American Century Theater Ah Wilderness!By Laura & Mike Clark • Sep 14th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the American Century Theater’s production of Ah Wilderness! [MP3 5:28 2.5MB].
Mike: This was a pretty good show. It had solid acting, and was very interesting. The pacing at the very beginning was a little bit slow, but the later scenes picked right up. There was even a lesson learned. It was a pretty good show.
Laura: This was a good show. The first act was kind of slow. It took a while to get everybody established, but the second and third acts really picked up. They had a nice pace. Everybody seemed comfortable working with each other. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Mike: Ah Wilderness! is a play by Eugene O’Neill. It take place in 1904 small town America. The Miller family is celebrating the 4th of July. The kids are running around with firecrackers. The family is getting ready for a feast and then a trip to the beach to watch the fireworks. One of the sons is getting ready to denounce capitalism. Just a typical day in small town America in the early 20th century.
Laura: Nat Miller, the head of the household was played by Kim-Scott Miller. He did a good job. He was very much in control of the family. However I think he had a lot of compassion and was more understanding of how boys are. He had a good part and I think he played it well.
Mike: I think he was very amused by his wife. He tolerated her little out bursts and opinions at times, but he definitely loved her. That came across in the show. I also liked his relationship with his kids. They all respected him. They all honored him. He honored them. It went both ways. Early on in the show Nat has to defend his son Richard from David McComber, the father of Richard’s girlfriend. He absolutely stood up for his son and stood up to Mr. McComber, even though it would mean a loss to his own business. I really liked the way they played that scene. Nat Miller defended his son, but at the same time you could see that he was a little bit concerned by what his son might have been telling his girlfriend.
Laura: Essie Miller the mother was played by Rebecca Herron. She was funny. She had some of the best facial expressions. The eyes rolling and looking over her shoulder at her husband over something he had said that she didn’t agree with. She was, I wouldn’t want to say high strung, but she was a little more uptight. The scene in the second act when her son didn’t come home when he was supposed to, she was very nervous and wanted to take the car and go look for him. This is where her husband Nat stepped in and said he would go look for him. She was just really funny, very lively.
Mike: Both parents were united. Even though they didn’t 100% agree with each other. They definitely loved each other and that came through. The Millers had four children: Arthur Miller was a college student played by Kevin O’Reilly. Richard Miller, the rising freshman at college was played by Evan Crump. Mildred Miller played by Tori Miller and Tommy Miller played by Harry Hagerty were the youngsters in the family. All four of them exhibited lots of great kid attitudes and playfulness with each other, being able to snipe and snap at each other. I liked that.
Laura: Richard Miller was the second oldest of the Miller children. His expressions when he received the note from his girlfriend Muriel were just priceless. It was as if the world was ending. He had no purpose in living and just the woebegone expression on his face was just so funny. My heart went out to him.
Mike: He also did a great job in the scene at the hotel bar room where he was spending some time with Belle. I think his innocence and his reluctance to talk to her were very effective. I liked his expressions. That was a great set of scenes right there.
Laura: Everyone did a good job in Ah Wilderness!.
Mike: This was a fairly large cast. There were fifteen people. Seven of the performers only had one scene and a couple of those performers had really small parts in those scenes. I’m so glad they had those characters in there because without them, the texture of the show would not have been present.
Laura: The set for Ah Wilderness! was also good. The Set Designer was Andrew Barry. It was very much the typical 1904 small town home. The scenes that were outside in different areas were also set up nicely.
Mike: American Century Theatre does a great job with the space they have to use at the Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two. The set was not just flat out in front of us. It was actually a little catty-cornered and you could see everything going on all the time pretty much. I really liked their set design. It was simple, but quite effective.
Laura: Ah Wilderness! lasted just over two and a half hours with two brief intermissions.
Mike: The show is playing at the Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two through October 6th. show times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm. Sundays at 2:30. Select Saturdays will have matinees at 2:30 as well.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Nat Miller: Kim-Scott Miller
- Essie Miller: Rebecca Herron
- Arthur Miller: Kevin O’Reilly
- Richard Miller: Evan Crump
- Mildred Miller: Tori Miller
- Tommy Miller: Harry Hagerty
- Sid Davis: John Collins
- Lilly Miller: Tina Renay Fulp
- David McComber: Christopher Tully
- Muriel McComber: Kari Ginsburg
- Wint Selby: Joe Baker
- Belle: Carolyn Myers
- Nora: Emily Webbe
- Bartender: Robert Heinley
- Salesman: Michael Feldsher
- Producer: Rip Claassen
- Director: Bob Bartlett
- Stage Manager: Michael Null
- Set Designer: Andrew Barry
- Lighting Designer: Andrew F. Griffin
- Sound Designer: Matt Otto
- Costumer: Rip Claassen
- Properties: Julie Roedersheimer
- Master Carpenters: Michael Null & Trena Weiss-Null
- Photographer: Jeff Bell
- Program: Amanda Kirby
- Program Logo: Michael Sherman
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2039.
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.