The Alliance Theatre Laughing StockBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 21st, 2012 • Category: Reviews
The Alliance Theatre
Mountain View High School, Centreville, VA
Through March 25th
2:15 with one inermission
$16/$14 Children/Seniors (plus fees)
Reviewed March 16th, 2012
Laughing Stock is a comedy by Charles Morey. A group of actors meet during the summer in a New England repertory company. Some are beginners, some are seasoned veterans who can tell you stories of “the good old days.” Some get to be interns, and some just come to get away for a summer and do a little acting. All have stories to tell. Unfortunately, with three shows being performed in repertory, there are a few glitches that occur both onstage and backstage.
Gordon Page is the Artistic Director for The Playhouse. He has to keep people, cast and crew happy, as well as The Playhouse’s main benefactor sending the check to keep the theater running. Played by Matt Jordan, Page comes across at first as distant and not extremely believable. As the play goes on he does warm up to the action somewhat. Page’s Stage Manager Sarah McKay was played by Annie Ermlick. Ermlick was into her character and had some funny bits, but had a hard time drawing out Page who it was discovered had some unresolved issues to work out. The two never really showed a spark, leading to a surprise near the end of the show.
Will MacLeod played Jack Morris, a struggling actor wanting to “get away for a summer” before going to law school. MacLeod was able to make his character unique and enjoyable to watch. Candi Baker played Susannah Huntsman, the director for Charley’s Aunt. She had some fairly out there ideas which made for a unique telling of a classic. Baker showed strong emotions and had a style all her own. Even if you’ve ever dabbled in theatre, and aren’t familiar with the play Charley’s Aunt, you will realize that Hunstman’s ideas and style will lead to a train wreck of a show.
Set Designer Maggie Swan made good use of the space at Mountain View High School, creating the company’s barn, and an interesting stage for Hamlet to be peformed upon. There were some lighting issues that broke the rhythm of the performance. In the first act the lights were slow in going up and down. In the second act this got better. However there was a point when there was a scrim set up to indicate a performance and then an area which was kind of like backstage. The lights were supposed to switch back and forth between the two areas to define when we were supposed to be watching the performance of Hamlet and watching the problems unfold backstage. Something got off and the lights were coming up and going down between the two stage areas at random times. One very well-executed bit of stage business was the hot potato tossing of the Founding Member’s skull.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to see a show that is running off the tracks, or to see a bit of the magic that happens when you work on a theatrical production, Laughing Stock will let you live out your fantasy.
Photos by Zina Bleck
- Gordon Page: Matt Jordan
- Jack Morris: Will MacCleod
- Susannah Huntsman: Candi Baker
- Mary Pierce: Erin Cooper
- Tyler Taylor: Jason Frye
- Vernon Volker: Peter Markey
- Richfield Hawksley: Mike Cash
- Daisy Coates: Mona Kay Helper
- Kate Conlin: Michelle Ballard
- Sarah McKay: Annie Ermlick
- Henry Mills: Terry Mason
- Karma Schneider: Lu Aguet
- Braun Oakes: Alex Bedont
- Ian Milliken: Thomas Weston Braudaway
Production & Support Staff
- Producer: Maggie Swan
- Director: Zina Bleck
- Assistant Director: Stacy King
- Stage Manager: Steve Moss
- Set Design: Maggie Swan
- Set Construction Master Carpenter: Steve Cooper
- Set Construction: Michelle Ballard, Erin Cooper, Annie Ermlick, Jen Farmer, Chuck Fischer, Will MacLeod, Terry Mason, Steve Mos, Marwan Nabulsi, Katie Swan, Maggie Swan
- Set Paint design: Tina Dempsy
- Set Painting: Steve Cooper, Brittany LeKang, penny Fischer, Victoria Sheftic
- Set Decoration/s Design: Tina Dempsey
- Properties Design: Maggie Swan
- Lighting Design: Elaine Wilson
- Lighting Team: Michelle Ballard, Derek Critzer, Billy Ermlick, Amber jacks, Stacy King, Elaine Wilson
- Sound Design: Derek Critzer
- Costume Design: Michelle Bogert
- Hair Design: Michelle Bogert
- Publicity: Sarah Meiburg
- Box office Manager: Marwan Nabulsi
- Playbill: Marty Griggs
- Still Photography: Laurie Griggs
- House Manager: Meg Mason
- Ushers: Steve Cooper, Susan Cooper, Alana DeVoe, Mary DeVoe,Cameron Fischer, Penny Fischer, Taylor Fischer, Amanda Mason, Meg Mason, Emily Meiburg, Sarah Meiburg, Julia Recto, Rhonda Recto, Maggie Swan, Elaine Wilson
Disclaimer: The Alliance Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. TAT also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review. Mike also worked on TAT’s Summer 2011 production of Hairspray, and may work for TAT in the future.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7784.
Laura & Mike Clark 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.