Chantilly High School Stage DoorBy Cappies • May 10th, 2011 • Category: Cappies
Ah, the glamorous life of a Broadway actress – turning down Hollywood contracts, playing roles in short-lived shows, and selling blouses at Macy’s. Well, so much for glamour. In Chantilly High School’s production of Stage Door, young actress Terry Randall faces these challenges and more while trying to stay focused on her dreams, but as Terry quipped herself, she can’t just “walk up and down the room being an actress.”
Written by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, Stage Door appeared on Broadway in 1936 and was later adapted into a film of the same name in 1937. Set in New York City in 1940, Stage Door chronicles Terry’s difficult endeavor as a struggling actress committed to the stage. Instead of jumping at the chance to achieve rapid success in Hollywood, Terry shrugs off the idea, deciding that her allegiance to theater is more important. Residing in The Footlights Club, an abode for other young actress, Terry battles with love, her principles, friendship, and loyalty.
Amanda Miesner skillfully portrayed the determined Terry with expression and eloquence, setting herself apart from the other Footlights girls as the more composed and independent one. Miesner clearly displayed her passion for the stage, from her animated reenactment of persuading a producer for a role to her fervent distaste for Hollywood’s fast track to stardom. Her distinct facial expressions and careful deliberation added depth and believability to her character.
Adrian Tafesh was expertly authentic in his portrayal of the suave and dashing David Kingsley, a producer that used to work in theater, but now thrives off the wealth of Hollywood. Tafesh displayed noticeable character development as his concern for Terry and his desire for her talent to be appreciated morphed into love. Tafesh had palpable chemistry with Miesner, and their first kiss elicited squeals from the audience.
As Judith, Terry’s sarcastic and clever friend, Connor Haggerty reeled in laugh after laugh with her witty one-liners and exaggerated commentary. Haggerty was engaging and thoughtful with her character choices, taking risks that added to her adroit comic capabilities. Matt Tillman was abrasive and brash as the hard-edged playwright, Keith Burgess, Terry’s initial love interest, oozing arrogance towards the end of their relationship. Other notable performers include Robbie Novak as the charming Texan, Sam Hastings, and Grace Gardner as the self-absorbed Linda Shaw.
The set was very impressive, clearly depicting the lobby and second floor of The Footlights Club, including a curved staircase, an intricate hallway seen behind French doors, and well placed onstage lighting. Furnished with a piano, changeable wall paper, and other period furniture, set designers Lauren Phillips, Brad Vitale, and Chloe Vasquez completely transformed the stage into a home with a cozy feel. Chantilly’s wide array of costumes was particularly remarkable, complete with elegant coats and intriguing floral headpieces.
Chantilly approached their production with dedication and cohesion, ending their memorable performance on an uplifting note – Terry finally landing the lead, clutching her new script like a child would hold a security blanket, with only one wish in the world: a room and a bed of her own.
by Tess Higgins of Langley High School
Photos by Kelly Johnson
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6614.