Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jolly Good, Pip Pip

I saw The Winslow Boy tonight, at Rockville Little Theatre. Directed by Michael Kharfen, the show was just top-notch.

Good set, good costumes, the music was nice and never overbearing, and the transitions between scenes, under projected reel-footage from Edwardian Oxford was an interesting tool for maintaining the mood.

But what of the acting, you ask... Kharfen knows how to pick 'em. The Pater Familias was played with vulnerable grit and determination by the very human Albert Coia. His character grows weaker as the show progresses, and it's clear in his physicality and his voice exactly what he's feeling. Great work.

Andrea Spitz (for whom I am admittedly biased) did a terrific job as daughter Catherine. What is it about her playing strong women named Catherine?? Okay, granted, the last one was nearly two years ago, but she knows how to play 'em. Catherine's increasing responsibility in the family, coupled with a strained romance and occupation with Women's Suffrage show several of her facets; something not easily accomplished from a taciturn Brit.

One of the best performances of the night came from Bill Taylor, in the role of Sir Robert Morton. I was reminded a bit of Remains of the Day by his performance, there was so much Morton was feeling, and incapable of saying. He said more with a handshake than some can do with a page-length monologue. I'm just saying.

Leta Hall was great as Violet, the maid, aka the only Cockney amidst the proper Brits. She added a much-needed humanity to the play. Everyone was tight-lipped, restrained, and effectively English, while Violet begins the show with the warmest show of affection of the entire show-- she hugs the shivering son, Ronnie. As the show progresses, the Watsons can no longer afford to keep her on as the maid, but they do anyway. They haven't the heart to dismiss her, and her energy and light keep certain scenes moving that would otherwise come to a halt. Well done.

It's been a long week. It'll be another one, presently. That's all the word that's fit to print, so I'm out of here.


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