Roseann Wilshire recently concluded another successful run of her Actors’ Showcase. Many of her students will now go on to audition at other theatrical productions in the area.
In “Philadelphia,” by David Ives, the opening skit in the August showcase, Zane Pumiglia was pitted against Pam Pettus, who portrayed a quizzical cafe waitress with just the right degree of gumption to keep the audience laughing. Pierre Blackburn held his own in making up the trio in this scene.
“Turning Point,” by Arthur Laurents, featured a convincing and well-choreographed “chick fight” between newcomer Linda Freeman and established veteran Sharon Lowry.
“Cheating Cheaters,” by Patrick Shanley, saw Jutta McAdam and Karen Hughes playing naughty nuns collecting illegal money and monitoring each other in the consumption of booze. McAdam took full advantage of her comical leg up, and was a delight to watch.
“Jenny’s House of Joy,” by Norm Foster, had a scantily dressed Sharon Lowry taunting Christine L’Ecluse, who played long-suffering housewife Clara, complaining about the enabling of her husband’s infidelities to a house madam, well portrayed by Rosann Balbontin. L’Ecluse was convincing and played her part with the correct degree of irony and indignation. The faint Southern drawl used by the players was noticeably successful.
“Wrong Number,” by Carol Burnett, featured Johan Dirkes and Linda Freeman, and was well cast. Freeman kept up her side of the paranoid and suspicious wife until the final surprise denouement. Dirkes was the perfect “innocent” husband.
In an excerpt from the play “Murder by Proxy,” written by local playwright Michael Warren, newcomer Emily Crocker was paired with veteran Zane Pumiglia. Her successful debut should spur Crocker on to even greater achievements. Pumiglia employed some very interesting scene stealers.
In “Fade to Black,” Norb Michel played against a raucous and mocking voice that assailed him from behind a black curtain offstage. His convincing portrayal of frustration and interaction with the voice was a tribute to his abilities. The voice came from veteran actor Karen Hughes, who did her job splendidly as always.
“Cemetery Club,” by Ivan Menchell, featured equal interaction between Sharon Lowry, Pam Pettus and newcomer Sue Quiriconi. The back and forth was skillfully maintained and Pettus enhanced her role with great comical timing.
Concluding the showcase was “Visiting Hours, Plaster” by Richard Harris. Jutta McAdam did a good job of the blocking in a piece in which Zane Pumiglia’s character is necessarily confined to his hospital bed. Kudos to McAdam, who always entertains with her puckish and funny character portrayals.