Aldersgate Church Community Theatre Life with FatherBy Laura & Mike Clark • Oct 10th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Aldersgate Church Community Theatre: (Info) (Web)
Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Alexandria, VA
Through October 20th
2:50 with 2 intermissions
$15/$12 Senior, Youth (Plus fees)
Previewed October 4th, 2013
Aldersgate Church Community Theatre opened its 2013/2014 season last Friday evening with a convincing performance of Life with Father. The cast of 16 performers seemed at ease on stage. Although there were a few minor opening night line hiccups, the cast all seemed to blend well. The Day household was made up of the parents, 4 boys, the cook and a maid, plus other family and friends that drop by. Claire and Vinnie Day (James McDaniel and Kacie Greenwood) balanced each other out. For all of Claire’s bravado and bluster, Vinnie managed to get her own way through a rational voice and the occasional tearing up.
The four boys were also well-cast. In talking with director Roland Gomez we discovered that he played the understudy role of the youngest Day (Harlan) during the Broadway production of Life With Father in 1939. Life With Father is still the longest running play on Broadway, with 3,224 performances. The oldest Day, Clarence (James Woods) seemed to want to follow in his father’s footsteps, until he meets a visitor to the Day home of the female persuasion and then the future does not look as clear. Both of the middle Day boys, John and Whitney were enterprising youngsters who enjoyed life to the fullest.
The set was quite elaborate as was fitting to the turn of the 18th century with wallpaper and colorful paintings that made the home quite cheerful. Using the maids as run crew kept he pace going smoothly between each scene. Georgia Harlow’s costumes were also well done and with colors that showed off the wealthy Day family. The boys were were well-tailored and even the maids always looked properly uniformed. Aldersgate Church Community Theatre has assembled a solid, humorous production to start off the season.
This is probably my 15th or 16th show that I have directed at our wonderful Aldersgate Church (ACCT). Our present production of Life With Father is dedicated to the great Dru Vander-Linden who created this theatre many years ago!
When I first met Dru, I immediately realized that this was a very, very special soul! How she loved the theater! And it was wonderful that her wonderful Church was willing to let her create this wonderful theater. Aldersgate should be proud of the quality of productions they have experienced here. Some of our children have had great enjoyment acting or watching our meaningful youth productions.
Dru brought together some of the finest people to help her create theater such as Shirley Bolstad, Marg & Howard Soroos, Bailey Center, Kacie Greenwood, Stuart Travis, Lyndsay & Bill Austin, Jayn Rife and the rest of the Council and many others. All those of you who really know theater, know how lucky we are to be able to deliver the quality of theater that we do!
This how means more to me than you can imagine! I was a child actor from the age of 6 in New York on a radio show called “Coast to Coast on a Bus” starring Milton Cross as the Bus Conductor. At 9 years old I was cast as the understudy for “Harlan,” the youngest Day in the show, played beautifully by Joseph Machosky. When the show closed after seven years and 3,224 performances, it was and is the longest-running non-musical in Broadway history. I stayed with the show for over two years at the Empire Theatre on Broadway and 40th Street (a beautiful theater that is no longer there — torn down for the progress of a skyscraper) before I went on to do another understudy role in the Broadway show called Tomorrow The World. I hope you love this show tonight as much as I have always loved it! I think our 4 kids in this how are great!
I want to thank you for being here tonight and for your support of the Aldersgate Church Community Theater. Where else can we get quality productions at such an affordable price?
And thank you for remembering our founder, Dru Vander-Linden tonight. I’m sure she will be here with us tonight. I don’t think she ever missed one of my opening nights! We all owe her so much and also to Shirley Bolstad, who worked with her side by side!
I, myself want to thank my great cast and crew-Eddy Roger Parker, Jayn Rife, Sharon Field and Charles Dragonette. And also one of the greatest stage managers I have ever worked with, Marg Soroos, for being there, always for me!
Photos by Doug Olmsted
- Vinnie: Kacie Greenwood
- Annie: Olivia Hayes
- Clarence: James Woods
- John: Aubrey Blount
- Whitney: Brian McNamara
- Harlan: Joseph Machosky
- Father: James McDaniel
- Margaret: Bonnie Jourdan
- Cora: Sherman McDaniel
- Mary: Alyssa Denton
- Dr. Lloyd: Larry Grey
- Delia: Kirstin Apker
- Nora: Morgan Vaughn
- Dr. Humphreys: Howard Soroos
- Dr. Somers: Eddy Roger Parker
- Maggie: Anne Monahan
- Producers: Jayn Rife, Eddy Parker, Sharon Field
- Director: Roland Branford Gomez
- Set Design: Bill Gilkbarg, John Downing
- Stage Managers: Marg Soroos, Charles Dragonette, Hannah Lau
- Set Construction: Stuart Travis, Bill klikbarg, John Downing, Jennifer Levy, Dick La Porte, Bob Schroth, George Farnsworth, Eddy Parker, Robert Krause, Shaun MacNamara, Rock Vaughn, David Doll, Mike Walker, TJ and Lise Downing
- Set Painting: Megan Coyle
- Set Decoration: Susan Driscoll Blount, Eddy Parker, CJ Mikowski
- Set Coordinator: Robert Kraus
- Property Design: Judy Kee, Orron Kee, Art and Margaret Snow, Anne Monahan
- Light Design: Jeff Auerbach
- Sound Design: Alan Wray
- Costume Design: Georgia Harlow
- Makeup/Hair Design: Rachel Royall
- Publicity: Bailey R. Center, Candy Cole
- Wardrobe: Margaret Snow, Alisa Beyninson
- Photographer: Doug Olsted
- Double Tech Dinner: Virginia Lacey
- Opening Night Party: Benny Robles and Ronnie Hardcastle
Disclaimer: Aldersgate Church Community Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/9809.
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.