Carl Dillard of Glenolden and Lauren Jones of Philadelphia in a scene from THE BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH, running at Colonial Playhouse in Aldan, PA through November 19.

‘Camp’ Out for Some Fun at Colonial Playhouse with THE BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH! A GHASTLY GOTHIC THRILLER?

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Carl Dillard of Glenolden and Lauren Jones of Philadelphia in a scene from THE BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH, running at Colonial Playhouse in Aldan, PA through November 19.

Sit back and watch as the plots unwind, rewind and wind up in some hilariously silly situations as directed by Erin Guard.

Set in 19th century Scotland, in a gloriously spooky old family manor by a loch near the moor, Rick Abbot’s BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH pokes great fun at gothic romance themes. Jabez Thorngall (played with wonderful physicality by Carl Dillard), handsome young master of Brackenloch, has just lost his new bride to what all believe to be the curse of Brackenloch, that the “beauteous bride of Brackenloch shall die on her wedding day.” He, however, swiftly finds, at a local pub, a new bride to replace her, one Daphne the barmaid (great performance by Jillian Bosmann), and carries her back to the manor to the disparagement and disappointment of the family. 

Jabez’s sister Glynis (played smartly by Diane Lowenthal), Aunt Alicia (played with plenty of pert and perk by Susan Trigianni), former sweetheart, Comfort (given great expression by Lauren Jones), his fan the adorable young maid, Fenella (enthusiastically and adorably played by Ellen Solderitsch), fawning casserole bearing neighbor Mavis (hilarious, over the top performance by Kathryn Leech), Mrs. Mousely the cook (well done by Cathy Fallon) and Mrs. Magleesh, housekeeper extraordinaire (perfectly performed by Kim Garrison) are not happy campers over this new bride, but bring plenty of camp to their parts!  Beware, however, the women in this show are sometimes just not what they seem!  The men are suspicious, too… Glynis’s husband (cleverly played by Patrick O’Neill) and Andrew the handyman (portrayed with style by Gene Harris) are certainly harboring some secrets.  AND – what did happen to that first blushing bride of Brackenloch??  Schtick around and see… 

Patrick O’Neill of Folsom, Carl Dillard of Glenolden, and Ellen Solderitch of Havertown are members of the cast of Colonial Playhouse's production of THE BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH.

The schtick, comedic movement and timing involved in a show like this calls for a tightly knit cast and this one pulls it off.  Even through a few opening night lighting adjustment faux pas (though the overall lighting design for the show was awesome), the cast of BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH appeared as a cohesive acting troupe, seamlessly holding things together as a team.

Kudos to the talented cast, as well as to the backstage team of Stage Manager, Rebekah Guard, Assistant Stage Manager, Jennine Weber, Assistant to the Director, JP Timlin and to Director Erin Guard for the audience’s laughter, of which there was lots.The lovely set (designed by Ron Hill) deserves a round of applause as well, as it is well balanced, appropriately ‘done-up’ in period style, yet not overdone. It was a pleasure to behold, as was the lighting and sound (Steve Kelly) that went with it.  The ‘flashback’ scenes were particularly clever in execution and design. 

The characters’ costumes (Rebekah Guard, Susan Trigianni and Jennine Weber) are also period, and delightful.  (If you are wondering, the play’s handsome leading man does don the proper Scottish attire, but whether he is wearing it properly remains a mystery.

Fun Fact: Rick Abbot is also known as Jack Sharkey, and writes under pen names Monk Ferris, Mark Chandler, and Mike Johnson as well.

THE BRIDE OF BRACKENLOCH! A GHASTLY GOTHIC THRILLER?
By Rick Abbot
Directed by Erin Guard
November 4 – 19, 2011
Colonial Playhouse
610-622-5773
522 W. Magnolia Ave.                             
Aldan, PA 19018-0091
www.colonialplayhouse.org

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Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3355274/ for additonal information).

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