THE COLUMNIST is a dark little romp through the life of the very real Joseph Alsop. It provides a great bookend to wrap up Langhorne’s good season of philosophically gray shows. While not a family friendly show by any stretch due to themes and language, it is otherwise a must see show.
The set itself is a very well functioning character, beautifully designed (John Helmke) with lots of small touches that added to the atmosphere. Lighting was efficient and sound effects (Bobby Resier) were rarely more than a second off. The crew was fair at set changes with only a few minor goofs, however the unexpected levity of a set change gaffe gave the audience a much needed laugh in the deepest darkest moments of David Auburn’s play.
Bernard DiCasimirro (Joe Alsop) was fantastic as Joe. He managed to portray both an innate effeminate nature and a strong forceful personality that truly felt like a force to be reckoned with. He portrays the emotional ups and downs with a striking level of aptitude.
John Mellon (Andrei) was adorable to watch as Andrei however, his acting left a lot wanting. His accent was spotty and slid all over the place before it could have made sense for it to happen. Often the emotional states his character was supposed to be in were not conveyed believably.
Rusty Flounders (Stewart Alsop) was perfectly cast. Conveying the passion of a man who truly cares for his brother. Flounders’ performance sets the bar for all other acting in the show and he sets it high. His natural charisma really helped the character.
Andrea Ambs (Susan Mary) is a strong actress in a difficult role. She pulls if off very well, and cries quite naturally, a hard talent to master.
Amanada Valenti (Abigail) is a joy to watch. She has a certain level of innocence and glee that enhances her performance on many levels. She deftly plays a young woman at various stages of her life. She is the only person in the cast to show that time has passed in her body language and mannerisms, in a show that is supposed to take place over two decades.
John Eldis (Halberstam) provides a steady but strong attitude to a character who really needs to holds his own against the powerhouse performances of DiCasimirro and Flounders, and he manages to with a level of righteous anger.
by David Auburn
Directed by Aaron Wexler
October 17 – November 1, 2014
Spring Garden Mill, Tyler State Park
Route 332, 1440 Newtown-Richboro Road
Newtown, PA 18940