Leesburg Theatre Company The Good DoctorBy Laura & Mike Clark • Sep 2nd, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Leesburg Theatre Company’s production of The Good Doctor [MP3 4:01 1.8MB].
Mike: This is Mike. This is a Neil Simon show so I was expecting like an Odd Couple or a regular play that has a real plot and lots of funny characters getting into weird situations. That’s what I got, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.
Laura: Overall I liked it. I had not seen it before and therefore did not know what to expect. I have seen other Neil Simon productions before. They’ve all been pretty funny. This had some really funny bits in it. They were kind of more sketches. The central character was The Writer.
Mike: The Writer was talking to the audience and sharing his thoughts about being a writer. He was telling some of the stories that he wanted to tell to his readers. We saw nine different sketches take place throughout the evening. The entire show is almost two and a half hours long with one intermission. In these nine different stories we saw a lot of different people come along, so the characters weren’t the same even though the actors were in two or three sketches each.
Laura: The central character of the show was The Writer, played by Paul Gernhardt. He did a good job. All of the sketches kind of stood alone. He was more of the person who would come in and set the stage. I kind of liked his presence on stage and the way he interacted with the audience. Breaking that fourth wall I thought was interesting.
Mike: The rest of the ensemble, there were nine other performers. Each performed in two or three sketches. Each sketch was five to fifteen minutes long. Some of them were funnier than others. Some I just didn’t get, but some were really funny. The second act, I liked four of the five. The first act I really only liked one of the sketches. This was a dress rehearsal. We talked to the cast afterwards and they agreed that every audience is different and they will laugh at different spots.
Laura: Friday night’s rehearsal had only ten people in the audience. Afterwards when we were talking to the cast they mentioned that the audience was laughing at different spots than the cast was expecting. I think this was a good show to come out and see. It’s definitely one in which the audience will feed off and the actors will pick up off that energy. Some of the sketches I felt they held back a little bit and I think a large audience will heighten that energy and bring that out. One of the sketches I liked was the surgery sketch. That was a doctor who was almost a real doctor. Just didn’t have the piece of paper and the degree. And the Sexton who came in with a tooth that was giving him a lot of problems. I thought that sketch was funny.
Mike: That was one of the sketches that I didn’t like too much. It was funny, but it partially felt like I had seen it before. People have plagiarized from Neil Simon since 1974. I felt like the two performers, Karl Meier and Courtney Armstrong, didn’t quite have the timing down for some of the humor that was in that scene. It was very much a slapstick scene.
Laura: The set for The Good Doctor was a simple set. There were bright colors. I thought the lighting was very good because it sort of heightened the energy. I didn’t notice any really bad shadows or anything.
Mike: The Good Doctor is being performed by the Leesburg Theatre Company at the Carver Center in Purcelville, Virginia. Performances are Saturday the 1st at 8. Sunday the 2nd at 2. Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th at 8. Closing on Sunday the 9th at 2.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- The Writer: Paul Gernhardt
- The Sneeze
- Cherdyakov: Brian Garrison
- General: Patrick Schrader
- Wife: Laura Moody
- Madame Brassilhov: Caroline McEntee
- The Governess
- Mistress: Meredith Walker
- Julia: Laura Moody
- Sexton: Karl Meier
- Kuryatin: Courtney Armstrong
- The Seduction
- Peter: Brian Garrison
- Husband: Karl Meier
- Wife: Caroline McEntee
- The Drowned Man
- Sailor: Kate Meier
- Policeman: Meredith Walker
- The Audition
- Voice: Courtney Armstrong
- Girl: Caroline McEntee
- A Quiet War
- Army: Karl Meier
- Navy: Patrick Schrader
- A Defenseless Creature
- Pochatkin: Courtney Armstrong
- Kistunov: Brian Garrison
- Woman: Laura Schier
- The Arrangement
- Boy: Kate Meier
- Father: Patrick Schrader
- Girl: Laura Schier
- Director: Mary Speed
- Assistant Director: Brian Garrison
- Producer: Karl Meier and Laura Schier
- Lights and Sound: Mary Speed, Laura Schier, Laura Moody
- Production Assistant: Lindsay Stewart
- Scenery Crew: Mary Speed, Brian Garrison, Courtney Armstrong, Laura Schier, Lindsay Stewart
- Stage Managers: Laura Schier – Act I, Laura Moody – Act II
- Running Crew: Ensemble! Hooray for multi-tasking!
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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.