Theatre Mirror Reviews - "I Ought to Be In Pictures"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"I Ought to Be in Pictures"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Attleboro Community Theatre's final show of their 50th season is Neil Simon's "I Ought To Be in Pictures". The show takes place in 1973 and is about Herb Tucker, a once successful Hollywood scriptwriter. He is having a dry run and his confidence is shaken. Herb does have some consolation in his off-and-on sleep-in relationship with Steffy, a movie make-up woman. Then suddenly, he's confronted with his distant and almost-forgotten past in the person of his teenage daughter, Libby, who's trekked to Hollywood from Brooklyn where Herb had simply up and left his wife, Blanche, his daughter and his son, Robby, sixteen years earlier. Libby's extremely articulate and confident and tells Herb she wants him to get her into "pictures". But actually she's going to try to salvage him and also find a bit of love along the way. How they pick up the pieces of their father-daughter relationship is a poignant, tender and nevertheless very funny story. And they discover a great deal about each other and about themselves along the way. Director Dennis Magee casts three topnotch performers in these roles, obtaining stellar performances from all of them. His blocking of his cast is right on the money, too.

Chuck Doherty makes his stage debut in the huge role of Herb Tucker and does an excellent job in his first time on stage. He gives the character a funny facade but captures the tormented soul hidden beneath it. Chuck has many funny lines in the show but one of his best moments is when he and his daughter break down in tears, delivering the poignant and tenderness necessary to carry it off. Kristen Barrows is fantastic as Libby, the 19 year daughter who was abandoned by her father many years before. She is a whirlwind on the stage, delivering a comical performance in this role but also being capable of tugging on your heartstrings to obtain tears, too. Kristen captures the effervescent behavior of this girl perfectly. Last but not least is Judy Eustace as Herb's long suffering, girlfriend who tries to patch up the father-daughter relationship as well as trying to get Herb to commit to a relationship with her, too. She is a well seasoned actress who garners many laughs in this role and she handles her dialogue with ease. So for a look at one of Neil Simon's about true human relationships handled with the right about of comedy and pathos, be sure to catch "I Ought to be in Pictures". The modest one-bedroom apartment set was designed perfectly by Tammy England who also produced the show.

"I Ought to Be in Pictures" (20 April - 6 May)
ATTLEBORO COMMUNITY THEATRE
71 North Main Street, ATTLEBORO MA
1 (508) 226-8100

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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