Kensington Arts Theatre 2nd Stage The Dining RoomBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 21st, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Kensington Arts Theatre 2nd Stage and their production of The Dining Room [MP3 4:01 1.2MB].
Mike: The Dining Room is play written by A. R. Gurney. It take place in the dining room of many houses. Over the course of the show you’ll see about 20 different dining rooms and the people who use or don’t use the dining room. It also take place over many different times. Probably from the 30’s or so up through the 80’s.
Laura: Although it wasn’t a fast paced show, the different vignettes did move along nicely. There were six actors who played about fifteen different parts. Every time a scene ended they would go behind the stage to change clothes and then come out as a whole new characters. It was really nice.
Mike: There really wasn’t a plot to the show, but it did move along. The first Act dragged a little bit. The second Act was a little bit better. I enjoyed almost all the vignettes. There were a few where I felt like a voyeur. There were a few where I said, “Oh I know those people.” I think people will recognize a few of these people through these vignettes.
One thing that frustrated me a bit was this show introduced you to so many characters throughout the show. Some of them I found really interesting. I’d love to know more about them. However, that’s all there is. It’s done. You’ll never know more about them and that was a bit frustrating. It reminded me of William Saroyan’s short stories. He goes into such detail on developing characters and then after a few pages, it’s done. You never know anything else about them.
Laura: The three actors were Jeffrey Westlake, Stuart Rick, and Andy Greenleaf. They all did a very nice job. They all played at least four or five characters. When they would go behind the curtain they would sometimes do complete costume changes and come out as totally different people. The age range was from 12 up through elderly gentleman. They did really well. They became those characters when they would come out from behind the curtain.
Mike: The three actresses were Lennie Magida, Nancy Ostrove, and Diana Cirone. I think they did a fine job. I will say that Diane Cirone made me think of Molly Ringwold in the teenagers drinking alcohol in the dining room scene. All three of the actresses did a fine job with their parts. Playing maids, playing elderly grandmothers talking to grandchildren. All the different characters were very believable.
Laura: The set was a simple set. You had a dining room table with six chairs and a dinette set in the back where they would sometimes bring out table cloth or placemats or the tea tray, that kind of thing. The set decoration was done by Donna Jean Garrett. The properties were by Donna Jean Garrett and Doe B. Kim. It was really nice. It was simple, but effective.
Mike: During the intermission I chatted with the show’s director, Donna Jean Garrett. One thing I asked her was why they chose this show, why were they drawn to this piece. She pointed out that this is a great show for actors because they get so much flexibility having to do so many different characters that their acting skills really get stretched and they get to show what they can do. I would agree with that, these performers did a really good job going from grandfather type age all the way down to kids. Sometimes there were scenes right after one another when they would change ages like that.
Laura: The Dining Room is playing through April the first. Friday and Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 3 PM at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Mike: The show is about two hours long with one intermission. And now, on with the show.
- First Actor: Jeffrey Westlake
- Second Actor: Stuart Rick
- Third Actor: Andy Greenleaf
- First Actress: Lennie Magia
- Second Actress: Nancy Ostrove
- Third Actress: Diana Cirone
- Producer: Doe B. Kim
- Director: Donna Jean Garrett
- Set Decoration: Donna Jean Garrett
- Properties: Donna Jean Garrett, Doe B. Kim
- Lighting Design: Joe Connor
- Lighting Execution: Doe B. Kim, Donna Jean Garrett, Renee Rabben
- Costumes: The Cast
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1896.
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.