Montgomery Playhouse Hay FeverBy Laura & Mike Clark • Sep 10th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Montgomery Playhouse’s Hay Fever [MP3 5:19 2.4MB].
Mike: This is a very popular show. Six months ago we saw Hay Fever performed by the Aldersgate Church Community Theatre. In about 3 weeks we’re going to see it performed at the Rockville Little Theatre. The humor was intact and even though the interpretation of the show was a little different, the set was entirely different, it worked really well.
Laura: I thought the pacing of Saturday nights performance was great. It moved right along. The entire show was a little over two hours with one intermission and one pause, but it seemed to go at a really nice pace and it was hysterical!
Mike: Hay Fever is a comedy written by Noel Coward in 1924. It takes place in the Bliss family home outside of London. The Bliss family is priviledged, rich and bored. Judith Bliss has recently retired from the theater, but she still has that theater acting bug in her blood. She’s going to perform one way or the other. The rest of the family has their own relationships going. It turns out that everyone in the family has invited someone up for the weekend. After all the guests arrive, the fun begins with parlor games, and then the other games that the Bliss family plays start. The performers did a great job with the show. I had a great time. It was very funny.
Laura: Hugh Pettigrew and Erika Shusko played one of the friends that had been invited up for the weekend, Richard Greatham and Jackie Coryton. They had the best introductory scene. When they finally came in and were trying to entertain each other while the rest of the family was completely ignoring them. Ericka had the best eyes I have ever seen.
Mike: She was so innocent and she was such a deer in the headlights. I don’t think she blinked. It was great. She was nervous, just like you’d be if you were at someone’s house you don’t know. I think they did that scene wonderfully.
Laura: I thought they were both delightful. Richard was there to see Sorel Bliss, Judith’s daughter played by Katrina Janson.
Mike: Later in the introductory scene with Judith introducing us to Richard and Jackie, Judith came down with her date for the weekend, Sandy Tyrell. Sandy Tyrell was played by David Dubov and Judith Bliss was played by Jane Squier Bruns. She just ignored them. Sandy didn’t quite know what to do because he was a guest there as well. He was great about being apologetic without saying anything. Then following like a puppy dog after Judith, they left, it was great. That was such a fun scene.
Laura: Yes, it was very funny. All of the actors and actresses did great. They all played off of each other very well. The audience had a good time. Everybody was laughing.
Mike: The set also was quite nice. When you go into the theater there is no curtain so you see it right off. I thought it was a very nice set. It was designed by David Jones.
Laura: One thing I thought was interesting. When you first walked in you saw the very nice wall paper on the back wall.
Mike: But then as the show progressed, I was looking at the wallpaper and, I don’t know if this was intentional or not, and I’m not trying to insult anybody who did the wallpapering, but it didn’t line up correctly. It was kind of sloping a little bit. There were other spots where it just obviously didn’t line up straight with the pattern that was on the wallpaper. That’s exactly like the Bliss family. The Bliss family when you first see them are very prim and proper and nice British people. As you get to know them, they’re nuts. The closing scene which I’m not going to give away, but the closing scene when the guests realize that the Bliss family was nuts and all was not real blissful was a classic scene.
Laura: The lighting for Hay Fever I thought was interesting. The Lighting Designer was Paul Shoop. The lighting definitely accented what was happening on stage. You had a bit of darkness, the lights going down a little bit to just bring forth the intensity of a scene that I thought was very well done.
Mike: Another subtle touch with the lighting was you could see through the windows of the garden door. It was bright at the beginning and then it was a nighttime scene so it was dark. Then the next scene it was raining so it was a little visible, but it was still a bit dark. It worked very well. It showed a nice attention to detail.
Laura: Hay Fever is playing through Sunday September the 23rd at the Rosborough Center at the United Methodist Village in Montgomery Maryland. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday Matinees at 2 PM. Do be aware that that there is no show on Friday the 14th of September.
Mike: If you’ve seen this show, we’d love to hear your comments. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2035.
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.