Theater Info for the Washington DC region

NVTA One Act Festival Night 3

By • Jun 28th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
NVTA One Act Festival
James Lee Community Center Theater, Falls Church, VA
$35 Festival Pass/$14 Session Pass
Playing through June 28th
Attended June 26th, 2009

This is part 3 of ShowBizRadio’s 5 part series covering this year’s NVTA One Act Festival.

NVTA’s third night got off to a fresh start with Pied Piper Theatre‘s published one act, Candid. With a charming 13 year old in the leading role (Manny Gillin), the show focuses on a young man dealing with his mother’s abandonment. It’s always tough when you have teens playing the parents of other teens, but the cast brought a lot of energy and fun to their roles. Manny Gillin certainly has a bright future ahead of him. 

Relative Strangers was the offering from Fauquier Community Theatre, directed by Sallie Willows. There was a lovely chemistry between Mona Kay Helper and Christine Lowry as airline passengers with different lives heading to the same destination. The writing was fast paced and clever with a unique concept. The actors were a little too soft spoken for the large space, making lines difficult to hear, and being confined to their airplane seats hindered them as well. But with witty interruptions from flight attendant (winningly played by Penny McKee), and sincere characterizations by Helper and Lowry, it was a nicely done production.

Castaway‘s Till Death Do Us Part was an original script by Dean A. Benjamin. Directed by Zina Bleck, the plot revolved around a disgruntled married couple killed on their way to visit a divorce attorney. All the action takes place immediately following the funeral, with the oldercouple Rita & Charlie (Lori Muhlstein & Ted Ballard) wondering what happens next from the safety of their mausoleum, and their adult children visting the family plot. The play got off to a terrific start, but grew a little repetitive and not quite as funny as perhaps the playwright had intended. The script itself needed some editing to make it more cohesive. Muhlstein and Ballard were fantastic and completely believable as the bickering older couple. The relationship between the adult children left a little to be desired, not quite as well written or as charismatic as the others. 

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