Little Theatre of Alexandria Enchanted AprilBy Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 26th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of Enchanted April [MP3 5:54 2.7MB].
Little Theatre of Alexandria
Little Theatre of Alexandria Theater, Alexandria, VA
$14 to $17
Through May 10th
Mike: Enchanted April is a play by by Matthew Barber, from the novel by Ellizabeth von Arnim. Lottie and Rose, a pair of unhappily married women, rent an Italian villa overlooking the sea for a month, sharing rent with a crusty Englishwoman and a lonely aristocrat. They are trying to get away from their dreary lives in post WW I Britain. Sun, rest, and relaxation all have an effect on the four women and also on the men in their lives that make a surprise visit. A charming tale wherein personalities, goals, and relations are explored in a sisterly fashion.
Laura: Overall I felt this was a good show. There was a wide range of acting talent on the stage. Not everyone had accents or kept them consistently throughout the evening. The first act, I felt ended a little funny with Lotty Wilton (played by Jessica Stone), seeming too hopeful while her friend Rose Arnott (played by Heather Benjamin) seemed very scared.
Mike: I agree. I think the ending of the first act was not the right note to end on. Even though the two women were yelling help in Italian, they did not have the fear down, especially Lotty. She still seemed looking forward to the excitement of the voyage. What she was saying was different from how she was acting.
Overall I did enjoy the show. This is becoming one of my favorite shows. We have now seen it four times and every time I learn a little more about these people. I did like the relationship that grew between Lotty and Rose. I think both women did a good job with the hesitancy at the beginning from Rose, and Lotty’s jumping in with both feet. Their husbands, Mellersh Wilton (played by James McDaniel) and Frederick Arnott (played by Ron Brooks) both did a good job as well. They were so different from their wives in different ways as well as being different from each other. This made for a lot of different possibilities for how the relationships can and do grow.
Laura: A couple of the characters that I thought were a bit stiff were Mrs. Graves, played by Marian Holmes, she did not always react to what was going on on stage as did Anthony Wilding, played by Ric Anderson. He just stood there and said his lines and did not react or interact with the people on stage. He also did not speak very fast. Maybe he could speed up his speech some. I liked the scene between Mrs. Graves and Lady Caroline Bramble (played by Poppy Pritchett) when they were discussing Lady Caroline’s use of alcohol.
Mike: One thing I noticed was Mrs. Graves’ use of her cane. Even though she was using it for most of the show, she was not consistent in how she used it. While it was always on her left side she would sometimes use the wrong foot to walk with the cane and that was a bit distracting. I did like the transformation that her character underwent throughout the show. By the end of the show she was a new person. I liked that you could see that change by the way she carried herself and her costuming. I think it all worked together well.
Something else I noticed was Costanza played by Dayalini Pocock. She only spoke Italian and many of the people from England did not speak Italian, so they had to point or speak loudly to to get their point across. Eventually she would understand what they were saying to her and react. However she would react out to the audience instead of staying in her own world and being frustrated on stage. I did not like that that distraction of her making eye contact out at the audience.
Laura: The set was amazing. The set designer for Enchanted April was Howard Vincent Kurtz. Between the first and second act the curtain went down during intermission. The set underwent a complete transformation. When the curtain went up for the second act there was a round of applause. It was so bright and cheerful. The mural that was all along the back wall was very detailed and very bright and colorful.
Mike: The lighting also contributed to the quality of the show. The Light Designers were Ken and Patti Crowley. The first act was quite dreary. It took place in London and on the train on the way to Italy. The set was lots of browns and drab colors, even the costumes were dreary blacks and browns. The second act was much brighter, lots of blues, purples, reds, and yellows. The different times of the day were obvious because of the way the lighting would change. The lighting on the back drop reflected differently and I like how it all worked together.
Something we did not talk about in the first act was the large wardrobe in the center of the stage. The characters would open it reveal a stack of newspapers or later different parts of the bedroom. They would close the wardrobe door and then reopen in the next scene and all of a sudden there were different items inside the wardrobe. There were lots of hidden doors and lots of flexibility. It was a really nice design. It kept the show moving a long without having to move lots of items a round to set up different scenes. I like the creative design for the first act.
Laura: Enchanted April is playing through Saturday, May 10th. Wednesday through Saturday at 8 and Sunday matinee at 3 pm at the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia. The show ran two hours and ten minutes with one intermission.
Mike: If you’ve seen the show, we would like to hear your comments. Feel free to do that here on our website. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list. Stay informed with what is happening in community theater in the DC region.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Lotty Wilton: Jessica Stone
- Mellersh Wilton: James McDaniel
- Rose Arnott: Heather Benjamin
- Frederick Arnott: Ron Brooks
- Lady Caroline Bramble: Poppy Pritchett
- Anthony Wilding: Ric Anderson
- Mrs. Graves: Marian Homes
- Costanza: Dayalini Pocock
- Producers: Jamie Blake and Sharon Dove
- Director: Howard Vincent Kurtz
- Assistant to the Director: Melinda Peverall
- Stage Managers: Margaret Evans-Joyce and Kira Simon
- Set Design: Howard Vincent Kurtz
- Set Construction: Chris Feldman
- Assisted by: Ed Broyles, John Beahler, Laura Beauchamp Gail J. Cafardi
- Tristram Carlisle, Judy Kee, Orron Kee, Robert King, Ana Rasmussen, Gary Rasmussen, Dan Remmers, Jack Schaeffer, Allen Stuhl, Jerry Wolf, Rus Wyland
- Set Painting: Kevin O’Dowd
- Assisted by: Bobbie Herbst, Elizabeth Herbst, Jim Hutzler, Russ Wyland
- Set Decorations: Jamie Blake, Lenard Dove, Howard Vincent Kurtz
- Properties: Betty Dolan, Wanda Perkins
- Assisted by: Barbara Helsing, Carol Hutchinson, Leslie Reed, Margaret Snow
- Costume Design: LeeAnne Buckley, Jean Schlichting, kit Sibley
- Wardrobe: Margaret Snow
- Assisted by: Rachel Alberts, Barbara Helsing, Bobbie Herbst, Annie Vroom
- Lighting Design: Ken and Patti Crowley
- Master Electrician: Nancy Owens
- Assisted by: Bob Ashby, Eileen Doherty, Heather Franklin, Jennifer Lyman, Pam Leonowich, Doug Olmsted, Dick Schwab
- Sound Design: Alan Wray
- Assisted by: David Correia, Charles Dragonette, Bill Rinehuls
- Makeup and Hair Design: Paul Morton
- Dialect Coaches: Howard Jaffe and Carol Strachan
- Rigging: Russ Wyland
- Audition Tables: Margaret Snow and Hannah Zeidlik
- Double Tech Dinner: Sharon an Lenard Dove
- Assisted by: Liz Blake, Bobbie Herbst
- Opening Night Party: The O’Konski’s
- Photography: Shane Canfield
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2255.
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.