Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2017 by Tony Annicone
Kira gives each of her performers their moment to shine in this spectacular show. Maggie is played with a seductive vulnerability by Kerry Giorgi. She is a gorgeous brunette who first appears in a frock which has been ruined by grape juice spilled on it by the no-neck monsters, Gooper and Mae's children. What Kerry grasps in this role is Maggie's hard driving sense of purpose. She is excellent especially in the first act which is almost a whole monologue for her. Kerry drives home Maggie's reasons to Brick which include that Maggie really loves him. It is also that a woman has her needs and if Maggie doesn't conceive a child, it's possible that the huge estate will go to the other son, Gooper and his annoyingly fertile and conniving wife, Mae. The brooding heavy drinking, Brick played superbly by David Sackal who exudes a petulant sexuality in this role. The intensity builds with Kerry in the first act and with Big Daddy in the second act. Finally by Act 3 the light dawns in the alcoholic son's brain, making Brick comfort his mother when she needs him. It leads the audience to believe he'll give up drinking and give Maggie the child they need to hold onto the family estate.
Eric Behr tackles the role of Big Daddy. He does a fabulous job as this cantankerous, curmudgeon who fears for his mortality. Big Daddy yells and swears at Brick during their argument scene and at everyone else who offends him. He exclaims telling lies on the plantation has become a way of life but he wants that to stop shouting "Liars, lying, dying" as he storms offstage at the end of Act 2. Eric is full of fire and brimstone as this larger than life character. Michelle Walker also does a fantastic job as Big Mama, the long suffering wife of this rich tycoon. She always tries to placate her husband. Michelle's most dramatic moment comes when Big Mama doesn't want to hear that Big Daddy's cancer might be terminal. Both she and Eric deliver gut wrenching performances in their roles.
Justin Paige is wonderful as he plays the role of the unloved son, Gooper. He gives his mother and father the grandchildren that they desire. But no matter how well he does with his law practice, Brick has always been the apple of their eye. Justin does a splendid job in this role. The constantly pregnant, Mae is played by Stephanie Traversa. She sulks around the stage spying and eavesdropping on Brick and Maggie as well as on Brick and Big Daddy. Stephanie turns into a shrew when she yells out that Maggie is a liar for telling Big Daddy that she is pregnant. Mae and Gooper know that isn't the case because they can distinctly hear that Brick and Maggie haven't made love in a long time. Rounding out the cast are Jason Quinn as Reverend Tooker and Justin Pimental as Doctor Baugh. So for a terrific look back at a classic show, be sure to catch the powerful and electrifying "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at Epic Theatre Company. Tell them Tony sent you. Stage manager Justin Fortin keeps things running smoothly all night long and handles the mood setting lighting effects splendidly, too.