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November 2018 Limelight Review

MPI 2019-2020 Season Announcement!

Mariemont Players Inc. is excited to announce our 2019-2020 season!

Is He Dead?

Adapted by David Ives (Comedy)

Directed by Michele Mascari

Performance Dates: September 13-29, 2019

Synopsis: Jean-Francois Millet, a young painter of genius, is in love with Marie Leroux but in debt to a villainous picture-dealer, Bastien Andre. Andre forecloses on Millet, threatening debtor's prison unless Marie marries him. Millet realizes that the only way he can pay his debts and keep Marie from marrying Andre is to die, as it is only dead painters who achieve fame and fortune. Millet fakes his death and prospers, all while passing himself off as his own sister, the Widow Tillou. Now a rich "widow," he must find a way to get out of a dress, return to life, and marry Marie.

Broadway Bound

By Neil Simon (Comedy)

Directed by Jerry Wiesenhahn

Performance Dates: November 8-24, 2019

Synopsis: Part three of Neil Simon's acclaimed autobiographical trilogy finds Eugene and his older brother Stanley trying to break into the world of show business as professional comedy writers while coping with their parents break-up and eventual divorce. When their material is broadcast on the radio for the first time, the family is upset to hear a thinly-veiled portrait of themselves played for laughs.

Evelyn in Purgatory 

By Topher Payne (Dark Comedy)

Directed by Jennifer Keith

Performance Dates: January 10-26, 2020

Synopsis: When a complaint is filed against one of the 70,000 teachers in New York’s public schools, they’re sent to a Reassignment Center, one of a series of empty offices in the Department of Education Building. There, they sit and wait for their case to be reviewed. Usually for months. Sometimes for over a year. A claim of improper behavior by a failing student lands Evelyn Reid in “the rubber room,” where she encounters a group of teachers, some guilty, some not, who have long since lost any hope of returning to a classroom. Over the course of the school year, these colleagues form an unlikely alliance, reminding each other of forgotten passions, emerging to face life outside in unexpected new directions. They also learn French and workshop a screenplay.

Earth and Sky

By Douglas Post (Thriller)

Directed by Jef Brown

Performance Dates: March 13-29, 2020

Synopsis: EARTH AND SKY is a poetic thriller about a would-be poet and part-time librarian named Sara McKeon whose lover of ten weeks, David Ames, is found dead one hot August morning in the city of Chicago. It appears that David, owner and manager of an expensive art-deco restaurant, may have been involved in several illicit activities including kidnapping, rape and murder. Unable to believe that the man she gave her heart to was a killer, and outraged that the police seem to have closed the book on the case, Sara begins her own investigation of the crime and is led deeper and deeper through the urban labyrinth into the contemporary underworld. As the detective story moves forward in time, scenes from the love affair take us back to the moment when Sara and David first met. Finally the plots converge, and Sara finds herself face to face with the person who murdered her beloved.

The Art of Dining

By Tina Howe (Comedy)

Directed by Laura Gossett

Performance Dates: May 8-24, 2020

Synopsis: Cal and Ellen are the owners and sole staff of a small, elegant gourmet restaurant. Cal's main preoccupation is paying back the $75,000 it cost to start it up, and that means packing in the customers. Chef Ellen is preoccupied with the food's quality and stopping Cal from sampling the ingredients. The diners act out their own private dramas over dinner and their conversations are exquisite burlesques of contemporary attitudes. There's a sensual middle aged couple who go into paroxysms of ecstasy just reading the menu and then there's three crass chic young career women. Finally, there's Elizabeth, a maladroit, shy and neurotic writer who's dining with her prospective publisher. Her actions and conversation are unintentionally hilarious and a delicious example of how not to act and what not to talk about while dining.

Somewhere in Between

By Craig Pospisil (Romantic Comedy)

Directed by Dan Maloney

Performance Dates: July 10-26, 2020

Synopsis: Told in ten scenes, the play begins in the dark, as Jasper confesses his feelings of isolation to the audience. But he becomes unnerved in the dark and calls for lights. In the first scene, Jasper is stuck between floors on an elevator with a claustrophobic man, who goes quickly and hilariously over the edge. At work, a sleazy coworker gives him farcical advice on how to pick up women, and that night Jasper goes to a bookstore and tries to pick up a pretty clerk, Holly. He strikes out badly, but is picked up by another woman, who takes him home…where she lives with her boyfriend. A ride on the subway turns into a comic free-for-all as he and other riders enthusiastically give advice to a lost tourist. Jasper crosses paths with Holly again at a party and gamely starts a conversation, hoping she won't recognize him, but she does and teases him flirtatiously. On their first date, Jasper and Holly go to a cozy restaurant for quiet conversation, but the couple seated on one side of them erupts in a battle of the sexes, while the couple on the other side engages in passionate verbal foreplay. Later, Jasper walks Holly home and their conversation seems mundane, but their fantasies about each other are anything but. A chance encounter with a homeless man forces Jasper to gain some perspective on his life. Back at work, Jasper snaps when a friend tells him Holly is dating someone else. He loses his cool, kicks a chair, breaks his foot, and gets fired. Feeling suddenly liberated, he hobbles to Holly's bookstore and asks her if she is seeing someone else. She isn't. They kiss—and leave immediately for the hospital. In the end, Jasper briefly talks to the audience again, understanding he must accept life's uncertainties, which aren't all bad, and make the best of things.

