Silver Spring Stage The Drawer BoyBy Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 20th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Silver Spring Stage’s The Drawer Boy [MP3 6:59 2MB].
Mike: The Drawer Boy is a play written by Michael Healey. It’s an amusing and sensitive slice of life on a Canadian farm. When a student’s arrival unbolts the window into two older men’s forgotten truths and lies, exposing concealed secrets, of love and tragedy.
Laura: I really liked this show. I liked how all three of the actors worked together well. I liked the plot. I thought it was well done. I liked the gotcha in the second act, the emotion of the three actors very much and how they all worked together.
Mike: I liked the Drawer Boy. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The description of the show didn’t intrigue me. The advertising that Silver Spring is doing (including on ShowBizRadio) has a picture of a cow. So there’s going to be something about cows. I guess technically there was. The story takes place on a farm. The two farmers being introduced as well as a college boy trying to learn about farming for a play. It was an interesting dynamic.
Then you had a further dynamic of one of the farmers had a brain injury. He had no short term memory. He also had no long term memory. It was kind of a running gag that he would forget everything and then when he would bump into the college student Miles he would freak out. That eventually just worked itself as part of the show. It worked really well.
The Second Act things really started coming together. More conflict appeared and there was a good deal of humor. It turned out to be a really good show. I cared about all three of the actors and I definitely felt for what all three of them are going through.
Laura: Angus was played by Steve LaRoque. I liked his character. His facial expressions were just so real and believable when he would come downstairs and have to have everything told to him again, including things that had just happened ten minutes ago. He was really believable. Then in the Second Act when his memory was starting get jogged a little bit and he remembered some of the previous events that had happened. You could see the pain and the heartache in his voice and his face as he started to realize what happened.
Mike: The other farmer was Morgan, played by Ted Schneider. I really thought he hit my view of what a farmer should look like. I really liked the way he treated Miles the college student. Kind of making fun of him and teasing him a little bit through some of the instructions he gave Miles such as, “Ok, I need you to wash all of this gravel before I can put them down. I need you to rotate all the eggs under the chickens so the chickens don’t get attached to the eggs.” There were a lot of funny things like that which Morgan did to Miles. That humor fit into the show really well. Ted Schneider really pulled off those bits without seeming condescending or teasing.
Laura: Miles, the college student who came to stay with Morgan and Angus to study farming to help him write his play, was played by Matthew Boliek. He did a good job. He was the eager student who wanted to learn about farming. He thought he knew a lot about farming until he ran over Morgan and hurt his hand. Then I think he began to realize there was more to farming than he thought he knew. I liked the way he also came to understand Angus and how in a few scenes it just kind of became routine of, “Hi, I’m Miles. I’m staying with you and Morgan to learn about farming.” I also liked in the second act his trying to get at the real truth. He quickly realized that there was more going on than first met the eye and trying to find that out. I really liked his performance.
Mike: Here’s a question for you, Laura? How did you feel when you discovered that Miles had incorporated into the play that he was creating on of the stories that he overheard Morgan telling Angus?
Laura: I can put myself in both Morgan and Angus’s shoes. If I were Morgan I would be little bit upset and hurt because my privacy had been violated. It’s almost like a family secret that has been shared with a whole bunch of college students. If I were Angus I would be waking up to the story of what really happened and trying to find some of those pieces that had been lost in his memory for so many years and wanting to find out the rest of the story. I could see that working both ways. How did you feel about it?
Mike: I definitely would have felt violated. Miles just didn’t quite treat it that way. He later said he would keep it a secret, but he really didn’t want to do that because that was the one scene that his director really liked. He didn’t quite see the danger or understand why that story shouldn’t be shared. I really liked how Morgan handles the situation.
Laura: One thing I really liked was that between the scenes there was background music playing that fit in really well with a farm in Canada. I really liked that. The Sound Designer was David Stegerwald. There was a special effect in the show that was really neat. It caught everybody by surprise. The Special Effects were done by John Decker.
Mike: I really liked the set. It was simple. It was the farm house kitchen area and also the outside front yard and porch. Silver Spring Stage has that unique shaped performance area on two sides. They did very well with it. The set was designed by John Decker. He was also the Master Carpenter for the show. He did really well.
The one thing I would have done differently was implied more of the outside wall. Instead of just stopping at the floor level, I would have taken the outside wall up a little more. But that’s really small nit picky thing. It was a really nice set. It made me wonder and I asked Laura this at intermission if somewhere Silver Spring has a warehouse full of old refrigerators and stoves. It seems like the last few shows we’ve seen there have all had a refrigerator and a stove. I think they’ve been different ones. So somewhere there is a collection of antique appliances.
Laura: The Drawer boy is playing through May 6th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and select Sundays at 2 PM at the Woodmoor Shopping Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I definitely recommend you go see this how, it was very well done.
Mike: I also recommend you go see this show, it was very well performed. It will make you think a bit. It was just under two hours long with one fifteen minute intermission.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Angus: Steve LaRocque
- Morgan: Ted Schneider
- Miles: Matthew Boliek
- Producer: Michael Kharfen
- Director: Bridget Muehlberger
- Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Clare Flood
- Technical Director: Don Slater
- Set Designer: John Decker, et al.
- Set Painting: John Decker et al.
- Special Effects: John Decker
- Lighting Designer: Heather Leigh Burns
- Sound Designer: David Steigerwald
- Properties: Sonya Okin, et al.
- Costume Coordinator: Maggie Skekel-Sledge
- Hair/Make-up Design: The Cast
- Set Dressing & Properties: John Decker, Sonya Okin
- Light & Sound Operators: Clare Flood, Michelle Brooks
- Photographer: Neil Edgell, Jr.
- Program: Leta Hall
- Program Cover Design: Audrey Cefaly
- Subscription Brochure: Audret Cefaly
- Artistic Liaison: Leta Hall
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1919.
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.