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Review: The Lucky Spot

By • Jan 27th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Dominion Stage’s production of The Lucky Spot [MP3 5:39 5.2MB].

Laura: We’re talking about Dominion Stage‘s production of The Lucky Spot that we saw tonight.

Mike: The Lucky Spot is a dance hall down in Pigeon, Louisiana. Most of the play takes place Christmas Eve 1934. The heart of the Depression and they’re trying to open a dance hall in the rural area of Louisiana. There are seven characters total and you get to meet them all. Most of them are down on their luck. They have had hard lives.

Laura: One of the girls is pregnant by the person who wants to get the dance hall off the ground. He has some anger management issues that he needs to work on. His wife is currently in prison for pushing some woman off the balcony, caught them in bed together. It’s an interesting show.

Mike: Ok, there were a lot of characters in this play. There was a lot of conflict btween them. Cassidy Smith was played by Caroline Gotschall. She was the eighth grader in real life playing a pregnant girl who kind of schemed without knowing she was scheming to get the husband to leave the wife so they could get married. The wife shows up and that was an interesting scene. They did pretty well with that.

Laura: I liked the character Sue Jack Hooker, played by B. Bangerter. I thought she had a lot of emotiion. She was angry too. At life, the way it treated her and ended her up in jail. Angry at her husband for never visiting her or anything like that.

Mike: She was confused about herself, too. At the beginning when she first got there from prison she said, “I’m not drinking anymore.” She was kind of happy about that. But then a few minutes later she said,”I want a drink” and she drank the fire whiskey. She was torn. There wasn’t much else to do and she was mad at the husband. That’s how she dealt with it.

Laura: The lighting I thought was interesting. I felt they could have done better on emphasizing the fact that it was morning. At one point the pregnant girl was going to give her, hopefully one day husband, breakfast, but there was no back lighting really to show that it was morning.

Mike: There was a nice large window on the side of the stage where the Christmas tree was and behind it was a black curtain of some sort. During that opening scene it was morning and daytime, but there was still that black outside the curtain. It would have been nice if they had had lighting out there. Yellows and oranges or even a blue backdrop. Maybe a tree outside the window. That would have been a nice touch of realism. Later scenes were at night so it could have been the black that was there. There another scene that for Christmas morning they could have had something out there or the lights back to show it was morning. So that was a little distracting just having the black out there.

Laura: And other times the lights would come down a little bit to intensify a mood, but it didn’t quite work because it looked like someone turned the lights off.

Mike: During the intermission we chatted with another couple and they were a little confused by the lighting. The lights were going up and down in the middle of the scene. If the lighting was trying to emphasize certain characters, it wasn’t real effective. Although the second act was better. Because there were some scenes taking place outside the dance hall and they actually did turn the lights off from the dance hall and did a spot light onto the people on the stump out back. That worked better. The first act it wasn’t too effective because it looked like there was a problem with the lights.

Laura: They did do a good job of when they went outside coming in through the door instead of just walking back into the dance hall and ignoring the door. They were good about that.

Mike: So all in all it was an interesting show. The characters were interesting. Six of the seven characters were all down on their luck. The world was against them. They all had their issues to deal with. The seventh character was pushing the other six down. He wanted the house they were in; for his father supposedly. So he kept saying I want this place, I want this place. He didn’t care what he had to do to get it. He would use people. There was conflict with that. The ending of the show was very awkward.

Laura: It was very strange.

Mike: The final closing scene was Christmas morning. There was some good news. They had some candy and some oranges to celebrate. A new friend got met and they were dancing and having a good time and then the “bad guy” came in and bowed. Ok, we’re done. You could kind of feel the audience, “oh, we’re done.” It wasn’t a Hollywood movie type ending where the mysterious gentleman turned out to be the pregnant girl’s missing father or they found a stash of cash in the middle of the vase on the side of the room.

Laura: So they were able to save The Lucky Spot. It’s almost like somebody forgot to turn the lights off.

Mike: It was a strange ending.

Laura: There is also a lot of language so it’s not appropriate for young children.

Mike: So that’s the Lucky Spot by Dominion Stage playing in Arlington through Sunday afternoon.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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