Front Row Center – November 2014

Front Row Center

Guest Review by Barbara Clippinger

Bravo For Bedtime


front-rowKudos to Director Roseann Wilshire, Assistant Director Arleen Pace, and the first-rate cast and crew for pulling off Norm Foster’s Bedtime Stories with only an unbelievable three weeks to get it together.

Everyone rallied round the clock as they put together a different set, created new costumes, and re-designed the lighting and sound. Special credit must be given to all the performers who miraculously learned their lines in such a short period of time and to Roseann Wilshire and Arlene Pace for bringing Bedtime Stories to life. Norm Foster’s offering is a six-pack of over the top vignettes loaded with laughs for adult audiences.

The first scene gives us a middle age couple played by Doug Pinkerton and Kathleen Morris who are priceless as the middle age couple having sex on the radio for $5000. Ed Tasca as the radio DJ gives a solid and stellar performance.

The second sketch is about two old high school friends who reconnect and rekindle a moment from their past. Ken Yakiwchuk is the jaunty yet dying young man and Collette Clavadetscher his visitor, who is alternately touching and amusing as she recounts previous times.

The third scene is a break-in robbery that leads to some unexpected bonding. Jamie Littlejohn plays the part of Davey, a clumsy thief. Disguised as a male, she has the audience wondering who the new actor is. She does a remarkable job and Michael Warren gives us a comical performance as her inept co-thief.

The second act begins with Tommy Quick, a shock rocker, and one of his overly devoted fans. Littlejohn plays the aging male rock star with an instinctive flair and pazazz. Tina Leonard as the 19 year old fan is energetic and bubbly. It’s difficult to pinpoint one performance that outshines another but I can’t stop thinking of Kathleen Morris’s characterization of the scatterbrained accident-prone stripper. She is marvelous, and the physical shtick that she brings to the stage is hilarious and top notch. Ken Yakiwchuk is terrific as her sleazy strip joint boss.

The final act takes us back to the beginning of the play and closes the bedroom adventure with Michael Warren and Chet Beewswager as delightful blundering furniture movers. Foster slickly weaves in several running gags throughout the play that hook the play together. He brings in the forgetful taxi cab driver at the end, skillfully portrayed by Judy Long.

Stage manager Diane Jones kept everyone going as did assistant stage manager Karen Moebs and Richard Roche Producer. Set design by Dana Douin and Florette Schnelle with painting assistance from Roberta Hilleman. Richard Bansbach and crew Jon Kollin, Richard Thompson, David Bryen and Bryan Selesky re-did the set in a timely manner. Joan Warren was in charge of props. Sound was provided by Karen Lee, J.E. Jack and Hallie Shepherd. Lighting by Pierre Huot and Audrey Zikmund. Makeup Maryann Gibbard and Sandy Topazio and lastly wardrobe Wendy and Lorne Hamblin. Bedtime Stories is the most fun you’ll have in someone else’s bedroom.

Coming to the main stage next month November 7th—16th is the Harold Pinter play Betrayal, a story of love and perfidy among the literati, directed by Neil Checkoway.




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