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Wakefield High School The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune

By • Dec 5th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

Manny Weisenberg has problems that could make any big-time Hollywood agent cringe. His biggest talent is spiraling into catastrophic depression, his girlfriend is getting antsy reciting lines as a lobster mascot instead of Shakespeare’s Juliet, and to top it off, he’s got a looming debt of three thousand four hundred thirty-five dollars and fifty cents to the notorious mob boss Joey Bananas. His way out of this mess? Put on a pageant like Hollywood has never seen, ending with the marriage of the Greek god of the seas and the beautiful, talented victor of the whole spectacle! This comedy came to life on Wakefield High School’s stage in the madcap misadventure of The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune.

Written in 2002 by Robert Schenkkan, this play has remained in relative obscurity since its original conception. Fraught with wacky characters and farcical incidents, all set with the backdrop of Prohibition era America, ripe with political corruption and a blooming movie industry, this comedy follows Manny as he works his way out of debt through negotiations with real-estate con-men to set up an extravagant pageant, all the while being harangued by gangster thugs, nagged by divas, and keeping accusations of rigging the whole thing at bay.

Wakefield’s production shone in its constant stream of absurd moments, despite a few struggles with proper comedic timing and pacing. The farcical style lent itself to engaging and amusing performances, although the cast hit problems in portraying the more dramatic portions of the play.

Leading the chaotic comedy was Jose Rodriguez as slick talent agent Manny Weisenberg. Rodriguez never stumbled with his articulation, keeping an appropriate vocal tone for his character. His likable yet rascally portrayal kept the audience interested and entertained, filling the necessary role of the one sane person against a horde of eccentric characters. Amari McCloskey, playing Manny’s girlfriend Cherie, captured the hopelessness one might feel when dressed as a crustacean advertising for a seafood restaurant instead of acting upon the stage.

The supporting cast did a commendable job at embracing their preposterous roles. Joey Bananas (Sean Balick), had a large stage presence despite his small stature, carrying hilarious scenes with his over the top accent and attitude. His two thugs, Carter and Grum (Jesse Remedios, Marquis Allgood) played off each other well and instigated several uproarious scenes while clad in mermaid dresses and seashell bras. Carla Astudillo brought energy to the stage with her portrayal of a spoiled, obnoxious brat with her heart set on winning the pageant.

The lighting crew kept the stage and action visible and well-lit, with the intermittent splash of color or the dramatic use of spotlight. The sound crew was able to keep every actor audible, while also providing interesting and period appropriate music during transitions.

With constant plot twists and screwball antics, Wakefield’s production of The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune overcame difficulties in technical and dramatic aspects to produce an entertaining look into glitz of showbiz and the trials of crafting it.

by Max Johnson of McLean High School

(Note: The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune continues December 9 and 10 with a 7pm curtain. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults. Wakefield High School Auditorium in Arlington, Virginia.)

Photo Gallery

Jesse Remedios, Sean Hackes, Marquis Allgood and Sofia Navas Sherry Carla Astudillo and Sean Hackes
Jesse Remedios, Sean Hackes, Marquis Allgood and Sofia Navas Sherry
Carla Astudillo and Sean Hackes
Jose Rodriguez and Arami McCloskey Jose Rodriguez and Sean Balick
Jose Rodriguez and Arami McCloskey
Jose Rodriguez and Sean Balick
Sean Balick and Sofia Navas Sherry
Sean Balick and Sofia Navas Sherry

Photos by Jorge Acevedo

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