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Fauquier Community Theatre The Man Who Came To Dinner

By • Jan 20th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
The Man Who Came To Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Fauquier Community Theatre
Fauquier Community Theatre, Warrenton, VA
Through January 29th
2:30 with one intermission
$15/$13 Seniors and Students
Reviewed January 13th, 2012

The Man Who Came To Dinner takes place during a wintry Christmas when Sheridan Whiteside, the famous producer, lecturer, philanthropist, and all around grumpy man, slips on a piece of ice and becomes the unexpected houseguest to the Stanley family. Mrs. Stanley is thrilled to have such a famous guest while Mr. Stanley thinks Mr. Whiteside is a pain in the neck and needs to go. When Mr. Whiteside’s secretary falls in love and announces her engagement, Whiteside brings in the big guns to get her to stay. A play full of heart, soul, laughter, and penguins!

FCT’s opening night production was fairly solid. There were some interesting “dramatic pauses” and some line looping to go back and pick up cues, but for the most part very well staged. Jack Seeley as Sheridan Whiteside was the classic curmudgeon, full of pomp and arrogance. He quickly had everyone jumping to do his every command. Seeley was brash and angry, but also had a soft spot for the Stanley children Richard and June played by Marc White and Hannah Malinowski. Towards them he was bordering on kind as he told them to follow their dreams. Not everyone asked how high when Sheridan yelled “Jump!” such as Mr. Stanley, portrayed by Scott Pierce as a frustrated victim; but his rally late in the show was a joy to watch, with a gleam in his eye as he counted down the time to Whiteside’s eviction.

Maggie Cutler, Sheridan’s secretary took Whiteside’s mood swings in stride. Played by Corrine Shumaker, she was calm, cool and collected. She and Seeley seemed to have a good working relationship and were comfortable together on stage. Maggie’s love interest Bert Jefferson, the town newspaperman, (Jim Harris) gave a solid performance. He moved well on stage and seemed to be constantly upbeat and easy-going. Harris got along well with everyone even the outgoing Hollywood star Lorraine Sheldon played by Colleen Shumaker. Shumaker made the character uniquely hers with over dramatic accounts of famous liaisons and her wild affairs with all the Hollywood greats. She was fun to watch. An unexpected joy was Kathleen Donovan as Whiteside’s nurse, Miss Preen. She was generally on stage for only a short time, but each appearance was marked by an opportunity for Whiteside to belittle her. Donovan’s reactions and building exasperation with each insult was wonderful.

Set Designer Richard Perryman made use of levels to draw the audience to look at all the parts of the stage. There were a few times when actors were a little close together, but that is because a 1950’s wheelchair took up a good bit of the playing area. The costumes were well done by Holly Czuchan and Susan Noe. Lorraine’s dress sparkled while Maggie’s attire was much more modest and down to earth.

All in all this was a solid opening night performance of is a theatre classic appropriate for all ages.

Photo Gallery

Jack Seeley as Sheridan Whiteside Jim Harris as Bert Jefferson
Jack Seeley as Sheridan Whiteside
Jim Harris as Bert Jefferson
Colleen Shumaker as Lorraine Sheldon; Corrine Shumaker as Maggie Cutler Jack Seeley as Sheridan Whiteside; Kathleen Donovan as Miss Preen; Joe Bersack as Banjo
Colleen Shumaker as Lorraine Sheldon; Corrine Shumaker as Maggie Cutler
Jack Seeley as Sheridan Whiteside; Kathleen Donovan as Miss Preen; Joe Bersack as Banjo

Photos by McCall Doyle

Cast

  • Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley: Holly Czuchna
  • Miss Preen: Kathleen Donovan
  • Richard Stanley: Marc White
  • June Stanley: Hannah Malinowski
  • John: Don Richardson
  • Sarah: Sarah Akers
  • Mrs. Dexter: Kristine Lalimarmo
  • Mrs. McCutcheon: Colleen Shumaker
  • Mr. Ernest Stanley: Scott Pierce
  • Maggie Cutler: Corrine Shumaker
  • Dr. Bradley: Craig Czuchna
  • Sheridan Whiteside: Jack Seeley
  • Harriet Stanley: Mona Kay Helper
  • Bert Jefferson: Jim Harris
  • Professor Metz/Detective: Dan Purcell
  • Baker/Detective: Dan Miller
  • Henderson: Richard Perryman
  • Michaelson: Kirk Noe
  • Expressman: Kristine Lalimarmo
  • Lorraine Sheldon: Colleen Shumaker
  • Sandy: Ricky Parks
  • Beverly Carlton: Bob Burnett
  • Westcott: Joshua Vest
  • Choir Children: Ashby Nye, Grace Schwab, Dylan Pierce, Maggie Pierce, Rhett Walters, Patrick Donovan
  • Banjo: Joe Bersack

Production Staff

  • Director: Ted Ballard
  • Producer: Evelyn Rice
  • Stage Manager: Richard Perryman
  • Light Design: Tim Kirk
  • Sound Design: Anna Hawkins
  • Set Painting: Carrie Parsons, Gary Parsons, Marianna Lash
  • Set Construction: Richard Perryman, Patrick Nye, Daniel Constable, Rhina Ascensio, Ted Ballard, Tina Embree
  • Construction Assistants: Coleman and Leanne Embree
  • Set Dressing: Vicki Johnston
  • properties: Evelyn Rice, Joshua Vest, Holly Czuchna, Ted Ballard, Gary Vest
  • Make-up Design: Kathleen Keller
  • Hair Design: Cindy Janowitz
  • Sound Board Operator: Anna Hawkins
  • Light Board Operator: Rhina Ascencio
  • Wardrobe Mistress: Holly Czuchna
  • Board Liaison: Kevin Tupper
  • posters: Sarah Weathers
  • Programs: Evelyn Rice
  • Photography: McCall Doyle
  • FCT Wardrobe Mistress: Susan Noe
  • FCT Prop Mistress: Hilary Tupper
  • Box Office/Marketing: Christie Clark
  • Opening Night reception: Brooke Clark, Teena Stevic, Bertucci’s

Disclaimer: Fauquier Community Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. FCT also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review. Mike has expressed interest with working with FCT next season, which also did not influence this review.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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