Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Aldersgate Church Community Theater Hay Fever

By • Mar 20th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Aldersgate Church Community Theater production of Hay Fever [MP3 5:37 1.6MB].

Laura: Friday evening we saw the opening night performance of Aldersgate Church Community Theater and their production of Hay Fever in Alexandria Virginia.

Mike: Hay Fever is a comedy written by Noel Coward in 1924. It takes place at the Bliss family home outside of London. The Bliss family is privileged, rich, bored, and ultra Bohemian. Judith Bliss has recently retired from the stage and has invited a young admirer to her home for the weekend. Unfortunately she has discovered that her son has also invited someone for the weekend. Her daughter has invited someone for the weekend. And her husband has invited someone for the weekend. Once all the visitors have arrived, they end up paring off in different combinations with the Bliss family members. They end up being embarrassed in different ways by Judith Bliss, who takes control of every situation that she sees and puts the guests at an extreme amount of unease.

Laura: I enjoyed watching this show very much. The Bliss family definitely enjoyed overacting very much and the poor unsuspecting guests were just blown away and ready to get out of there in a big hurry. Much to the enjoyment of the Bliss family who just seemed to like watching them get more and more flustered and scared and creeped out. It was a really fun show.

Mike: This is probably one of those nightmares everybody has if they’re going to someone’s home for the first time. Watching it unfold before you is like watching a car wreck. You just couldn’t pull yourself away because you wanted to see what this crazy family would do next. All the performers did a good job. The Bliss’s were so obnoxious, but they were friendly obnoxious. You didn’t want to put them out or anything. Watching the guests try to figure out how to get out of the situation was very nice. I liked that. I liked the play overall very much.

Laura: The matriarch of the family, Judith Bliss was played by Rebecca Lenehan. She did a very good job. She was the definite head of the household. Even though she was married that didn’t seem to bother her in any way shape or form. When she got bored she came up with plays and other things to entertain herself and the rest of the members of her family, much to the dismay of the guests who were coming for the weekend.

Mike: All four of the guests that came for the weekend were like deers in the headlights. They didn’t know what they had walked into. The surprise and the emotions they felt seemed very genuine. I liked how Sandy Tyrell, played by Richard Isaacs, handled the closing act. He was the first down after the hellish night they had dealing with the Bliss family. When he came down the stairs and took control of the situation; eating breakfast and then made the plan that they need to make an escape. Then the other guests in the house agreed with him. I liked how he really seemed to take control of the situation. It seemed very realistic.

Laura: Sorel Bliss, Judith’s daughter was played by Claudia Love Petty. She was very funny. She made big sweeping gestures. She was probably in her 20’s, but acted like she was about five at some points. She too, enjoyed making her guests uncomfortable and wanting to flee the scene as fast as she could by her pouting and playing along with her mother just superbly.

Mike: I think the entire cast was very well chosen. I think they all did a good job with their parts. I like how they all seemed to work together very well, especially the four guests who hadn’t met each other before. I think they held that together by feeling nervous around each other. That was apparent on the stage. I liked that a lot. Early in the show there was definitely a feeling of loathing between them. By the end of the show you realize that that’s how they get their fun is by making people crazy. I think they did a great job with all the different dynamics of of the people in the show.

Laura: The costume Designer was Kathy Dodson. It was definitely in the 1920’s. One of the guests had the flapper attire.

Mike: The set was designed by Bill Glikbarg. He did a really good job. I liked the set. There were three large french doors that faced out the back into a patio area. That was how the guests entered the estate. I liked the doors to the library over on one side and then some stairs. It all worked together really well, it was a good use of space. From where we were sitting, I didn’t have a good view of the staircase. It appeared that there were openings in the wall on the staircase. When someone would come down the stairs they could see over into the living room and the dining area. That was used effectively when the guests were coming down to hide from the Bliss’s. When the Bliss’s would come down to get into character and be obnoxious. I liked how it all worked together.

Laura: Hay Fever is playing through April the 1st at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church Wesley Hall in Alexandria Virginia. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 PM. Recommend you go see this how. It is funny.

Mike: The show was about two hours and fifteen minutes with two intermissions.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Sorel Bliss: Claudia Love Petty
  • Simon bliss: David Seemiller
  • Clara: Carol Strachan
  • Judith Bliss: Rebecca Lenehan
  • David Bliss: Mike Russell
  • Sandy Tyrell: Richjard Isaacs
  • Myra Arundel: Rachael Hubbard
  • Richard Greatham: Albert Petrasek, Jim Howard
  • Jackie Coryton: Kacie Greenwood


  • Producer: Bailey R. Center
  • Assistant Producer: Lyndays Austin
  • Director: Roland Branford Gomez
  • Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Leighann Behrens
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Jayn Rife
  • Set Design: Bill Glikbarg
  • Set Construction/Master Carpenter: Stuart Travis
  • Set Decoration: Janie Bauer
  • Set Painting: Mary Hutzler
  • Properties: Judy Kee
  • Costume Design: Kathy Dodson
  • Lighting Design: Liz Owens, Nancy Owens
  • Lighting Technicians: Elizabeth Herbst, Minerva Guandique
  • Sound Design: Alan Wray
  • Sound Technician: Rachel Lau
  • Publicity: Bobbie Herbst
  • Playbill Design: Stephanie Burdett
  • Photographs: Douglas Olmsted
  • Box Office: Bob and Marilyn Berry
  • House Manager: Shirley Bolstad
  • Tech Dinner: Bailey R. Center
  • Opening Night Party: Ben Robles and Ronnie Hardcastle
  • Accent Coach: Caol Strachan
  • Animal Wrangler: Caroline Austin
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