Shows like BLUEBIRD exist in an unapologetic state of “We are going to do art, and we don’t care if you like it.” Luckily, it’s easy to enjoy the Langhorne Players’ production of BLUEBIRD. A disturbing and dirty drive into the darkness of the driver and his fares. BLUEBIRD does have some strong language, but it is not gratuitous and fits the show very well.
One of the things I like most about seeing shows by Langhorne Players are the beautiful and well designed sets (Ken Junkins) and this one was exceptional above and beyond, a particular favorite of mine was the gorgeous graffiti art on the far wall (Jonathan Conner of the SAGE coalition). Each scene transitioned very well into the next. The lighting was efficient and helped with the moods (Jack Bathke, Gavin McCoy). While not all the accents were perfect, they were for the most part very consistent. Ken Junkins put together a strong cast that worked very well for the subject matter.
Brian A. Bara (Robert Greenwood/Andy) was terrific, he plays a tortured soul very well. Playing double suited him well, as the two characters were completely different from one another. Hans Peters (Guvnor) was delightful as the joke-telling fare. His accent was spotty but his characterizations were fantastic. Bobby Resier (Billy Lee) was hilarious, he was fantastic as the British punk drummer and added a certain amount of levity to what is other a very heavy show. Ken Ammerman (Richard) was amazing. He went through an entire arc of his character in the back of the taxi cab, and I found myself wishing to know whether or not he made his own long drive that night.
Franceso Arco (Girl/Young Woman) didnt have a large part but she made it her own. Barbara Cavanaugh (Janine) was wonderful and while she slipped on her accent a few times she otherwise did a great job as the lusty fare. Hayley Rubins-Topoleski (Angela Davies) was perfect as the working girl, she played simultaneously a hard persona, and a person you really wanted to protect.
Then we have the stars of the show Nigel Rogers (Jimmy Macneill) and Kelly Lake (Clare) these two had amazing chemistry together. The ups and downs ins and outs of these two characters were both heartbreaking and tear jerking. They were both very believable and never missed a beat or a chance to sucker punch you with emotions.
If you find yourself wanting a show that you can laugh and cry at, then finish off summer with the emotionally driven BLUEBIRD.
by Simon Stephens
Directed by Ken Junkins
September 5-20, 2014
Spring Garden Mill, Tyler State Park
Route 332, 1440 Newtown-Richboro Road
Newtown, PA 18940