Little Theatre of Alexandria Visit to a Small PlanetBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 3rd, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of Visit to a Small Planet [MP3 5:15 1.5MB].
Mike: Visit to a Small Planet was written by Gore Vidal. It’s a comedy taking place in Manassas Virginia in the 1950’s. A spaceship has landed and a visitor from another world, Kreton has come down thinking it’s the civil war and he wants to take part. Unfortunately he’s off by a century. He interacts with a middle class family and the army. He discovers a little bit more about humanity and humanity discovers a little bit more about itself.
Laura: I thought this show was funny. I enjoyed watching it. It was well performed. Everybody seemed to have a good time. There were a few stumblings at the beginning with missed lines, but again as people got over their nervousness I think it went really well. It was a lot of fun.
Mike: This was a funny show. There were several amusing lines. There were several that were pretty funny. A lot of the show was exposition, kind of slow moving at points. The whole show was about an hour and fifty minutes with one fifteen minute intermission.
Laura: The role of Kreton, the alien who was coming to visit the midde class family was played by Brandon DeGroat. I enjoyed watching him. He had a really good time just bouncing around the stage. When he first came in he sat down on the sofa in the living room and started bouncing up and down because I guess on his world people stand up all the time, I don’t know. His stage presence was just over the top. He was flamboyant. He was jumping around the stage. He was just so excited to be here on earth. I had a good time watching him.
Mike: He reminded me of Robin Williams, how Robin Williams kind of goes off on some of the interviews he’s done like on Carson or Leno or David Letterman. He’s just kind of there and then all of a sudden he’s bouncing around and running around and flapping his arms. Making fun of the bellman. It reminded me of that type of energy on stage. Just kind of bottling it into being a space creature.
Laura: I enjoyed watching Kreton because he reminded me of the old tv classic My Favorite Martian starring Bill Bixby and Ray Walston. The way he came into the room and was experiencing everything for the first time. I think his antennas were up the first time he came into the room. It was an interesting comparison. I enjoyed it.
Mike: General Tom Powers was played by Carl Nubile. General Powers was in charge of the laundry at the army and then he got a “promotion” into the UFO department. He wasn’t too pleased with that. Then of course the first day of his promotion a UFO lands in Manassas. So he was kind of juggling his conflict of what he really wanted to do about working in the laundry and this ufo thing. He had some good scenes in the second act with Kreton. They were acting out a potential attack. General Powers kind of got overwhelmed and ended up asleep sucking his thumb on the couch. It was a very subtle performsnce, but it worked reallly well.
Laura: The rest of the cast members also did a very good job. You had Mr. and Mrs. Spelding. Roger Spelding was played by John Shakleford and Ellen Spelding was played by Deb Green. Reba Spelding, their daughter, was played by Anne Paine West and Reba’s boyfriend Conrad Mayberry was played by Alex Avila. They all did a good job aand complemented each other well.
Mike: The general’s Aide was played by Marcus Dunn. Delton 4, another alien, was played by Ken Crowley in a special guest appearance.
Laura: The lighting and special effects designs were very well done. They were done by Ken and Patti Crowley. They were different. There were some surprises in them. I’m not going to give those away because you have to go see the show.
Mike: The set was nicely done. It was a 1950’s household. I thought it looked a little too modern, but it looked pretty good. There were lots of pictures up on the walls. I tried to identify some of them, I couldn’t quite get them all. Lucy and Ricky were kind of obvious. President Truman, I blieve, but the others I wasn’t 100% sure who they were. Set design was by C. Evans Kirk and Dan Remmers. Set construction was overseen by Dan Remmers. Set decoration was Mary Ayala-Bush.
Laura: The makeup for Visit to a Small Planet was very well done, especially for Kreton. The makeup designer was Christopher Stumpf. Kreton’s makeup was very detailed. He had glitter, lots of blue highlights around his face. Pay close attention when he sticks his tongue out.
Mike: Visit to a Small Planet is playing at the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia through March 17th. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.
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.