Posted in aspiration, estranged father, family comedy drama, marrying the master of the house, Teresa Deevy

For Better or Worse in "Katie Roche"

Patrick Fitzgerald, Jon Fletcher, Margaret Daly, Wrenn Schmidt in Teresa Deevy’s  “Katie Roche” in a
photo by Richard Termine

Irish playwright Teresa Deevy was a master of middle-class parlor-room dramas.

“Katie Roche,” at the Mint Theatre throough March 24th, is about a young serving girl who marries the master of the househould. Like most of Deevy’s characters, Katie (Wrenn Schmidt) aspires to better herself. She’s sure she comes from “grand people” and it is her cockiness that Stanislaus Gregg (Patrick Fitzgerald) finds most appealing. Stan also has aspirations; he believes that marrying will help his career.

Wrenn Schmidt as Katie in “Katie Roche.” Photo by Richard Termine.

Katie’s ascent from housemaid to mistress of the house does not go smoothly, of course. Amelia Gregg  (Margaret Daly), Stan’s sister is kind. On the other hand, their married sibling, Margaret Drybone (Fiana Toibin) is a meddling gossip. It’s Katie, however, who is her own worst enemy, flirting with Michael Maguire (Jon Fletcher) and with disaster.

Jon Fletcher as Michael with Wrenn Schmidt as Katie. Photo by Richard Termine. 

 Deevy’s gentle, well-mannered comedy gets off to a slow start in the first act, but then quickly finds its pace.

Wrenn Schmidt, as the headstrong Katie, Margaret Daly as her sweet employer turned sister-in-law, and Jon Fletcher as the charming working man who loses out on Katie’s affections are stand-outs in this nice ensemble. Jonathan Banks knows how to direct an old-fashioned story for the maximum pleasure of its viewers.

Teresa Deevy’s “Katie Roche” celebrate the ordinary, making it extraordinary. “Katie Roche” is a lovely evening (or afternoon, for that matter) in the theater.

To find out more about  “Katie Roche,” The Mint Theatre, and the Deevy Project, please go to http://minttheater.org/.

 

Posted in comedy, connectivity, Craigs List, cyberspace, estranged father, fathers and sons, Google, hacker, hacking, love story, meds, techie, thriller, Twitter, video games

A Love Story for the Cyber Age: Extended to 29 October

There is so much new territory for the theater to cover in this super-connected, highly wired world–Google, Twitter, email, hackers, videogames– and a lot of it just doesn’t seem like it could be theatrical, does it? In Mangella, where a computer nerd meets a tech savvy prostitute via Craigslist, there is plenty of theatricality.

Connectivity takes on a whole new meaning in “Mangella,” a play billed as a cyber-thriller, and produced by Project:Theater at the Drilling Company extended through October 23rd 29th.

In “Mangella,” Gabriella (Ali Perlwitz) is a seductive temptress; her jealousy of Lilly (Hannah Louise Wilson)is only natural since she and Ned (Anthony Manna) have such an intimate relationship.

Gabriella is Ned’s outdated computer. Lilly is a prostitute Ned hires to visit his father, known to himself as Mangella St. James (Bob Austin McDonald), a black blues man.

Ned keeps Mangella, once a dentist named Stephen Frangipani, tethered to a wheelchair in his back room, in the hope that his father will recall memories of the mother Ned lost as a young boy.

Ali Perlwitz as Gabriella_with Anthony Manna as Ned in “Mangella.” Photo by Lee Wexler  

While all the actors are excellent, Ali Perlwitz handles a particularly Shakespearean fugue in the play with special finesse.

Ken Ferrigni has written well-observed love story.

Hannah Wilson as Lilly_with Bob Auston McDonald as MangellaSt James in “Mangella.” Photo by Lee Wexler  

Joe Jung directs the action at a lovingly fast-pace, balancing the energy and innocence of the characters with the absurdist storyline.

“Mangella” uses video to enhance its action and illustrate its plot in a very entertaining way.

Ali Perlwitz as Gabriella_with Anthony Manna as Ned in “Mangella” engage in videogaming. Photo by Lee Wexler  

For more information about and performance schedules for “Mangella” ,
go to www.projecttheater.org. Tickets may be purchased through SmartTix at www.smartix.com.

Posted in drama, estranged father, fathers and sons, infedility, memory play, narration, photography, stepmother

Careful what you wish for….

Alan (Keith Nobbs) should have heeded the old warning about being careful what you wish for….

Keith Nobbs as Alan with Kevin Kilner as Doug in a photo by Richard Termine 

What if your dad turned out to be just the sort of creep who abandoned his family as Doug (Kevin Kilner) had when Alan was five?

There is nothing Alan wants more, in Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky,” playing at Theatre Row in a Keen Company production through October 22nd, than to live with the father he never had.

Doug says he has dreamed of having him out to California to be with him, but that Alan’s mother would never let Alan come. Doug also tells him that his mother hounded him and spied on him, but that his current wife, Ronnie (Kellie Overbey), lets him breathe.

Now that Alan wants to go to college, he can be with Doug and his family, 12-year old Jerry (Logan Riley Bruner) and 5-year old Jack (Zachary Mackiewicz), and the two foster children, Carol (Alyssa May Gold) and Penny (Amie Tedesco)who live with them, and maybe with Doug’s help get a part time job.

Alyssa May Gold as Carol with Keith Nobbs as Alan and Amie Tedesco as Penny in a photo by Richard Termine 

The idyllic quickly turns ugly, but expecting the dire outcome in “Lemon Sky” should not be a deterrent to enjoying the play’s unravelling. “Lemon Sky” spools out the story, using narration as a dramatic technique, and promising drama as the narrative unfolds.

Alyssa May Gold’s Carol is a sad teenage femme fatale whose fate, like much of the plot, is perhaps predictible. Kellie Overbey’s Ronnie is strong, understanding, and protective of the life she has chosen for herself.

Kellie Overbey as Ronnie with Keith Nobbs as Alan and Kevin Kilner as Doug in a photo by Richard Termine 

Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky” was written in 1970 and is autobiographical. He is best known as the author of “Talley’s Folly” and
“The Fifth of July.”

“Lemon Sky” is a small play, that is nonetheless engrossing, and all the actors do their best to let it breathe.

For schedule, tickets and information, visit http://keencompany.org/