The GMU Players Shakespeare in HollywoodBy Laura & Mike Clark • Oct 29th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
The GMU Players
George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA
Through November 2nd
This is the ShowBizRadio Review of Shakespeare in Hollywood performed by the George Mason University Department of Theater and The GMU Players in Fairfax, Virginia. We saw the performance on Friday evening, October 25, 2008.
Shakespeare in Hollywood is a play in two acts by Ken Ludwig. It’s 1934, and Shakespeare’s most famous fairies, Oberon and Puck, have magically materialized on the Warner Bros. Hollywood set of Max Reinhardt’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Instantly smitten by the glitz and glamour of show biz, the two are ushered onto the silver screen to play (who else?) themselves. With a little help from a feisty flower, blonde bombshells, movie moguls, and arrogant “asses” are tossed into loopy love triangles, with raucous results. The mischievous magic of moviedom sparkles in this hilarious comic romp.
This was a delightfully well-performed farce. The pace was snappy, the actors engaging, and the sets were great. The running crew did a lot of running to make sure the scene transitions went smoothly. It was a fairly large cast of sixteen.
Charley Mann played the role of Oberon, the King of the Fairies, royally. Mann had a strong presence on stage that demanded your attention. His voice carried all over the room. The love he felt for Olivia was totally believable. His problems understanding the modern English language made for a funny ongoing joke without being distracting.
His counterpart Puck was played well by the impish Carina Czipoth. With her graceful gestures she seemed to glide around the stage. She brought a fun quality to the role of Puck. She was well-meaning in helping Oberon’s quest to win the heart of Olivia, but her problems with the flower set up many hilarious situations in the second act. Czipoth’s resignation at those situations was endearing.
Oberon’s love (at least for 24 hours) was Olivia Darnell played by Rachel Beauregard. Beauregard brought honesty to the role of Olivia. She seemed nice and sincere in her desire to be in a movie. She had a comfortable rapport with Oberon.
Matt Friedman played the harried and angry director Max Reinhardt. Friedman exaggerated his movements and made his presence known every time he was on stage. This added to his frantic albeit charismatic character. His best scenes occurred when he was trying to get one of the actors, the scatterbrained Lydia Lansing played by Monica Michaan, to get her lines right.
The opening scene was the premiere of the movie complete with red carpet and radio reporter Louella Parsons (Angela Lahl). The set quickly became the office of the bombastic Jack Warner, played well by Josh McCreary. Then the set was rotated and became a forest where we were introduced to Oberon and Puck. There were a few times when there was action happening on stage while a few last minute changes were being set up, but that did not distract from the actors’ lines. The master carpenter was Christian Hershey and Reuven Goren.
The costumes were also detailed. Oberon and Puck had bright outfits that showed they were from another place. The other actors wore outfits appropriate for the 1930’s. The Wardrobe coordinator was Catie Brusseau.
Shakespeare in Hollywood ran two hours with one intermission. It is playing through November 2, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM. Saturday matinee on the 25th, November 1 and 2nd at 2 pm at the George Mason University Campus in Fairfax, Virginia. Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave a comment here on our website at ShowBiz Radio.net. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.
And now, on with the show.
- Oberon: Charley Mann
- Puck: Carina Czipoth
- Jack Warner: Josh McCreary
- Max Reinhardt: Matt Friedman
- Will Hays: Tom Prescott
- Darryl: Ahmad Maaty
- Olivia Darnell: Rachael Beauregard
- Lydia Lansing: Monica Michaan
- Louella Parsons: Angela Lahl
- Dick Powell: Jack Miggins
- Jimmy Cagney: Brian Jackson
- Joe E. Brown: Cameron Brenke
- Ensemble: Vinny Ali, James Moyer, Caitlin Logan, Rachel Wood
- Production Manager: Howard Vincent Kurtz
- Assistant Production Manager: Cory Laverty
- Assistant Stage Manager: Dannie Snyder
- Scene Shop Supervisor: Ethan Osbourne
- Costume Shop Supervisor: Laurel Dunayer
- Assistant Lighting Designer: Meredith Bailey
- Fight Choreographer: Kern Elston
- Fight Captain: Caitlin Logan
- Choreographer: Ahmad Maaty
- Sound Operator: Nina Fowler
- Light Operator: Michelle Bryant
- Master Electrician: Adib Chua
- Hair/Makeup Artist: Honey B. Carter
- Wardrobe: Catie Brusseau
- Poster/Program Art Design: Jessica Aimone
- Publicity: Kerri Brushbacher, , Caitlin Logan, Jahnea Smalls, Dane Styler, Chris Sweeney, Sara Torres, & Rachel Wooten
- Run Crew: David Knoche, Maura Mehr & Chris Sweeney
- Costume Shop Staff
- Dance Wardrobe Coordinator: Cat Buchanan
- First Hands: Betsy Boynton & Jessica Mooney
- Interns: Michelle Bryant, Gwen Goforth, Brett McDonald
- Practicum: Shannon Bates, Dina Couto, Eliza Obenchain, Gloria Song & Patricia Talmadge
- Scene Shop Staff
- Master Carpenter: Christian Hershey & Reuven Goren
- Interns: Michael Faulkner II & Cat Salisbury-Valerin
- Electrics Crew: Sarah Emory, Chris Gatewood, W. T. Latham, Len Mathey, Janet McGraw, Baron Pugh, Gloria Song Dane Styler, & Michael Winsted
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2597.
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.