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Signature Theatre Walter Cronkite is Dead

By • Nov 19th, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Walter Cronkite is Dead by Joe Calarco
Signature Theatre
Ark Theatre, Arlington, VA
Through December 26th
90 minutes
$50-$76
Reviewed November 14th, 2010

Signature – Walter Cronkite is Dead and shall remain so.

At Signature theatre’s ARK Stage there is now playing a two woman production written and directed by Joe Calarco. The two women are: Nancy Robinette & Sherri L. Edelen. Both of these women are two of the Washington, DC areas finest actresses. Together they are just fabulous and a pleasure to watch and admire. If you’re in the mood for a wonderful night of acting by two brilliant actresses, then this play will be a wonderful night of entertainment. If you’re looking for the play to match the performances, you’ll be disappointed.

Ms. Robinette’s character Margaret is quite wonderfully developed. She is able to convey, with relative ease, the complete life story of her character. She gives us a remarkable character that is a marvel to watch. Ms. Edelen’s character Patty is complete with every possible cliché term you can apply to her character’s peculiarities. She plays these characterizations to the hilt and she is quite funny.

This play, as director and playwright Mr. Calarco states, “To have Nancy and Sherri in the production is truly a dream fulfilled. I wrote the play with the two of them in mind. Every word in the script was written to come out of their mouths.” This is quite a wonderful thing to say about any performer, much less two performers. This is especially nice to say of two of our most beloved actresses. I question, however, just what Mr. Calarco was trying to say in this play. I’m sure it can be debated, but this story neither moved me nor did it make me laugh a lot.

I guess the problem is with these two characters. One character seemed to be more developed and the other was just there, like a tree or a cat. A very odd couple indeed but where was the commonality of their unlikely friendship? Truly, at the beginning you are led to believe these two would never be friends, but as in life, a thread is found and the birth of a friendship is formed. But that is where the friendship ended. Yes there was a hint of a stronger bond forming, but this never took hold and you are left dangling with the feeling of sadness.

Don’t get me wrong, the acting in this show is wonderful, top-notch, not to be missed, but the play just doesn’t hold up to the talent on the stage. I applaud these actresses for their performances. I wish for a different ending and more softness in the otherwise harshness of the one at the top of the play and the cruelty of the other at the end of this play.

This productions set was created by James Kronser. I loved how he made you feel like you knew the location. The Costume Designer is Kathleen Geldard. Her choice for Nancy’s costume was spot on to the story. She as dressed for the possibility of a bad conclusion to the story. Well done. Lighting Desgner, Chris Lee and Sound Designer Matt Rowe did a very nice job with this production.

Photo Gallery

Sherri L. Edelen Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen
Sherri L. Edelen
Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen
Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen
Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen
Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen
Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen Nancy Robinette
Nancy Robinette and Sherri L. Edelen
Nancy Robinette

Photos by Sctt Suchman.

Cast

  • Patty: Sherri Edelen
  • Margaret: Nancy Robinette

Crew

  • Written and Directed by: Joe Calarco
  • Scenic Design: James Kronzer
  • Costume Design: Kathleen Geldard
  • Lighting Design: Chris Lee
  • Sound Design: Matt Rowe
  • Production Stage Manager: Julie Meyer
  • Production Manager: Timothy H. O’Connell
  • Assistant Director: David Zobell

Disclaimer: Signature Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has been involved in theatre for over 40 years in the local Washington DC Metro area as well as NYC and London England. Mark has performed at the Dramatist Guild Theatre on Broadway, at The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre Off-Broadway. His credits include work in many local theatres as well: The Folger Theatre Group, Arena Stage, New Playwrights Theatre, 7th Street Players, The Keegan Theatre, The American Century Theatre, The Journeyman Theatre, ASTA Theatre, The Hayloft Dinner Theatre (Associate Producer), The Lazy Susan Theatre, Discovery Channels, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (Frankenstein) with Donald Sutherland. London, England credits include work at: The Duke of York Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, The Questors Theatre, The British Embassy Players. Mark is a graduate of The Drama Studio, London, England. Mark is also a narrator of audio books for Gildan Audio: “True North”, by Bill George; “Never Give Up”, by Tedy Bruschi and “Five Minds for the Future”, by Howard Gardner among them. Mark currently teaches Advanced Acting at The Little Theatre of Alexandria and still performs locally in many theatres.

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