DCP Reimagines the Past at THE SNOW BALL

by Dennis Bloh

A.R. Gurney writes plays with heart that investigates some of life’s simplest problems. THE SNOW BALL fits neatly into that genre. THE SNOW BALL is about a group of friends who grew up together taking ballroom dancing lessons together as a rite of passage. The play looks back from the point of view of one of the group, now much older, but seemingly less wiser. The play centers on the efforts of two members Cooper Jones (the narrator) and Lucy Dunbar to reenact the “The Snow Ball” of years past. They connive, cajole and wheedle their way to relive the memories of simpler times. Cooper and Lucy focus on finding Jack Daley and Kitty Price, the stars of The Snow Ball. In the meantime Lucy is determined to wrench Cooper away from his wife.

Director Ray Thompson does a great job of capturing both the warmth and insight that is so rich in this play. It is hard to have mature adults to act like teenagers but the entire cast works hard at embracing the moments of their character’s youth. It is truly an ensemble piece. As our narrator and flawed protagonist. R. Cameron Purdy does an engaging job of connecting with the audience. He plays his character’s sense of confusion with great skill.

As Lucy, Nancy Server Thompson portrays the character as both saddened by the way her life has folded and desperate to rekindle a spark with Cooper who is bored with his marriage to Liz. Liz played by Doreen Haugh captures with great nuance as both the wife too busy to nurture her husband and the woman willing to fight to get him back.

Jack and Kitty whose back story drives a lot of the narrative is played as young dancers by Noah Baliles and Casey Gerhart. They are charming and convincing as the stars of the dancing school. Their older versions are played by Mark Henry and Casey’s mother, Cindy Gerhart. As a literary conceit, the dancing couples both do a great job of moving the plot along. Everyone else in the cast contributes mightily to this wonderful group effort.

Thompson’s tech crew deserve kudos for a very adaptable set, lovely costumes, appropriate lighting and well thought out sound. Special notice to the Stage Manager and her crew. They do a great job keeping the many moving parts in motion.

DCP Theatre is a well-established, reputable group that consistently produces well prepared, intelligent plays while having fun doing it. The joy of the cast is palpable and to me that what community theater is about. THE SNOW BALL continues until February 14. Call 215-234-0966 for tickets.

by A. R. Gurney
Directed by Ray Thompson
January 30 – February 14, 2015
DCP Theatre
795 Ridge Rd.
Telford, PA 18969

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