Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Woman In White (Lifeline Theatre Company)

Let me preface this review with a little warning:
If you like to look at women’s legs, this is probably not the play for you.

Personally, I can do without legs for 3 hours, so this show was a great fit for me.

Lifeline Theater has a long history of turning long books into long plays and this time they really hit it out of the park!

Let’s start with a long synopsis of the classic “The Woman In White”. The Woman In White is the first modern mystery ever written. It was very popular in 1859 and was written by the legendary Wilkie Collins. The story centers on this girl named Laura and her art teacher, Walter. And her sister?

Well, Laura falls in love with Walter ( a valiant and artistic Nicholas Bailey), but since Walter is poor, she has to marry this guy played by the Acting Robot and Eldritch God of Dialect Robert Kauzlaric. I forgot his character’s name, but he is the bad guy, I think. Then there is this other guy from either Scotland or Italy and all these rats in birdcages on a stick was there, too. That guy was played with great gayness by Christopher Walsh.

Now before you get all uppity about the word “gayness”, let me explain what I mean. If you are on the Jeff Committee, and you are watching an old timey play, the gayer the dudes act, the better the play is. So if you are playing a guy who wears a cape and rings and you have huge monologues that go nowhere, than you better put a little bit of wiggle in those big manly hips of yours. Christopher Walsh shakes those hips with the confidence of a 19 year old twink.

Our woman in white in this production is played with great attractiveness by Maggie Scrantom. This kid has it all. At first you think she is someone else because she is acting like somebody sewed her hands on backwards, but then you are like, “Oh, thank God her hands are on right. She was just doing that Brad Pitt crazy person hands thing.”

A note for actors: All crazy people have no control over their hands.

There is a goofy Frenchman named Louis (played with rawkus hilarity by Greg Wenz), there is a bossy sister (the deliberate and handsome Lucy Carapetyan) and a few different old guys (the always incredible and never bending Don Bender).

BUT, let me tell you where the real acting is in this show. There are 2 women who play 30 characters combined. They are the maids, the housekeepers, the church clerks, the mothers, the wives, and they might have even played the mice in the birdcages! Loretta Rezos and Anita Deely have a super hard job in this show, and they do an incredible job.

When you do plays like this, most theatre goers spend all their time trying to bang the leads, but we actors, we know where the honey is. It’s with the actors who play all the roles that need to be played. You can’t just trust those to anyone, and in my opinion, you save those roles for the most talented actors you can find. Anybody can play a screaming lady or a guy with a mustache, but not everyone can make each of their 6 characters diverse and believable and unrecognizable from the last.

If you are an actor, The Woman In White is a good play to see because it is a Master’s Class in this sort of stuff.

I learned a lot about England and I also had some cookies in their beautiful lobby!

Don’t miss this great show that will keep you thinking about what is happening and who the real killer is!!


-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

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