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Bowie Community Theatre The Kitchen Witches

By • Sep 27th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
The Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith
Bowie Community Theatre
Bowie Playhouse, Bowie, MD
Through October 10th
$15/$10 Seniors and Students
Reviewed September 25th, 2009

For those of you interested in seeing a show involving a dash of scandal, a pinch of cooking and a heaping helping of puns and silly antics, Kitchen Witches is right up your alley. It’s a show based around two older women, one retired and one about to be retired, from their greatest passion, a public access TV cooking show. These two lovely ladies are brutal enemies who have been competing for years. Thing heat up with a final cat fight on the very last episode of Dolly Biddles show “Baking with Babca.” After the show Ms. Dolly Biddle and Ms. Isobel Lomax are offered a new shot at their life long passion by teaming up to create a brand new kind of cooking show involving a little cooking and lots of catty banter. The show is cleverly named “The Kitchen Witches.”

The best way to describe the show as a whole is “cute.” Most of the humor revolves around clever puns and the almost cartoon-like antics from the two stars. Dolly Biddle, played by Sharon Zelefsky, is wacky and full of fun accents. She loves to take a few bites of whatever she’s cooking, which is usually fattening, and a swig from her trusty flask when her fidgety uptight producer/son isn’t looking. Isobel Lomax, played by Debbi Samek, is an uppity showoff who is the essence of an antagonist. So much so that I fear I didn’t invest much of an interest in her until the second half of the show when a secret is dropped on live T.V. Sorry folks, I got kind of excited about all the puns in the show I just couldn’t resist. Not only is the show filled with wit and catty fighting, there’s food! And when you mix two angry ladies together with fun items such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce and flour there’s bound to be a food fight in there somewhere. I won’t give any juicy details, but I left satisfied.

One thing that unfortunately took away from the comedic experience was the constant distractions on stage. The show is based around a single T.V studio, with the camera man (Gary Small), the producer (Scott Beadle) and the stage hand (Patricia Greenwell). The stage hand, Robin, was constantly walking through the set adjusting things, even when the supposed show was going on. At one point there is a wonderful comedic bit involving Isobel Lomax coming out of her dressing room to reveal a sight gag, but I couldn’t see it because Stage hand Robin was in the way bending over to play with the trash can. I wouldn’t have minded it if it happened only once, but it happened at least four times, all during important parts of the show. These characters are meant to add ambiance to the background, not to try and be the starring role.

All in all I enjoyed the show and the two main ladies were hilarious. The Kitchen Witches is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re in the area. The crowd consisted mainly of older ladies and gentlemen, and a few families with children over 12. That’s probably the best audience for the show. Cute, not overly hilarious, or deep and thought provoking. So for the artsy U street crowed or that downtown Rockville happy hour bunch looking for a change, this may not be for you.

If you are planning on making a date of it, don’t dress up for the show. They incorporate audience participation. There is a chance you may wind up on stage, and things do get messy. So don’t go wearing that new silk dress or cashmere sweater. Don’t worry no one walked away wearing food. But be careful, and if you’re really worried, don’t put your name in the bin outside in the lobby and you will be just fine.

And be aware this place is not easy to find. Don’t be confused with the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. It’s actually part of a larger community center. Pull into the driveway and you will pass by a fitness center, keep going and you will find the appropriate parking by the football field. Then walk down a long wooded path where, at any moment you fear Jason is going to appear with his chain saw, but then the theater appears and once you are inside you are greeted by the friendly staff.

Director’s Notes

BCT is proud to be the first community theatre in the area to present The Kitchen Witches to the public. I have been many times blessed by being allowed to direct plays that I truly love. This play, The Kitchen Witches, is no exception. I lvoe these two aldies as I hope you will, too. Bringing them to life has been a joy. This witty play surrounds two women who have deep rooted, complex, and multifaceted connections to each other. The audience is given the opportunity to witness, with great laughter, these connections. We so enjoyed producing this and so enjoy having the opportunity to present it to you. Thank you Janice, and the BCT Board for allowing this new endeavor to flourish. Now, sit back, hold on, you’re about to enter the rollercoaster world of Dolly and Izzy or is that Izzy and Dolly

Note from the Producer

Volunteers are hard to find. So it should be no surprise that you see the same people in the program wearing many different hats in this production. I am one of those people. As President, Producer, Props Person, Advertising EPrson, and at the last minute, Co-Stage Manager, I find myself saying, “We can’t do this without more volunteers to help.” It takes a village to put on a community production. If you enjoy seeing these shows, then consider volunteering so we can continue to bring you this quality entertainment. You can usher, work box office, paint sets or help find costumes or props. To volunteer for our next show, call our hotline at 301-805-0219 or visit the website.

Cast

  • Steven Biddle (producer of Kitchen Witches): Scott Beadle
  • Robin (Stage Manager): Patricia Greenwell
  • Cameraman: Gary Small
  • Dolly Biddle: Sharon Zelefsky
  • Isobel Lomax: Debbi Samek

Production Staff

  • Producer: Janice Coffey
  • Director: Estelle Miller
  • Stage Manager: Cynthia Bentley
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Rae Wein, Janice Coffey
  • Original music: Anne Alpert
  • Set Designer: Estelle Miller, Garrett Hyde
  • Set Construction Manager: Cynthia Bentley
  • Set Construction: Cynthia Bentley, Rob Whetzel, Duane Rouch
  • Set Painter: Cynthia Bentley
  • Set Dressing: Cynthia Bentley, Janice Coffey
  • Properties: Janice Coffey, Rae Wein
  • Light Designer: Garrett Hyde
  • Sound Designer: Garrett Hyde
  • Costumer: Jane Lecher
  • Costume Consultants: Karen Spitzer, Janice Coffey
  • Theater Technicians: Garrett Hyde, Al Choppey, Pete Dursin
  • Interpreter: Cindy Garmore
  • Production Assistant: Mike Dunlop
  • Mailing ADministration: Galen Menne
  • Photographer: Connie Carter
  • Videographer: Dove Video
  • Graphic/Program Designer: Debbie Samek
  • Advertising/Publicity: Janice Coffey
  • Webmaster: Myron Cramer
  • House Manager Joanne Bauer
  • Lobby Designer: Janice Coffey
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spent two years working in a coached ensemble called (luxurious tooth) in Chicago, and had the privilege of working with Jonathan Pitts founder of the Chicago Improv Festival. Since moving back to DC Sara has been involved in various local productions such as Hexagon's "Strike while the irony's hot" and "What so proudly we bailed" and is now Hexagon's Marketing VP. She also has performed at The Blair Mansion ("Politics is Murder," "The Day Disco Died" and "Murder is All in the Family." She is also is a comedy writer who has interned for "The Potomac Review," a literary magazine published by Montgomery College.

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