Colonial Players Enchanted AprilBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 16th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Colonial Players’ production of Enchanted April [MP3 7:20 3.4MB].
East Street Theater, Annapolis, MD
$20/Adults; $15/Seniors and Students
Through Feb. 9th
Mike: This was such a sweet little show. It’s very encouraging. We have seen it a couple times before. I think this production was very well acted.
Laura: The theater at the Colonial Players is such an intimate space. They do really creative things with it. I enjoyed this show. I liked the message in it and I, too, thought it was very well acted.
Mike: Enchanted April is a play by Matthew Barber. It starts out with two women who have lost their way in life at the end of WW I and are looking for a change. They both notice an advertisement in the paper for a month long rental of a castle in Italy. They scrape together their money, get up their courage and decide to go. Before they leave they meet two other women to travel with them to help defray the cost. Finally they have to do the even more challenging task of telling their husbands they are going on a holiday. Once they arrive in Italy a transformation occurs. the women learn more about themselves, about how people should act towards one another, and how much they do love their husbands.
Laura: Lotty Wilton, the main character, was played by Darice Clewell. She actually came across as a little bit ditsy, but she had such a sweet personality and an innocence about her, but she kind of had some fire in her as well. When she made up her mind to do something she did it.
Mike: I really liked her character. She got brave enough to stand up to her husband Mellersh Wilton played by Richard Koster. I liked how she kind of took charge even in the conversations with her friend Rose Arnott. I loved her quote: ‘Seeing and doing are two very different things.’ That just kind of sums up how to approach life. Do you see or do you do?
Laura: Lotty’s friend who reluctantly agreed to accompany her to Italy, Rose Arnott, was played by Heather Quinn. She was much more reluctant, much more not willing to ruffle anybody’s feathers. She was fine to just stay in the background. She did finally stand up and get to know herself more and really enjoyed her holiday.
Mike: Watching Rose become more open was such a fascinating process. A lot of it was due to Lotty’s influence. I think Quinn’s portrayal of Rose Arnott was really good. She was so stiff in the beginning and prim and proper. By the end of the show she was much more casual and relaxed.
Laura: The comic relief of the afternoon was the cook that was hired to prepare meals for the ladies at the villa. Costanza was played by Beth Terranova. She was funny. She had the Italian expressions and lots of emotions. She just let her thoughts be known which was funny because she only spoke Italian so nobody had a clue what she was talking about, except for maybe Lady Caroline Bramble played by Zarah Roberts. Costanza was funny.
Mike: I think Terranova as Costanza really had a lot of expression and a lot of things that weren’t in the script. I think the director, Mary Fawcett Watko, really did a good job with the character of Costanza. It would have been easy to be just an extra in the background, but she really did add a lot to this show.
Laura: There were five other actors in the performance. Anthony Wilding, the owner of the estate that the ladies rented for the month of April, was played by Richard McGraw. He did a good job. He was very much the lady’s man or thought he was. Then you had the husbands, Frederick Arnott and Mellersh Wilton. They were ok. They were not the main characters, but they too underwent a kind of transformation. Frederick Arnot was played by Nick Beschen and Mellersh Wilton was played by Richard Koster.
Mike: The other two ladies that were on the trip were Mrs. Graves, anelderly widow played by Carol Cohen, and Lady Caroline Bramble played by Zarah Roberts. They also contributed to the success of the show. You saw them grow and change, they let their guard down. Different things that happened in the show were shocking at times and then funny. The emotions through out the entire performance ranged from humor to sadness to uhoh. I think all the performers pulled the emotions off very well. Especially the quick change that would have to happen in the different scenes.
Laura: The set for Enchanted April was well done. The set designer was Doug Dawson. The East Street Theater is is a small, intimate space. It’s a theater in the rectangle. One of the nice touches they did with this show was that the stage crew (and there were quite a few of them) were all dressed in maid’s outfits and would come out between scenes and rearrange the set and the props. It was really smoothly done.
Mike: I liked that attention to detail. The stage crew wasn’t just in black, but were wearing a maid outfit complete with the apron and hat. It just fit very well. It didn’t interrupt the flow of the show at all. I also liked the challenge of the show is the second act at the Italian Villa. It is really designed to sharply contrast the dreariness of London. I was wondering how they were going to do that since there was no curtain to draw. You do need to leave the auditorium at intermission. That was when the magic happened. I liked how they did that. The intermission did last a bit long because they had so much to take care of. I liked the set. One of the disadvantages of sitting on four sides was from where we were sitting we couldn’t see the wall behind us. It would have been nice to see that, but from where we were sitting we couldn’t see that. The other walls were used very effectively.
Laura: The lighting and the sound was also used well. It helped to set the scene in the first act because you had the sound of rain that fell the first act. The sound designers were Mickey Handweger and Wes Bedsworth. Then in the second act the lighting changed. The lighting designers were Herb Elkin, Eric Lund, and Richard Koster.
Mike: Enchanted April runs about two and a half hours with one intermission. It is playing through February 9th at the East Street Theatre in Annapolis, Maryland. Thursday through Saturdays at 8. Sundays at 2:30 with a Sunday evening performance on February 3rd at 7:30.
Laura: Please join our free mailing list so that you can stay informed with events, auditions and schedules in the DC metro area.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
- Lotty Wilton: Darice Clewell
- Rose Arnott: Heather Quinn
- Mellersh Wilton: Richard Koster
- Frederick Arnott: Nick Beschen
- Lady Caroline Bramble: Zarah Roberts
- Mrs. Graves: Carol Cohen
- Antony Wilding: Richard McGraw
- Costanza: Beth Terranova
- Director: Mary Fawcett Watko
- Assistant Director: Herb Elkin
- Production Manager: Herb Elkin
- Production Assistant: Fred Taylor
- Stage Manager: Herb Elkin
- Assistant Stage Manager: Mary Koster
- Stage Crew: Sarah Forman, Hallie Garrison, Marguerite Jahns, Pam Northrup, Lizzy Wilbond
- Set Design: Doug Dawson
- Set Painting: Doug Dawson, Mark Dawson, Joan Hamilton, Carol Youmans
- Lead Carpenter: Dick Whaley
- Carpenters: Jim Robinson, Ted Yablonski
- Lighting Design: Herb Elkin, Eric Lund, Richard Koster
- Lighting Assistants: Dottie Meggers
- Lighting Technicians: Jeanie Mincher, Pam Smith-Purgason
- Sound Design: Mickey Handwerger, Wes Bedsworth
- Sound Technicians: Wes Bedsworth, Pam Northrup, Jason Palumbo
- Costume Design: Jean Beall, Donna Soraparu
- Props/Set Decoration: JoAnnGidos
- Mural Artists: Doug Dawson, Yolie Dawson
- Portrait Artist: Carol Youmans
- Consulting Director: Edd Miller
- Playbill/Poster Design: Jim Gallagher
- Photography: R.A.R.E Photography
- Program Editor: Tom Stuckey
- Lobby Display: Beverly von Joolan, Ron Giddings
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2140.
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.