind of vain about his appearance. That played really well into how the play worked out. I don’t want to give the details away because this is a thriller and you’re not supposed to know too much about what’s going on. I think he did a good job as Bruce with his emotions, especially near the end of the show.
Laura: The lighting was pretty one dimensional. It was either on or off. You had a harsh floodlight through out the show that went on or off. I was thinking it could represent the contrast between good and evil that was shining on Bruce and Cecily the entire time.
Mike: I also wish they could have done more with the lighting. For example some of the scenes take place in the evening. So maybe darken the lights a little bit. Also there were not many prop pieces or set dressings on the stage. It was kind of a bare presence and the strong light just reflected and made it a bit harsh. I wish there could have been a bit more design on the set. The first act was in a location in London, the second and third acts were in the country. It was basically the same area with the furniture rearranged a little bit.
Laura: The other actors in Love From a Stranger generally performed well. They were a good supporting ensemble for Bruce and Cecily.
Mike: Love From a Stranger is playing through February 4th the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel Maryland. Fridays and Saturdays at eight PM and Sundays at 2 PM. If you like thrillers this would be a good show to go see because it is not commonly performed and it will keep you guessing right up to the end.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1835.
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.