Flint Hill School Get Smart!By Cappies • May 11th, 2010 • Category: Cappies
What do you get when you add four blondes and four “Chinese” waitresses with four detectives? Twelve? No, dummy, Get Smart! — Flint Hill School’s production of its version of the 1960’s television series.
This play was based on a television series running from 1965 to 1970, which earned fourteen Emmy and two Golden Globe awards. Four movies were filmed as spin-offs of this show. This comedic play is about a clumsy detective, Maxwell Smart, who continuously tries to impress his boss with his meticulous attention to detail as he takes on hard-to-crack cases. His moronic oversights add humor as he stumbles his way to solving the difficult crimes.
The play shot off to a smart start with a video of Flint Hill’s Maxwell Smart (Ian Campbell) navigating through the school elevators and turning corners sharply only to confront yet another door, which permitted momentary passage before snapping closed. At one point, he was cleverly shown entering and leaving the opposite side of a locker. On stage, Maxwell navigated through a similar maze of psychological obstacles presented by the parade of cast members, attempting to foil or assist in the attempt to find four kidnapped blondes.
Ian Campbell, who played Maxwell Smart, effectively portrayed a man gifted with book-sense, but lacking common sense. His nasal voice and meticulous diction, taken together with his reckless, bumbling mishaps, created a persona of hyper-intellectualism gone awry. He was convincing in his characterization of naïveté, presenting bold, but foolish, courage as he rashly headed in the wrong direction. Keeley McLaughlin, as Agent 99, Smart’s loyal side-kick, related to his off-base ideas with impressionable intrigue. She synchronized her actions to Smart with a devotion that went far beyond duty. Wide-eyed with respect for Smart’s special knowledge and skills, McLaughlin exuded a faithful infatuation typical of new-found love.
The Chinese waitresses worked together as an ensemble of undercover evil associates. Sporting an “ever-on-the-lookout” posture on stage, their hushed voices typified their predilection for treachery. Aimee Marich (Professor Zalinka), consistently condescending in her portrayal of the evil scientist, carried herself as ruthlessly as someone capable of stealing U.S. weapon secrets. Her Russian accent was precise and captivating, befitting of her demanding stage character.
Although some delays were noted in the transition of lighting, different levels of lighting, including the intensity spotlight, helped focus the attention on main characters. The set, consisting of three bright yellow walls, reflected a modern, minimalistic approach towards props. Movement of these walls (reversals, flipping) between scenes created a shift in ambiance that effectively cued the next scene.
Action-packed and audience-friendly, the characters double-crossed their way into cracking the case. Get Smart…and see this show!
Savannah Deroma of Homeschool Teens n Theatre.
Photos by Jackie Viteri.
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