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Silver Spring Stage Fat Pig

By • Jul 21st, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Fat Pig, by Neil LaBute
Silver Spring Stage
Woodmoor Shopping Center, Silver Spring, MD
Through August 8th
2:00, without intermission
$20/$18 Seniors and Juniors
Reviewed July 16, 2010

Silver Spring Stage brings their season to a close with Neil LaBute’s drama Fat Pig. Tom (Ryan Manning) falls in love with Helen (Elizabeth Klein), despite his coworkers’ (Carter (Matt Baughman) and Jeannie (Michelle Johncock)) attitude. In Fat Pig, the form of discrimination being examined is body size, as Helen is larger than life and both Carter and Jeannie are pressuring Tom to throw her away because of her size, despite his feelings for her.

Overall, this production had a lot going for it. The gorgeous set designed by Mary Seng made creative use of Silver Spring Stage’s awkward stage shape. Keven Garrett and Seth Ghitelman’s attention to detail showed in their sound design, such as the background noise at the food court. The cast functioned well together, especially building empathy as Tom and Helen’s relationship launched. Carter’s annoying judgements built steadily, making it a surprise when he actually made himself vulnerable telling a story about his own childhood. Jeannie was never likeable, although at times you could feel her pain as she tried to figure out why Tom rejected her. The closing scene did not feel like the show’s finale, we wanted Tom to step up and be a man.

The light design by Chris Curtis was focused badly towards the audience on house right. Every time a downstage scene started, the people near me all closed or covered their eyes. And the actors’ blocking wasn’t handled well by the director, Seth Ghitelman. At many points, at least one actor had their back to both sides of the audience. This was most noticeable in the scenes taking place at Tom’s desk as he would be sitting at his desk and Jeannie or Carter would face him directly, blocking our view of their face and gestures. I also caught Manning several times looking over his left shoulder in the middle of a scene. Was that a nervous twitch of his character? I wasn’t sure, but it was distracting.

If you’d like to examine how some people handle peer pressure about who they should choose to love, Fat Pig is an interesting tale. Fat Pig contatins adult language and situations.

Cast

  • Helen: Elizabeth Klein
  • Tom: Ryan Manning
  • Carter: Matt Baughman
  • Jeannie: Michelle Johncock

Crew

  • Producer: Brenda Ryan-Ghitelman
  • Director: Seth Ghitelman
  • Assistant Director: Santos Ventura
  • Stage Manager: Santos Ventura
  • Technical Director: Don Slater
  • Set Designer: Mary Seng
  • Set Construction: Mary Seng & Bob Thompson
  • Set Painters: David Lindsay, Mary Seng & Bob Thompson
  • Costumes: Rachael Feola
  • Lighting Design: Chris Curtis
  • Sound Design: Kevin Garrett & Seth Ghitelman
  • Lighting Execution: Seth Ghitelman
  • Sound Execution: Brenda Ryan-Ghitelman
  • Running Crew: Mary Ghitelman & Kristen Skolnik
  • Properties: Sonya Okin
  • Set Dressing: Mary Seng & Bob Thompson
  • Combat Choreography: Brian Dettling
  • Makeup and Hair: The Cast
  • Photographer: Harvey Levine
  • Program: Leta Hall
  • Program Cover Design: Craig Allen Mummey
  • Subscription Brochure: Craig Allen Mummey
  • Artistic Liaison: Carol Leahy
  • Hospitality Coordinator: Laurie T. Freed
  • Opening Night Reception: Brenda Ryan-Ghitelman

Disclaimer: Silver Spring Stage provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has performed in local productions, but prefers to be behind the scenes. Mike earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Online News Association.

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