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Montgomery Playhouse Social Security

By • Sep 23rd, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Social Security by Andrew Bergman
Montgomery Playhouse
Asbury Methodist Village Rosborough Center, Gaithersburg, MD
Through September 27th
$16/$14 Seniors and Students
1:45, with one intermission
Reviewed September 19th, 2009

The domestic tranquility of a married couple, art dealers, is shattered upon the arrival of the wife’s nerdy sister, her uptight husband and the sisters’ demanding elderly mother. They are there to try and save their college student daughter from the horrors of living only for sex. The mother hits it off with an elderly minimalist artist who is the art dealer’s best client.

This was billed as a comedy, but even though there were some laughs, it really was more of a thought producing look into the “golden years” of two people and how the younger generation handles a parent getting older. Most everyone will be able to relate to at least one of the characters, although it may not be the one you are expecting.

The youngest couple were David and Barbara Kahn played by David Flinn and Tanya Edwards. Both Flinn and Edwards seemed comfortable around each other. Edwards utilized the making of nervous gestures in the opening act. Flinn was much more laid back in his tone and actions. Flinn had the appearance of being quite detached and had a very come what may attitude towards the whole affair.

In contrast to the Kahn’s laid back approach to dealing with life, Trudy and Martin Heyman were polar opposites. They were played by Veronica Lee Johnston and David Dubov. Every inch of Johnston’s walk and mannerisms seemed to shout “uptight and almost over the edge.” She spoke fast and walked with angry steps. Johnston was the older sister who has been bearing the burden of caring for their aging mother. Dubov did not have a whole lot of lines because she did all the talking. He was nervous and ill at ease. Both Johnston and Dubov were uncomfortable together and kept as far apart from each other as possible.

The final twosome were real-life married couple Sophie Greengrass and Maurice Koenig played by Jane Squier Bruns and Donald Bruns. Her entrance at the end of Act I showed an older woman with a walker. Bruns was feisty. It was interesting to see how she came out of her shell and seemed to really blossom living in her younger daughter’s house versus her older daughter. Bruns became much more alert and seemed much more agile and happy. Her beau Maurice was quite a dapper fellow. He used his cane more for appearance sake. He had a kindly worldly air about him. He and Jane were very comfortable and sat close together.

The actors made good use of the space for the play. Director Jacy D’Aiutolo spread everyone out and just when they seemed to be sitting and talking too long someone would get up and move around. The apartment definitely had an 80’s feel to it, which was assisted with the pre-show music.

Social Security is billed as a comedy, but is actually more a light drama, taking a humorous look at how to interpret getting into the Social Security years.

Director’s Notes

Remember back, if you can, to 985. The Government of France sinks the Rainbow Warrior. Calvin and Hobbes is seen in Newspapers for the first time. Coca-Cola releases “New Coke” and Nintendo releases the NES. Madonna embarks on her first our while Wham! Captures the top spot on the Billboard 100. Mikhail Gorbachev beomes leader of the Soviet Union (remember the Soviet Union?). Back To the Future, Rambo: First Blood Part II , and Rocky IV are the highest- grossing movies in the U.S., and The Cosby Show is the most popular show on television.

This is the backdrop against which Social Security is set. The United States in the 1980’s was a very different place than it is today — not just in movies, television, and politics (well, maybe not that different in politics, come to think of it.), but also in values, in fashion, and, in some ways, in mindset.

Much of Andrew Bergman’s most popular work was done in this timeframe — Fletch, Oh, God! You Devil; and of course, Social Security. Despite the differences a quarter century make, Bergman’s work seems to avoid the pitfall of seeming dated, and remains popular, largely because of his universality of theme. Love is love. Family is family. Laughter is laughter. Bergman’s message in Social Security is not hidden — it rides the surface of this play — not teaching, but reminding us of some things that we may have forgotten, making us laugh along the way.

We hope you share a laugh with us tonight.

Jacy D’Aiutolo

Cast

  • David Kahn: David Flinn
  • Barbara Kahn: Tanya Edwards
  • Trudy Heyman: Veronica Lee Johnston
  • Martin Heyman: David Dubov
  • Sophie Greengrass: Jane Squier Bruns
  • Maurice Koenig: Donald Bruns

Crew

  • Producers: Melinda Fisher
  • Director: Jacy D’Aiutolo
  • Set Design: David Jones
  • Master Carpenter: David Jones
  • Set Construction/Swing Gang: Bruce Angstadt, Peter Blaney, Don Bruns, Nancy Davis, Steve Demming, Brian Dettling, Tanya Edwards, Melinda Fisher, Joy Wyne
  • Set Painting: David Jones, Peter Blaney, Jacy D’Aiutolo, Nancy Davis, Melinda Fisher, Veronica Johnston, Joy Wyne
  • Lighting Design: Jonathan Zucker
  • Sound Design: Matthew Datcher
  • Lighting Technician: Melinda Fisher
  • Sound Technician: Matthew Datcher
  • Floor Manager: BJ Angstadt, BruceAngstadt
  • Set Dressing: Kay Coupe
  • Properties: Melinda Fisher, Jacy D’Aiutolo
  • Stage Artwork: David Flinn
  • Costumes: Melinda Fisher, Erin Hines
  • Photography: Kay Coupe
  • Program Artwork: Amy Browning
  • Load-In Crew: David Jones, John Bartkowiak, Peter Blaney, Don Bruns Jane Squier Bruns, Jacy D’Aiutolo, Nancy Davis, Katie Dillon, David Dubov, Melinda Fisher, David Flinn, Stephen Henry, Veronica Johnston, Joy Wyne
  • Light Hang Crew: Jonathan Zucker, Frank DeSando, John Hutson, Joy Wyne
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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.

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