There’s Hope for All (four) in REAL ESTATE

by Lila Achuff

Let’s see if you can relate to any of this … you’re a writer with writer’s block (It happens.) … everyone’s raggin’ on you (Can you stand it?) … you just want to stay in your pj’s (OK, you’re depressed.) … it’s time to unload the family home which is in dire need of “help” as are you.  (Do homeowners resemble their homes like pet owners resemble their pets?)  Are you buying into this yet?  Along comes a very attractive realtor spelled DYNAMITE (It could happen.) but you’re busy in your major slump.  (How will you ever climb out of this?)  Oh, did I mention your wife who’s trying very hard to become your ex?  And that she has someone who appears to be your replacement already!  (Minor details)  Yikes!  This is bringing me down!  Just kidding.  Anyway, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, eh?  (Being Canadian, that “eh” in the script was my first clue that this is a play out of Canada.  And I certainly know that everything out of Canada is great!  Well, almost everything.)

Members of the cast of REAL ESTATE, running at Playcrafters of Skippack through July 23.

All right, let’s get to the real deal.  But first let me remind you that I’m all about supporting local theatre.  And your opinion may be totally different from mine on what I’m about to write.  So you’ll need to go check out this play, REAL ESTATE, on your own.  Right?

I pretty much created most of the scenario for you above.  Although the story takes place over a week’s time, we only have a couple of hours wherein we learn that life is what happens when we’re making other plans.  (But you already knew that, eh?)  Joel, played by Stephen Kuerschner, just didn’t see “it” (Alicia Landis as Emma Bard) coming when she blew into his home like Mary Poppins.  And as she was going to give her first real estate task a makeover like none other, little did she know that Cupid was also doing its “thing” over these potential “lovebirds”.  To make matters worse (or funny, depending on how you see it), in strolls his soon-to-be ex, Estelle (portrayed by Laura Shapella) with her whatever b.f., Ted Phillips (played by James Royale).  “Stella” wants Joel’s John Hancock on the divorce papers; Joel wants her; Mary Poppins wants to makeover the house along with Joel; as an entrepreneur, Ted wants to make money.  Who gets what in the end?  Just stay awake.

It’s hard to miss Alicia Landis’ lively, bombastic performance.  (Good going, Alicia!)  To think, there are probably realtors somewhere out there just like her!  But I wasn’t feeling “it” in Mr. Kuerschner’s performance.  I needed him to be much funnier; instead, he seemed to be uncomfortable in that role.   Ms. Shapella and Mr. Royale were just OK, as in, for me, not so memorable.  Something tells me there was a lot more in James Royale than we got to experience.  (Just read his bio!)  What happened to all that comedic expression?  (When you popped out of that door during the curtain call with that huge grin on your face, that’s what I’m talking about.)

It’s so interesting to be sitting in a small theatre especially because of the closeness of the audience to the performers.  Can you imagine what it feels like for the performers?  Wouldn’t it be a hoot to play with the audience instead of just to them/us?  Lots of potential for humor there!  Even with just facial expressions!

Skippack itself seems to have a lot of charm; many places to dip into.  My guest and I recommend the new Fat Cat Café run by two adorable, accommodating owners who make scrumptious desserts.  Tell them I sent you.  They may remember the two customers hastily eating (?) desserts out of the “to go boxes” because we were rushing to get to the 8:00 show.

Go for it!  Create your own memory …

Until the next show …

by Allana Harkin
Directed by Chip Breithaupt
July 7-23, 2011

Playcrafters of Skippack
2011 Store Road
Skippack, PA

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1 comment

Julie July 18, 2011 - 2:54 pm

WOW, you certainly didn’t see the same performance that I did. I laughed my way thru that entire show (as did the rest of the audience)!


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