Rants and Raves

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 cast.

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 4/26/2001

Review 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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12 Angry Men by JC

The Secret Garden by POW

Playmakers 2001 - 2002 Season

Majority Of One
Spiral Staircase
Plaza Suite
Leader Of The Pack

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