Players Club of Swarthmore’s ENTER LAUGHING is a valentine to theater and those who love it. This show is a wonderful way to dive into another year of enjoying fine stage performances.
When we first meet the characters, David Kolowitz (a commanding Mike Sokolowski) is holding down an uninspiring job as he dreams about girls and acting. His confidence mesmerizes his best friend Marvin (engagingly portrayed by DJ Gleason). Not so enchanted is his caring but unimaginative boss Mr. Foreman (Director Paul Kerrigan, stepping in seamlessly as a last minute replacement). Mother (Leslie Norton) is both completely believable and the stereotypical Jewish mother, sure she knows what is best for her son. Father (the charming Michael Tamin Yurcaba) wisely knows that his own life will be much smoother if he agrees with Mother. David’s path to the stage is not an easy one!
The three women in David’s life add another layer of complications. We first meet Wanda (Blake Eckert) on a phone call. Sultry Miss B. (Emily-Grace Murray) is the next woman to attract David’s attention. Angela (knock-out Elizabeth Hennessy) holds the additional allure of being, gasp, an actress! When Wanda appears in person, she is sweet and natural. David’s interactions with each of these talented performers keeps us hooked and wondering how it will all turn out.
While Mr. Foreman tries to get David to concentrate on his work, and Mother and Father pursue their own agenda, David gets an audition. Fellow would-be actor Don Baxter (Connor Behm) is so out of his depth you want to hug him. Don Darwin (Adam Young) is equally inept, but, good grief, that smile is disarming. Could David be a star? Well… veteran actor and struggling fundraiser Mr. Marlowe (the always compelling Joe Tranchitella) tries his best but David doesn’t make it easy. Surly state manager Pike (Seth Koch) has a lot of fun just radiating attitude. Doubling as a waiter and a lawyer, Joe Selfridge, has two opportunities to make us laugh with two very different characters.
After a brief appearance early on, we also meet Roger (Ryan Henzes). Like the other characters, there is more to him than one first suspects when he steps in and does David a good turn. As the curtain goes up on the play within a play, the tingle of anticipation runs through everyone on the stage. What happens? You won’t be disappointed. The audience, both onstage and off, is there to celebrate a love of theater, and that David? He’s an actor!
ENTER LAUGHING will definitely start you laughing, keep you laughing, and have you exit laughing. Director Kerrigan has delivered a show that hits on all points. Clever staging keeps the action moving with well defined and simply rendered sets. The show runs for three weekends through January 21st.
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Anne has discovered that she likes writing reviews and thanks you for indulging her.