Save the Date!

Mariemont Players 2018 Holiday Party

Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 6:00pm

Please bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. When you respond to the EVITE (coming soon), please let us know what you plan to bring!

Entree, wine, beer and assorted soft drinks will be provided.

Broadway World Nominations

Broadway World is accepting nominations for its 17-18 Cincinnati Awards.

They are accepting nominations for both professional and non-professional productions.

If you have a second, nominate your favorite MPI show, actor, or actress, and of course, MPI as your favorite theater.

Productions that opened between 10/1/2017 and 9/30/2018 are eligible, so that includes the following MPI shows:

The Silver Whistle

Becky’s New Car

Around the World in 80 Days

All the Way

The Cemetery Club

Nominations are due by 10/31/2018, and voting will take place in November/December.

Submit nominations here!

Current Show

More Fun Than Bowling opens November 2!

MPI audiences will remember Steven Dietz’ distinct, comic voice from last year’s hit, Becky’s New Car ! More vivid characters and whacky actions await in this thoroughly unique comedy. And, for those who thought bowling was merely a matter of rolling a ball and knocking down some pins, this play examines the zen of bowling in a way that will change your thinking forever...

More Fun than Bowling is directed by Laura Gossett and features the talents of Patrick KramerJackie MiesleElizabeth L. TaylorNatasha Boeckmann, and Mark Metzner.

Performances run November 2-18, 2018.

To order tickets for More Fun than Bowling, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 OR order online at www.mariemontplayers.com. All seats are reserved and $20 each.

All Around Town   

  • Tim Carney will play Uncle Morty and Samantha Toberman will play Aunt Sadie in Cincinnati Music Theatre’s production of My Favorite Year. Performance dates: November 9-17.
  • Sally Fint will play Brooke Wyeth, Linda Callahan will play Silda Grauman and Dan Maloney will play Trip Wyeth in Other Desert Cities at Middletown Lyric Theater. Performance dates: November 9-17.
  • Jay GossettLaura GossettMark MetznerPatricia MullinsRyan OelkerKristen Vincenty, and Jim Waldfogle have been cast in the Beechmont Players production of A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play!, directed by Jerry Wiesenhahn. Performance dates: December 14-16.
  • Dee Anne Bryll will play Sunny in the Falcon Theatre production of The Exonerated. Performance dates: January 25-February 9, 2019.
  • Patricia Mullins will play a number of roles in the Village Players production of Women Playing Hamlet. Performance dates: February 15-23, 2019.
  • Jerry Wiesenhahn will direct the Footlighters Inc. production of First Date. Performance dates: February 14-March 2, 2019.
  • Linda Callahan will play Gingy in The Drama Workshop’s production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Performance dates: February 22-March 10, 2019.

October, 2018 Play Reading Report

By Anna Nixon     

Thanks to Dava Lynn, we were introduced to a brand new British play about D-Day in the Second World War when Eisenhower and the American forces joined with other European servicemen to try to finally end the six year war.

The tension in the play and in D-Day itself was caused by the typically unpredictable English Channel weather and the rival American and Scottish meteorologists’ forecasts. The meteorologists were agonized by the decision to be made by Ike based on their information which resulted in the postponement of the invasion until Tuesday, June 6th.

The Scottish meteorologist was also waiting for the difficult birth of his second child, which did not help his frame of mind. His son was born safely, mother and son were fine and D-Day was successful despite much loss of life.

An amazing play - “Pressure” by David Haig. 

Thank you again, Dava and Joyce for your help and cookies!

Readers were: Laura HovlandJoyce and Art KibbyFred RothzeidDava LynnKaren ZauggJohn Nixon and yours truly. 

Next reading: Tuesday Nov. 20th. at 7.30 pm.

Membership

MPI Membership Renewal – Please stay and play with us for another year!

The 2018-2019 membership year began July 1st and we hope you will renew! If you haven’t sent your renewal ($15 for individual or $25 for family), please do so as soon as possible so you can continue to receive the Limelight Review, party invitations, and other news!

The Cemetery Club - "Laughter and tears and joy"

Lobby Display: “Very nice lobby display that mixed head shots as well as photos from the show.  The use of the leaves in the background was both a great design feature as well as complimentary to the thematic material of the show.”

