Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Riverdance"

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entire contents copyright 1998 by Tony Annicone

The Heiress  
The Heiress
Cast

Mary.........................................Darlene Mixer
Dr. Austin Sloper............................Richard Blue
Lavinia Penniman.......................Karen Gail Kessler
Catherine Sloper............................Marg Cappelli
Elizabeth Almond........................Janette Gregorian
Arthur Townsend/Charles...................... Kevin Soucy
Marion Almond....................Elizabeth Wagner-Antunes
Morris Townsend.............................Andrew Turner
Mrs. Montgomery..................................Lee Rush

Directed by Vincent Lupino

Producers:  Peter Babiec, Lolly Hakeem
Assistant to the Director:  Marcia Zammarelli
Set Designer:  S. Michael Getz
Set Construction:  Victor S. Turenne
Costume Designer:  Marcia Zamarelli
Lighting Design:  Linda Brown

Lighting and Sound Execution:  Robert Ferland Jr.
and Andrew Wright
Entire Contents copyright 1998 by Tony Annicone
Community Players of Pawtucket open their 78th season with "The Heiress", a drama based on the Henry James Novel "Washington Square" and adapted for the stage by Ruth and Augustus Goetz.

The play takes place in New York in 1850 and tells the story of a shy, plain girl, Catherine Sloper (Marg Cappelli) who falls desperately in love with a handsome and dashing suitor, Morris Townsend( Andrew Turner).  Catherine's father, Dr. Austin Sloper (Richard Blue) a stern, austere, cold man, objects to his daughter's suitor, finding him to be a man of little means to his mind, a fortune hunter.

Dr. Sloper threatens to disown Catherine and forbids her marriage.  She proposes to an elopement with Morris, but tells him she will never reconcile with her father and her inheritance will be given away.  The young suitor leaves Catherine without a word and she retreats into her own world.  A loveless world like she experienced with her father.

Morris returns two years later and with the help of Catherine's aunt Lavinia (Karen Gail Kessler), tries to woo her again.  He tells her he went to California to seek his fortune to prove her father wrong about him.  Catherine leads Morris to believe she would accept him again, but after he leaves, she forbids Lavinia to ever mention him again, and when Morris rings the bell to elope with her, she shuts the windows, locks the door and closes all the lights.  Catherine will live as her father did in a world devoid of love.]

Director Vincent Lupino has chosen excellent actors and designers for his version of this show.  The show's lighting set the tone for the time of day and was excellently executed and designed.  A magnificent set of white columned decor greet the audience.
Costumes designed by Marcia Zammarelli are so gorgeous and authentic you'd think you were in 1850.  The main thing with any drama is the play needs outstanding acting and directing and the audience is not shortchanged either way.

 Vincent keeps the lines and actions flowing to maintain the audiences interest.
Marg Cappelli as Catherine captures the shyness of the girl at the start of the play and shows her growth into a strong willed heartless woman at play's end.  Richard Blue (Dr. Sloper) was fantastic as the strong willed father, who hates his daughter for killing his wife in childbirth.  He expertly showed how Catherine would never be like her mother in any way.  (Too bad she becomes like her father, heartless and mean).  Karen Gail Kessler portrayed Aunt Lavinia, a bubbly middle aged widow to perfection always trying to matchmake her niece to show her about love in the girl's loveless home.  Andrew Turner (Morris) was outstanding as the suitor (or fortune hunter - the audience decides whether he is or not).  His character was outgoing and interested in the world, a wonderful contrast to Catherine's initial shyness.  He also showed great strength in standing up to Dr. Sloper to ask for her hand.
Rounding out this wonderful cast were, Janette Gregorian as Aunt Elizabeth, Elizabeth Wagner-Antunes as Catherine's cousin Marion,  Kevin Soucy as her husband Arthur, Lee Rush as Morris's sister, Mrs. Montgomery and Darlene Mixer as the Irish maid, Mary.
Definitely a show not to miss.  Kudos to one and all. ( A lesson to learn for today's audiences from this show could be...one must be careful not to become like the people we live with.)

The Community Players  (till October 18th)
151 Division Street, PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 726-6860
check their website
 


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