I only caught one play on the weekend but I am still reeling from the experience!
A flawlessly fabulous production, in every theatrical aspect … this one is a must see for discriminating “theater lovers”! A surefire hit … book seats today!
A spellbinding classic family drama, based on Henry James’ 1881 novel, called Washington Square, the revised and retitled play (The Heiress) was beautifully penned by Ruth and Augustus Goetz. The original Broadway production premiered in 1947, starring Basil Rathbone, earning him a Tony Award actor nomination, as Dr. Sloper. Two years later, the 1949 film adaptation received four Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Olivia de Havilland. In fact, each revival of the play through the years, has garnered major nominations and awards. A great story is timeless! Under the passionate and well timed direction of Dámaso Rodriguez, the current cast in Pasadena is breathtakingly inspiring! The eternally handsome Richard Chamberlain’s performance is brilliantly multi layered! The world adored him in the 1960s as “Dr. Kildare,” a mega TV hit, and his work through the years since, is always applauded.
Hypnotically focused here as the affluent, domineering, and cold hearted Dr. Sloper, he is supported by two spellbindingly gifted female lead actresses. Heather Tom is heartwrenching as Catherine, his proper and plain looking sensible daughter, and heir to his fortune, and Julia Duffy is excellent as Aunt Lavinia, who has Catherine’s well being at heart. When Morris, a dashing but penniless young man … (played with flairful spirit by Steve Coombs) professes his undying love for Catherine … family sparks fly! Dr. Sloper, who doubts his sincerity, and sees Morris as an opportunistic fortune hunter … whisks his daughter away on a six month trip to Europe. Not to be easily discouraged, Morris waits … and then continues his pursuit of Catherine’s heart, proposing marriage, on their return. Is the suspicious Doctor correct in his despicable opinion of Morris?
Will the two young people unite in matrimony? You’ll just have to go see this fine play for your selves to find out! The remainder of this commendable cast in supporting roles includes: Gigi Bermingham as Elizabeth, Chris Reinacher as Arthur, Elizabeth Tobias, great fun as Maria the servant, Anneliese Van Der Pol as Marian, and Jill Van Velzer as Mrs. Montgomery.
Technically stunning as well … John Iacovelli has created an elegantly classy set, and Leah Piehl’s stunning period costumes circa 1850, are absolutely gorgeous! Lighting by Brian Gale and Sound by Doug Newell round out the all round meticulous magic! This is a deliciously involving play! Do see it! Running through May 20 at The Historic Pasadena Playhouse located at 39 S. El Molino in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or visit their box office.
Sleeping Ugly –A World Premiere. Written by Arnold Schulman and Directed by Chris DeCarlo.
Billed as an adult “romantic comedy fairy tale,” this one sounds like whacky fun! The press notes state in part … A story of love, lust, longing, and belonging … Sex and the passion and pain of living with a werewolf … Huh? Can’t wait! Will tell you all about it in my next column. For early booking, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1.
Well, that’s my story for this time. See you next week, with more entertainment suggestions….