Playmakers Theater continues
to revive itself by producing the successful courtroom drama
"Twelve Angry Men". This brilliantly written examination
of the opposing forces of logic and emotion in a hot, summer
jury room displays a challenging spectrum of humanity. With one
man's life hanging in the balance, 12 men struggle with the civic
responsibility of determining the guilt or innocence of the accused.
The play invites us into the deliberation room filled with fallible,
prejudiced and unsure men capably portrayed by a strong ensemble
Lee Jeansonne and Ken Richard
create the core of the conflict by playing the intelligent and
flexible juror with reasonable doubt versus the belligerent and
frequently explosive characterization of juror #3. Other players
include Kenneth Faherty as a self-poisoned bigot and frank Levy
as the jury foreman determined to maintain order. Charles Vaught
shares the stage with his son Andy Vaught and Josh Elder, Lou
Gavin, Ronnie Pogue, Russell Krosgard, Jim Bailey and Ken Hudgins
fill the remaining spectrum of white, urban males on the jury.
Stephen Tosterud is the bailiff and the director, Jeff Sowerwine,
provides the voice of the judge. This was a well-written, well-executed
and thought-provoking play.
Submitted by John Carambat
of "The Secret Garden" - Slidell Little Theater
"The Secret Garden"
is in full bloom on the stage at Slidell Little Theater. Director
Daniel Trotter and Assistant Director Melissa Sturgis have assembled
a stellar cast for this dramatic musical. It tells the story
of Mary Lennox, an orphaned girl who is sent to live with her
unhappy uncle, Archibald Craven, and sickly cousin Colin, in
Northern England. She discovers a secret garden, and in bringing
it back to life revitalizes the inhabitants of the Manor. Trotter's
staging of the recurring visits by spirits in Mary's memories
is well executed.
Ginny Award winning actress Sara
Pagones gives her portrayal of Lily, Craven's deceased wife.
In combination with her superior vocal talents, she breathes
life into the ghostly specter of the beloved Lily.
Konley Smith is broodingly wonderful
as Archibald Craven, still in mourning for his wife Lily after
10 years. He haunts the halls of the Manor with a gloomy presence
that lends an air of mystery to the surroundings. Smith and Pagones
share a wonderful duet with "How Could I Ever Know".
Michael McAndrew is ideally cast
as Doctor Neville Craven, Archibald's brother. His portrayal
is oppressive and sinister as he dreams of his love for Lily
and finally gaining control of the Manor. His duet with Smith
on "Lily's Eyes" is beautifully rendered.
Emily Johnson is quite spirited
as the lonely orphan Mary Lennox. She handles the transformation
from spoiled child to caring young girl with ease and believability.
Jonathon Arnold is wonderfully
alive as Dickon, a young lad who is neighbor to the Manor and
befriends Mary. His musical numbers, especially "Winter's
On The Way", are spirited and vibrant.
There is fine work from the supporting
cast, including Fred Martinez, Naimi Schenck, Caki Watson, Terrence
Foster, Herric Emery and Paula Thompson.
"The Secret Garden"
had its final performances on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and
16, at 8 pm.
Penelope O. Wight - 9/15/2000
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