Pre-Show“I thought the playlist used for the pre-show music was extremely clever.  These would’ve been the tunes that these ladies would’ve listened to as they grew up and into early adulthood.”

Program: “Teresa Johns put together a beautiful playbill.  The layout, font and format made it easy to read.  I always love seeing headshots next to bios.  I saw no obvious errors which is the sign of a good editor.  The donors list at the back is quite impressive, kudos to MPI for having and keeping such a large patron base!”

Set Design, Décor, Construction: “Ryan Oelker designed a fantastic set.  It gave us mid-1980’s suburban sitcom, with the kitchen area leading off one side and the staircase up the back.  It provided several exits for the actors to use but enough playing space for the director to block the action.  The staircase landing provided a different level from the main stage.” “Master Carpenter Bill Pauly, Assistant Art Kibby and team constructed a solid set that realized the design and was fully functional for the actors.” “The ‘80’s living room of a recent widow was neat and clean with delicate decorative pieces and pictures in frames.”

Lighting Design & Execution: “The overall lighting of the living room scenes had a look and color that was complimentary to the actors on stage.  The actors looked natural.  The entire set was evenly lit, with no obvious shadows or dark corners.” “There were several scenes which required a tight execution of cues… ALL cues were well executed! They were well synchronized with the scenes and the action within scenes, including lights on and off during the after-wedding scene and during the individual moments in the cemetery. The timing was critical and the person running the board (not sure if it was Mr. Kramer or Mr. Misner that day) did an excellent job hitting all the cues. Good job!”

Sound Design & Execution: “The dancing scene that utilized the record player was done well, with a well-balanced volume that was drunk-dancing loud, but that still didn’t overpower the actor’s voices. It then was brought to a nice level when turned down, being audible but staying nicely low and unobtrusive in the background. The music selection was nice for the time, the place, and the scene.”

Costume Design: “BRAVO to the designers for finding all the variations of fur that Lucille kept purchasing! The design of the bridesmaid dresses was also spot-on.” “I know Linda Roll’sexpertise and creativity quite well, and she did not disappoint with the costuming of this production! Each character’s style of dress fit her personality perfectly.”

Make-Up & Hair Design: “For the female cast members who wore wigs, they looked VERY realistic (especially Ida’s). Make-up was tastefully done and didn’t require being overstated at all.”

Producer: “Kristin Vincenty has produced another winner for Mariemont! All of the technical elements were beautifully executed and made for a visually and emotionally stunning performance. Every staff member gave their element a high level of talent and hard work and it showed during this performance.”

Acting:

MARY ANN SMITH as IDA: “Ms. Smith commanded the stage as the driving force of common sense and level-headedness with this group of widows. She made it clear that Ida accepted her friends’ eccentricities as well as her own, as she tried to keep them all on sanity’s path. Ms. Smith evoked laughter and tears from the audience and made us cheer for Ida as she found a new kind of happiness.” “I felt that I came to understand Ida very well through this performance.”

CHESSIE VIGRAN as DORIS: “She was not afraid to show Doris’ weaknesses, both physical weakness and weakness of character that lead her to betray a friend… Ms. Vigran’sperformance was beautiful!” “There was a real self-assuredness given off with everything that she did. Movements onstage were purposeful, with thought being given to everything she did.”

BARBARA H. RUSSELL as LUCILLE: Mrs. Russell made me laugh out loud from the moment she stepped onto the stage! Her comedic timing was impeccable. She landed jokes that could have fallen flat in the hands of weaker actors.” “The look on Lucille’s face after her admitting what her life was really like, and later when Ida walks away when Lucille pulls off her wig, was really touching. I certainly felt that I got a deep look into Lucille at that point.”

ARNY STOLLER as SAM: “A nice solid performance.” “Arny kept his character just slightly “behind” the three leading ladies (they were most definitely the ones in control), so you also felt at times that he was being played. This was another instance where he brought it to life so that it was completely believable.  Well done Arny!”

SUSAN SCHAPIRO as MILDRED: “A pivotal role in developing the other four characters. Mildred certainly came across as the outsider who was there to flaunt her “win” over Ida by being Sam’s date.”

Stage Management: “Patricia Mullins’ stage management kept the performance running smoothly and in a timely manner. Scene changes were performed for the most part by the actors and were well executed. Light and sound cues were all on time, and they neither rushed nor slowed down the stage action.”

Direction: Jerry Wiesenhahn expertly utilized the ENTIRE area and created blocking that never seemed repetitive or sluggish.” “As evidenced by his dedication and his director’s note, Mr. Wiesenhahn has a strong connection to this play and it showed in every aspect of the performances. He brought beautiful, strong performances out of his actors.” “Overall, the show evoked laughter and tears and joy – exactly what the author intended.  It was a wonderful show that I enjoyed very much.  Congratulations!”

October 2018 Limelight Review