The Kent County Theater Guild has enjoyed tremendous success with a local favorite holiday treat THE FARNDALE AVENUE HOUSING ESTATE TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD DRAMATIC SOCIETY’S PRODUCTION OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin. They have staged this show again due to popular demand.
Full disclosure for me – I don’t care for this type of play or its humor (the rest of the audience clearly loved it). It is a play-within-a-play about a community theater group, with several elderly women, overcoming obstacles to stage their classic holiday production. What I lack in enthusiasm for such a vehicle, I want to make up for by pointing out just how solid this production is otherwise. The script is nothing more than one gag after another with zero character development but the performances of the actors manage to keep sparks in humor that otherwise can get old really fast. Bravo to the cast for accomplishing this for, as I said, the audience obviously enjoyed themselves.
Mrs. Reece, our erstwhile hostess for the production, is played by Ginger Angstadt whose vocal gifts were much appreciated by this reviewer. She has such a lovely voice and great sense of fun. Cast members Necia Beck (Thelma), Aubrey Edwards (Felicity) and Travis Kirspel as Gordon superbly play off each other in what can be a difficult challenge because of the nature of the script. As an actor you don’t have much to build on with the material but these performers hone right in on the eccentricities of their respective characters.
Showcased in this madcap production are community theater actors forced to take on roles that clearly they are not suited for in any way, shape or form. Everything goes wrong and, in fact, the entire cast is late for the show because they are caught in a traffic jam in Kitts Hummock. That line designed for the locals got a big laugh because those who live in Kent County know that there is little traffic to speak of ever in the place known as Kitts Hummock.
It is to the great credit of director Patti Gatto who keeps the production tight as one must as control can be lost so easily with the constant gags. The audience got into the spirit of the show which made it a fun night of theater for many.
By David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin, Jr.
Directed by Patti Gallo
Assisted by Will Vay
December 2-December 11, 2011
Kent County Theater Guild
140 E. Roosevelt
800-838-3006 for tickets