Rockville Little Theatre Hay FeverBy Laura & Mike Clark • Oct 6th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Rockville Little Theatre’s production of Hay Fever [MP3 5:50 2.7MB].
Mike: This performance was OK. It just didn’t quite engage me and I’m not quite sure why. The show lasted just over two hours with an intermission and a pause, which was almost to the minute how long it was when we saw it a few weeks ago at Montgomery Playhouse. I know you can’t really compare shows, but there was something about this show and I’m not sure what it was.
Laura: I don’t know if the actors were just tired. But there was something on stage that was missing, the energy just wasn’t there. They were just kind of saying their lines. It wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it would be.
Mike: There wasn’t a spark. Some of the characters had really good lines and got good laughs. After the show as we were leaving, I overheard a few other people talking about the performance and we weren’t the only ones disappointed with it. I’m not sure why that was.
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.
Laura: Judith Bliss was played by Millie Ferera. She was very over the top. She had very sweeping gestures and a lot of emotion. Especially in the Second Act when she was teasing one of the other guests that had come and making him feel very uncomfortable in the situation. She did a good job.
Mike: In the Second Act when some of the different games start coming out, I felt like she was acting more than reacting to the different situations. I don’t want to give the plot away. As the different couples would appear, it felt really stiff and fake. I know that that is part of the game that the Bliss family plays, but it just didn’t feel right.
Laura: Simon Bliss, Judith’s son was played by Trace Gorsline. He also wasn’t quite what I expected. He wasn’t pouty enough and wasn’t quite as engaging. He just kind of said his lines and just kind of acted instead of feeding off the energy of the others on stage.
Mike: I don’t think he was snobbish enough. It was a little more understated performance and that was just a different interpretation. I don’t know if it worked. I’m still kind of processing it. My gut says I don’t think it worked well.
Simon’s sister Sorel Bliss was played by Karen Lange. I also feel she didn’t quite give it her all. She was a little more reserved and I don’t think that worked. She should have been a little more reserved as far as upper crust snobbishness. But I don’t think that came across.
Laura: In the Second Act when everyone was playing the parlor games, I do think she did good in her reactions to the other people when they were trying to figure out what the word was. She was fairly pouty and had the frustration of these people are driving me crazy look on her face was really kind of funny.
Mike: The rest of the cast did an OK job, but I don’t think they had really gelled together as a real strong cast.There seemed to be a lot of individuals on stage instead of a group.
Laura: The Set Designer for Hay Fever was David Levin. It was kind of interesting. It wasn’t as bohemian as I was expecting it to be. There were quite a few bare places on the wall. I was expecting more African type art or other weird artifacts on the wall. It was actually kind of bare. It was one room. You had the doorway out to the garden and the door to the outside. There were a lot of entrances and exits which were fine.
Mike: Set Decroations and Set Dressing were done by Mary Louise Bishop. Some of the pieces were very well chosen such as the breakfast serving dishes and the flowers that were used in the different scenes. Properties were coordinated by Barbara Hazelett and Margie Henry. The lighting was done by Daniel Bentz and David Caress. I liked how they changed the lighting outside the front door for the time passing in the three acts.
Laura: At one point in the show some characters exited out of the front door and exited stage left. When the car horn happened a character got up and looked out the door stage right. That was kind of an oops.
Mike: It was a disconnect that kind of jumped at me. All in all this was a disappointing show. It had potential, but I don’t think it hit the target.
Laura: Hay Fever closes this weekend. There is a performance tonight at 8 pm and then tomorrow’s closing matinee is at 2 pm at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater in Rockville, Maryland.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
- Sorel Bliss: Karen Lange
- Simon Bliss: Trace Gorsline
- Clara: Carol Strachan
- Judith Bliss: Millie Ferrara
- David Bliss: Craig Miller
- Sandy Tyrell: Tommy Shuggars
- Myra Arundel: Lynn Katchmark
- Richard Greatham: Eric Henry
- Jackie Coryton: Robin Zerbe
- Producer: Mary Louise Bishop
- Director: Alexander Fraser
- Stage Manager: Diane Pick
- Assistant to the Director: Monica Spitzer
- Assistant to the Director/Accent Coach: Carol Strachan
- Assistant Stage Manager: Barbara Hazelett
- Set Design: David Levin
- Master Carpenter: Eric Henry
- Set Construction/Load-In: Frank Adler, Daniel Bentz, Peter Caress, Brian Dettling, Andy Eason, Alex Henry, Eric Henry, David Levin, Diane Pick, Nicolas Ruley, Robin Zerbe
- Set Painting: Mary Louise Bishop, Paula Cook, Nancy Jean Fox, Lynn Katchmark, David Levin, Fran Levin, Craig Miller, Diane Pick
- Set Decoration/Dressing: Mary Louise Bishop
- Properties: Barbara Hazelett, Margie Henry
- Lighting Design: Daniel Bentz, Peter Caress
- Sound Design/Lighting Execution: Daniel Bentz
- Sound Execution: Robert Shaffer
- Instrumentalist: Mary Ann Willow
- Instrumental Recording: Ted Poulos
- Costumes/Hair/Make-up: Sandy Eggleston
- Stage Crew: Paula Cook, Margie Henry
- Program/Graphic Design: Annette Kalicki
- Publicity: Nicolas Ruley
- Photographer: Dean Evangelista
- House Manager: Gay Powell
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2051.
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.