Another excellent evening in the Oldcastle Theatre in Bennington. A uniformly fine and balanced cast riveted my attention in Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound. The cast expressed the shape of this play with uncanny skill. I can imagine it seeming long, but not with these wonderful players.
I must say once more how much Nigel Gore’s Tempest at Shakespeare and Company has meant to me. He helped me to see what it really is. His loneliness dominated, and this was right. I will take this performance as a model of for my adventures on stage, and I thank him.
You have only two days left to see Theresa Rebeck’s philatelic thriller at the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington. By all means drop any other plans you may have and treat yourself to a show that is both gripping and tartly amusing, with its sour, disillusioned view of sibling relationships and human behavior inspired by desirable objects.
Yet another success for this Company. There was vivid acting. Elizabeth Aspenlieder, as Mary Pickford, is an arresting actress, her voice resonant, her intentions clear. Ms. Aspenlieder enlivens every role she takes. She makes the character happen. There was an exceptional performance from David Joseph in the role of Charlie Chaplin. His work on the role, particularly the physical aspect of the character had a completeness which he imagined carefully and made his own.
So many things. First, you must get in your car, and go see Hubbard Hall Theatre Company’s The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The performances of David Andrew Snider and Erin Ouellette, the central couple of the drama, must be seen. Theirs were fully realized, lived in performances. Silence became a subtle participant. Their final dialogue was riveting. There was generosity between these actors. Not just listening, but generous listening, selfless listening.
Another outing for this rambling, aging play, this time a good one, expertly cast. The play itself leaves little to the imagination, the acting is all. Nigel Gore’s King Henry was a real tour-de-force. Unflagging energy, powerful and detailed at the same time, one of the best things I have seen him do. Let me say,at the outset,that I admire the whole troupe. They had done this over the top play in the afternoon, came back a few hours later, and gave it all they had. Christine Dekker made the role of Queen Eleanor her own. She gave a super detailed performance that only now and then turned sharp.
Let me say at the outset that Frank Kelley is one of my favorite singers. His sound is his own. Valuable singers sound like themselves, and no other. Mr. Kelley is a generous performer He gives it all he’s got. In this regard he reminds me of the great Norman Treigle. It was a frightening experience to be on stage with Treigle. So great was his concentration, you feared for him, and you feared for yourself. Mr. Kelley is a born story-teller.
Hubbard Hall’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was a wild and wonderful evening. I admired most that the company and its director, David Snider, were able to take a show, based on repetition, one contestant after another, and keep it moving.