Port Tobacco Players Enchanted AprilBy Laura & Mike Clark • Aug 10th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Port Tobacco Players and their production of Enchanted April [MP3 4:40 1.3MB].
Mike: Enchanted April is a play by Matthew Barber. The show starts out with two women who have lost their way in life and are looking for a change. They both notice the same advertisement in the paper for a month long rental for a castle in Italy. So they scrape up the money, get up their courage and decide to go. But before they go they have to meet two other women to go with them to help defray expenses. And they have to do the even more challenging task of telling their husbands that they are going on a holiday. Once the women arrive in Italy a transformation occurs. The women learn more about themselves. More about how people should act towards one another. And more about how much they love their husbands.
Laura: This was a good show. Because it was one of the final dress rehearsals before opening night. there were still a few rough spots. The actors took an act to get comfortable with each other. The first act sort of dragged a little bit. The second act they were definitely more comfortable with each other. There was a lot of good dialogue. A lot of comedy in the second act that I enjoyed.
Mike: I did enjoy this show. The first act didn’t feel quite polished enough. It felt like it was still being rehearsed. The second act went very well. It was very smooth. The magic of the castle in Italy, you could see it working on the different characters. I really enjoyed the second act a lot more. The first act worked, even though it was not quite polished, it worked well in setting up the second act.
Laura: One of the main characters Charlotte Wilton, known as Lotty, was played by Suzanne Donohue. She did a good job. She was spunky. She was lively in both acts, just bubbling over. The second act when they were in Italy she just really seemed to glow and come to life. She seemed so much more at peace and happier. She was more brash and did things and then thought about them more than her counter part Rose Arnott. She did a good job. I enjoyed her light hearted spirit and her comedy very much.
Mike: Rose Arnott, Lotty’s friend, was played by Susan Campbell. Rose was a challenge because she had in her head that she had to stay prim and proper and do what was expected. She did that for the most part, but she very slowly came out of that shell. I think Susan Campbell did a good job with that character becoming more real and more open and becoming friendlier as the show progressed.
Laura: The other cast members did a nice job. Again I felt in the first act they were all a little bit stiff; still kind of getting used to each other. Maybe had a little bit of jitters because this was the first time they had a live audience to work off of. It wasn’t a great audience, but they were pretty responsive to what was going on on stage. The other actors did a good job. They all kind of warmed up when they all got together in Italy.
Mike: The set for the Italian castle was wonderful. The set was designed by Steve Silk. It had nice bright colors. It was very effective. There were nice plants. I assume they were wisteria growing everywhere. The first act though was a bit too colorful. I was kind of looking forward to the first act being almost black and white. I was just picturing 1922 England after the war. Everything is depressed. But they had a fair amount of color on the walls, even on the costumes the characters were wearing. I think it was a little too bright for the opening act. It would have really emphasized how wonderful the castle in Italy was if the first act had been a little more bleak.
Laura: Enchanted April opens this Friday night August 10th at 8 PM and plays through Sunday August 26th. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday matinees at 3 pm at the Port Tobacco Theatre in La Plata, Maryland.
Mike: The show is about two hours and fifteen minutes with one intermission. I think you will have a good time at this show and you will learn a little more about opening up to others.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Lotty Wilton: Suzanne L. Donohue
- Mellersh Wilton: Rick Wthern
- Rose Arnott: Susan Campbell
- Frederick Arnott: Robert Elwood
- Caroline Bramble: Diana Davis
- Caroline Bramble (August 11): Erica Bowling
- Anthony Wilding: Robert Eversberg
- Mrs. Graves: Kim Bessler
- Costanza: Marie Vasquez Lopez
- Producer: Keith Linville
- Director: Amy Wathen Cooksey
- Stage Manager: Steve Claggett
- Assistant Stage Manager: Alan Ringley
- Assistant Producer: Karyn Peterson
- Stage Crew: Katie Campbell, Mitchell Claggett, Joey Kewer, Michael Kewer
- British Accent Coach: Kay Bugg
- Set Design: Steve Silk
- Set Construction Lead: Steve Silk
- Set Construction Crew: Keith Linville, Phillip Silk, Steven Silk II
- Set Painting: Amy Cooksey, Keith Linville, Karyn Peterson, Dana Silk, Steve Silk
- Scenic Painting: Karyn Peterson, Rick Wathen
- Properties: Janet White
- Light Design: Leslie Wanko
- Light Operator: Rebecca Hamilton
- Spot Light Operator: Allison Claggett
- Sound Design and Operator: Ralph Crongeyer
- Costume Design: Melody Sciarratta
- Makeup Design: Sarah Sandy
- Hair Design: Amanda Hamilton
- Makeup and Hair Crew: Brandie Painter
- Special Effects: Steve Claggett, Keith Linville
- House Managers: John and Carol Scheer
- Head Shot Photographer: Katie Wathen
- Poster Design: David Standish
- Program: Cheryl M. Reckeweg
- Program Printing: Quality Printers, Waldorf
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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.