Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Oakton High School A Tisket, A Tasket, Four Dames and a Casket

By • Nov 9th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

Star-struck flappers, jumping jazz music, odd accents and precious jewels swarm the Barras Hotel at Oakton High School in their production of A Tisket, A Tasket, Four Dames and a Casket, an original play by Haley Herrinton.

Scam artists Tommy Steinheim (Albert Anderson) and Evelyn Carmichael (Maggie Perreault) — complete with an array of costumes and accents to match — have weaseled their way into the luxurious Barras Hotel (and a very sticky situation) in hopes of selling stolen jewels to mob boss Freddy Salvatores (Chris Papas). Meanwhile, Audrey Barras, (Carlie Robbins), owner of the hotel, along with her Aunt Ruth (Courtney Washington) are desperately attempting to find solace from her late father’s death. Performers, ex-girlfriends, lawyers (Ari Veach), a greedy cousin (Nyah Collier) and a casket of caskets swamp the hotel as chaos and hilarity ensue.

Oakton High School’s production of A Tisket, A Tasket, Four Dames and a Casket, directed by Allison Hicks, was a wonderful romp brought to life by its strong comedic timing and absurdity. Haley Herrinton’s script was the bee’s knees. A strong testament to entertainment at its height, Oakton’s production was complete with love circles, hidden identities and twists and turns at every corner.

Carrying the show with ease was Anderson as the ever-disguise-changing Tommy Steinheim. His mastery of several accents and clear choices helped develop his solid characters. Perreault was sincere and provided a wide range of emotions as Tommy’s sidekick and unrequited adorer, Evelyn. As Audrey, Robbins was believable as she struggled to maintain her sanity through the chaos.

Rebecca Flores-Jiminez was seriously sassy as the maid Hazel and Holly Kelly was a pure pleasure as the naïve Mally. Portraying Mrs. Carrol, a slightly deranged and very funny elderly woman, was Zak Goldberger. An actor in drag is almost always hysterical but Goldberger managed to create a character that was both lovable and convincing.

The flappers, a raucous trio of thrill-seeking girls led by Stephanie LeBolt‘s Violet, bore a strong stage presence and whether in disguises as a pregnant wife (Sophia Sellers) or a traveler (Esther Workman) from “Canada town,” this fantastic ensemble was a constant delight. Through grandiose physical movements and pitch changes, Chelsea Casanave brought a comical former Broadway star to life. Other standouts included Papas as Freddy Salvatores, Jordan Trostle as the horrendous giggler Cordelia and Anthony Schiavo as Franco, who showed strong character development.

The set perfectly resembled an extravagant hotel all the way down to the marble-looking stairwell and was well designed and built by Anthony Schiavo and the OHS Tech class although some set pieces could have been sturdier. Lighting designed by Jacki Chiu, Spencer King and Matt Lucas was atmospheric and flowed smoothly while sound by Taylor Vogelzang was flawless throughout.

Pacing may have been a bit uneven at times and energy occasionally lacked but Oakton High School’s A Tisket, A Tasket, Four Dames and a Casket, was a wonderfully light-hearted production that provided nothing short of a jolly ole’ time at the theater.

by Steven Einhorn of Robert E. Lee High School

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